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On The Dole

February 5, 2009

To pay bills while freelancing I’ve been working for my friend Rhonda’s landscaping company. It doesn’t pay that much, and is very haphazard when it comes to hours each week, but it helps “staunch the bleeding” as a photo stylist in Florida once described it when her art director husband took a low paying job to make ends meet.
While winter does its worst we are all temporarily laid off til spring. So it’s time to sign up for Missouri Unemployment. It’s been years since I last collected unemployment checks (hey, I work in advertising – it happens a lot) and nowdays they send you a debit card instead of regular checks.
Seems like an awkward and complicated way to do it. Then I start reading the reams of paperwork involved and it does look like a good deal. For the banks involved, at least.
Someone convinced the state of Missouri to hand it over to a bank and issue cards. With fees. And charges. And fees if you try to withdraw money at the millions of ATMs not associated with this setup.
How convenient. But guess I shouldn’t complain. Without this funding, I’d be shut down for sure.

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