"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dear Universe, next time I expect you to at least buy me dinner first

This why I'm glad Canada has reasonably restrictive gun laws and doesn't have the cowboy shoot'em up culture of our southern neighbour.
I just got off the phone with a very patient and overworked gentleman from the Employment Insurance office. Apparently, despite having worked what sometimes felt like 25 hours a day since October, my claim for unemployment benefits has been denied. Normally, one needs to have worked between 490 and 700 hours to claim employment insurance benefits.
 I started work on Oct. 20 editing a community paper on a salary as a replacement for the regular editor who was off on maternity leave. My last day of work at the paper was March 25. During my time there I regularly worked plenty of extra hours, wanting to produce the best paper I could and wanting to get a good reference when my contract was through. The day before deadline it wasn't unusual for me to work from 9am until midnight, sometimes later, to get everything ready for production day, another day that was rarely less than ten hours long. I worked a few nights a week and nearly every weekend covering junior hockey games or other community events - that being the nature of the beast. The kids got used to hearing the expression "Dad's gotta get the paper out" or "Dad's got stuff to cover tonight"  -- it goes with the territory. As the man said "this is the business we have chosen."
But, because it is a salaried job, only 40 hours a week are counted. There is no such thing as paid overtime. I defy you to show me a community newspaper editor (among many other salaried employees) who works only 40 hours a week. Again, it goes with the territory, this is the business we have chosen.
It turns out I "officially" worked 904 hours, so collecting employment insurance should be a given, right?  Ahhhhhhh, but since I have been working outside the country for last 14 years, I am considered to be new to the workforce in Canada and that means I need - are you ready for this? - 910 hours of work  to qualify.
I lived in Texas, I think I'd be in a pick-up truck full of firearms right now.



Jane2 said...

Appeal...I got denied because I didn't have child care for my 17 year old son! Too bad we're in an election...the one useful thing an MPs office can do is help you through this kind of bs.

Rev.Paperboy said...

oh I plan to appeal, and my former employer is appalled that this happened, so we may see what we can do from that end. I just can't figure out how the number of hours needed could work out to such an odd number - it is 113 8-hour days PLUS six more hours. Why isn't it a set number of weeks or at least full days the way any working arrangement would naturally be?

Tom Baker said...

Is there any chance the paper might re-hire you .... for six hours?