So I picked up my unemployment check today. It's kind of a pain dealing with unemployment, but I guess it probably should be. It's not like any of us have a job we need to schedule around, right?
Today I was supposed to receive 2 checks because they denied my benefits when I didn't report any income. See, it's a long story, but because I filed for "reduced-hours" unemployment, I am able to work part-time and make as much as half of my weekly stipend. If I make more than that, my check is deducted dollar-for-dollar.
Therefore, each week I call a number and spend about 10 minutes touch-toning my previous week's earnings. It takes about 10 minutes and 2 days later, I usually receive a check, but they get backed up and things are spordic sometimes.
On Tuesday, I made my sixth (6th!) trip to the Department of Labor since I opened this claim. I am happy to say they have made some improvements to their customer service systerm, but I have definately spent DAYS in that office now.
Sometimes I see people I worked with at the Rudder while I am there. That has happened at least 3 times. No one I knew was there on my first visit , but by my second visit, I ran into Art, the old man who carves beef on the buffet.
My first year at the Rudder, I got to know Art because I worked there year-round and there isn't much to do in Dewey Beach during the winter besides get to know everybody else who is there. Art is barely 5 ft. and has white hair and when I started there, he was hard to understand because a lifetime in Sussex County poverty level did a number on his teeth, but he is still a really nice little old man but oh yeah, he's a little crazy too, definately crazy.
There was one summer when Art hooked up with little white-haired his tall black crackhead, we'll call her "Chickenhead." He used to drive her all around everywhere and she stayed at his house and they both worked the buffet. Come to think of it, I think I saw "Chickenhead" there too. Unemployment is crazy.
Well, this one Sunday that first winter, so there was the brunch buffet in the morning and a slow dinner shift to follow. Another young waitress and I were sitting in the smoke area, waiting to be cut. Back then, we used to have a smoke area inside. As soon as you went through the swinging kitchen door, you were there. Take 2 more steps and you are in the kitchen. The smoke area was right by the service bar, which was housed inside a larger"back of the house" complex including the kitchen.
Anyway, we were sitting there smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee and waiting to be cut and Art stepped out of the dish pit and grabbed a bulky steak knife and started sawing on his fingernail.
The other waitress and I were puzzled, but I had already seen so much crazy shit at that place, it was just par for the course, but my friend spoke up.
"Oh Art, what on Earth are you doin?" she asked with a little Sussex County twang,
"See here, I got myself this hangnail," he replied.
"Well why don't you just bite it off," she said, putting her hand up to mimic the action.
"I aint got no teeth. "
Only at the Rudder.