And some of you are thinking, so what else is new right? Keep that thought in your heads my children…….
I was supposed to travel to Nashville this coming week for a conference that my department was sending me to. I was actually looking forward to it, I bought clothes, commandeered a carry-on suitcase from one of my friends and I packed everything I was going to take with me all nice and neat. I even purchased all my toiletries in stupidly small travel, Ooompaloompa size portions, so they could all fit into ONE QUART SIZE re-sealable plastic bag.
Then, on Friday, I contacted our university Travel Office who was supposed to deposit the already authorized/approved travel advance into my bank account, to find out how long it was going to take for me to receive the funds. Mind you, this has been in the planning since mid-December, all the appropriate forms were circulated for approval, all registration payments were made, flights had been purchased and the only thing pending was the travel advance for me to pay for the hotel. Then I get a response saying that my travel advance payment was denied, because I have a warrant hold with the GODDAMNED STATE OF TEXAS!!!! Now, calmly I was like wtf is going on here, what hold could possibly hinder a travel advance? Hold the phone, it turns out if you’re an employee of the State of Texas, this hold can keep you from getting travel advances, it could keep you from claiming lottery winnings (well there goes that $10 scratch off I have in my car) and/or keep you from local or federal jury duty. Okay so two out of three relevant things, what can I say? I was given contact information and a name so I could “clear this up” in a timely manner in order for me to get the hold taken off and get my travel advance.
So I did just that, I called the number and extension my university’s travel office gave me, I waited for the automated system to give me prompts for what I was looking for and then…….I get transferred to a collections department for the State of Texas Unemployment Benefits department or the Texas Workforce Commission aka bitch, asshole, dick sucking pricks from hell! Seriously, I think that’s their legal name…… anyway, I get this lady on the line and she asks me for my name, social and date of birth and quickly informs me that I have an outstanding balance of $500 for over-paid unemployment benefits from (are you ready for this?) 2002!!!!! The one and only time in my life I was on unemployment.
AND to top it all off, the collections lady said I HAD to pay the balance before the hold could be taken off. I was like are you fucking kidding me? I asked why they thought they had over paid me unemployment benefits and they said because I REFUSED SUITABLE EMPLOYMENT!!
I told them that was not the case, because I remember this situation very well. At that time, I had TWO job offers and I choose one over the other but that did not mean I refused suitable employment according to what they though was suitable. I mentioned that I have my income tax information to prove I was working when they “believed” I had turned down work to keep getting unemployment! Hell I’m not that ghetto, I have pride and I haven’t been out of work since 2002, so they can kiss my entire ass because I’m a classy broad dammit!
Then she proceeded to say was that I had to either pay the entire balance of $500 or file a claim to fight for them to take the hold off. Seriously four fucking days before I was to leave and then I get notified that due to some stupid asshole at the TWC, I have a state hold! And because I work for the State, this will continue to affect me if I don’t get this shit fixed.
I also asked the lady at the TWC why I was never notified and the smug bitch told me that they sent notices to my mailing address. So I asked her what address they had on file and she gave me my parents address AND it’s not even the mailing address, it’s their physical address because they have a P.o Box. I told her that I hadn’t lived at that address in over 15 years and how was I supposed to know about this issue when they don’t even update their own records! I also asked her that “if” I owed the State of Texas money, why hadn’t I gotten a garnishment notice from them. I mentioned that I would have gotten notice from my university’s payroll department that my wages would be garnished until the amount was paid back.
She couldn’t answer me, she kept saying, “I’m only in collections ma’am you need to call the appeals office.” Seriously I’ve been at UTEP and my current university for 17 fucking years combined and they could figure out by my social security number that I had this state warrant hold pending?! I went onto the TWC website and it clearly says that if you have a balance pending, they will either garnish your wages or your income tax refund. AND THEY HAVE DONE NEITHER AND IT’S BEEN FUCKING 17 YEARS!!!! Because you can bet your ass I would have fought that shit tooth and nail.
Well, back when I actually got a substantial income tax return that is, anyway I digress. So I filed an appeal online because I sure as hell am NOT going to pay for benefits I know I deserved! Needless to say, I had to cancel all my travel arrangements, the only thing on my card was the hotel, and I cancelled in time to not be charged any kind of fee. I told my supervisor and she wasn’t mad, well not at me anyway. She said the fucking Travel Office should have caught this before the travel advance was approved in full.
So, in short (or long rant, call it how you see it) I won’t be traveling anywhere for work anytime soon and I’m going to appeal this shit because 1) they had the wrong address, 2) its plain ridiculous that it’s been 17 years and I haven’t gotten any kind of notification and 3) I’m not going down without a goddamned, fist-first, hell hath no fury like a woman denied travel, I deserve every cent of unemployment benefits, hold my hoop earrings and high heels, I’ve had two bottles of Chardonnay, I carry a shank in my purse fighting bitch!!!
And now this mood has been exasperated further since my director (the one that loves to talk about her grandson in actual baby talk) was standing in front of my desk letting me know that this entire disastrous travel episode wasn’t my fault. OF COURSE IT WASN’T MY FAULT!!!! I didn’t even know about this shit so stop talking to me in your baby voice!! Seriously, I’m thinking I’m stopping by Total Wine after work and using the $75 gift card my son gave me for Christmas to chill the fuck out because I’m fuming right now….more about my director taking up literally half an hour of my time talking about her grandson in her baby voice more than the entire travel disaster that started this entire mood…..ugh
Upward and Onward………or to jail, at this point its a toss up….