Tuesday, May 22, 2007

You start the day by drowning a mouse and you might just think things would go uphill from there.

Not if the next thing on your to do list is call the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. I was up early. Did my ADLs, made the bed and went downstairs where things were quiet. Nothing stirring, except a mouse in the cabinet under the sink. I heard it. Opened the cabinet door and there it was - stuck to the glue trap. I hate glue traps, but when there's mice in the house, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Bing budda bam and all that. The alternative are the traps that snap shut and break their little necks. Trouble is they don't seem to catch them. Someone did, indeed, build a better mouse trap: the glue trap.

Once you catch a mouse with the glue trap you can let the mouse just lay there on the trap, struggling to get loose. Which he won't. That's a long, slow, terrifying way to die ( I'm assuming ). Better to put the mouse out of its misery quickly. Hence the drowning.

Enough already with the mouse you're probably thinking. What's the latest with the quest for the benefits? Like you care, right? You do? You're just being nice, but I'll continue...

Yesterday I drove to Cranston. I won't repeat what I wrote. If you don't know the story, it's in the archive, a few posts back.

Here's what happened today. I'll keep it short. I called the DLT, just as the guy told me to do yesterday. I was on hold for 50 minutes. Then I got to speak with a " representative. " She asked me two questions. When was my last day of work, and when did you return to work? Then she put me on hold.

I'd figured she put me on hold to check my file, which includes the date of my final day on the job that was eliminated. She needed to ask me that? And " When did you return to work? " What kind of question is that, I thought. If I returned to work, I wouldn't be refiling for benefits.

I answered her questions. Then she told me I couldn't refile.

" It says here you're not able or available for work, " she said.

I told her I was. I told her that was the point I had made again and again at the hearing in Providence two weeks ago. Didn't do any good.

" I'm going to have to set you up to talk to an adjudacator, " she said. I talked to an adjudacator more than a month ago. I'm going around in circles here. I feel like a mouse stuck in a trap. And I get the feeling nobody in the Department of Labor and Training is going to have the decency to do what should be done.

In other words, I can't look forward to being drowned any time soon.


jane said...

You've got to get this into an op-ed or something, Terry...how many others have the same catch-22?
If it weren't actually happening to you (and others) it would be the stuff of fiction, and no one would believe it!
Too bad the I-man isn't available to help point out what a flawed system it is. Now it's up to you.
Good luck!

Terrence said...

Thanks, Jane. I am going to whittle this saga down to about 750 words and ship it off to Bob Whitcomb, the editorial page editor of the Providence Journal.

Terry said...

Ah, the man in the maze feels like a mouse stuck in the trap. I think that's mixing metaphors (or metaphors with similes), but you are forgiven.

I, too, catch the occasional mouse with a glue trap but am not so kind as to drown him. I usually just throw him away.

I, too, will look for this in the ProJo, if I can ever find a way to register properly.

Terrence said...

Memo to Terry in western Connecticut. I'm gonna start screening comments. Making it impossible for senior writers and English teachers to comment. Mixed metaphors indeed. By the way, there's another mouse in the house and he's sounding like he's spinning in a grave not yet dug. Running on a treadmill, wearing sneakers with velcro soles, caught in a maze, in a thick fog with its eyes wide open and getting wider, like they're basketballs being pumped full of air...

See! I can even write badder.

Seriously. Thanks for reminding me to pay attention, and to pull off the shelf ( once again ) The Elements of Style.

Fred said...

I've got faith in you son. I went to the local booky and got 3/1 on you. You wanted a reality show? Well here you go. Fred