Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How Unemployment Got Me Out of a Ticket

Well, I have something else to be grateful for today. My unfortunate situation of finding myself without a job has gotten me out of a speeding ticket, however, you might say that I wouldn't have been in the situation of getting the ticket in the first place if it weren't for the unfortunate unemployment, but that's neither here not there. Here's what happened.

This morning I went to the unemployment office for the second time to apply for my benefits of which I have been paying into for years and have never taken advantage of. I have never actually even LOST a job, nevermind collected unemployment. I have never been fired, never laid off, have always left jobs of my own free will. Thus, I have never had the wonderful experience of applying for unemployment. Well, little did I know that they like to make it as difficult as possible. Like pull your hair out of your head, want to scream and kill someone difficult.

The first day I got there at 10:00 and there were NO appointments available so I was told to come back at 8:30 a.m. when they opened to snag a spot on another day and that it was first come, first served. So I lined up day care AGAIN today and got there at 8:39 a.m. (because I hit traffic) and was told the first spot that was available was 2:00. Unfortunately, I did not have day care at 2:00. So I turned on my heel and left. Again. Irritated and emotional, I got in my car and pulled out of the parking lot.

As I drove down the street, fuming and frustrated, those tell tale blue lights started blinking in my rearview mirror. I looked at my speedometer to find that, yes, indeed, I was doing about 40-something in a 30 mph zone. My theory about puppy drowning and Nazi supporting was starting to really make sense because yes, I was being PULLED OVER as I pulled out of the unemployment office. They must have been REALLY cute puppies. I felt like I was in a bad sitcom. I could already feel the tears welling up in my eyes.

By the time the police officer strode up to my driver's side window, tears were already streaming down my face and I handed him my registration and my debit card.

"Sorry, I don't take credit cards" he said with a smirk.

And I burst into hysterical tears.

I wish I had a camera to capture the look on this cop's face. I went on to blubber uncontrollably "I just left the unemployment office and they turned me away AGAIN and I have to go get my daughter and I don't have any more day care for her because I can't afford it anymore and I don't know what I am going to do and really officer I never speed ever my husband tells me I am such an old lady driver and I am really, really sorry. Really."

His face softened. He took my license and registration. And he said something I have never heard a police officer say ever in my life.

"It's going to be OK."

I wiped my tears away and tried to smile. He went on to tell me about how his son was out of work and he had a lot of friend who were unemployed and we chatted about how hard it was out there right now. He was actually really sweet. By the end of it, I thought he was going to reach through the window and give me a hug. He told me he was just going to give me a written warning and that he wished me the best of luck with everything. And with a big, warm smile, he was gone.

And that, my friends, is how unemployment got me out of a ticket. Although I have a sneaking suspicion it had more to do with my pathetic crying.