…that lasted all of what, six weeks?
I’m working again.
Not at an office, and not full time (yet), but I have deadlines and people to answer to and people to (gently) boss around.
Within 90 minutes of taking the job, I secured part time childcare in a regulated daycare centre.
And that must be some kind of record.
But the best part about it all is this: I get to call up the federal government to let them know I am a productive citizen once again.
You see, two days ago I applied for E.I. (That’s employment insurance in Canada – the federal subsidy for people out of work through no fault of their own, like wrongful dismissal, medical or maternity leave, or yes, even when you quit your job to follow your spouse across the country). And even though my resignation was legitimate, and even though I had explored other options before finally pulling the plug, and even though all my dealings with Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency have ALWAYS been above board, I still came away feeling like a criminal. I think it’s their own way of keeping the number of applicants down – we will SHAME you into not applying! Mwahahahahah!
The fact is, E.I. is probably one of the most abused social security programs in Canada. It’s free money*, after all. However. When perfectly honest folks are turned down or talked down to because of all the bad apples who treat the system like their own private bottomless bank, it rankles.
You would think that maternity leave would be one of the more straightforward EI applications. Doc signs a form saying you’re pregnant, and you send along a copy of the baby’s birth certificate. Done.
Ha. If only!
I had to maneuver my 42-week pregnant belly through countless virtual HOOPS before I got it straightened away. And you know what? A full eighteen months after Sylvia was born, I got a call from the CRA, just wanting to check the facts on my time off work and the baby’s date of birth, and what colour underwear I was wearing at the time.
So I really didn’t expect this application to go smoothly.
Mostly I’m just glad I don’t have to wait to find out.
*not really, but try explaining that to the folks who help themselves to an eight-month vacation each year.
Full disclosure: I once worked for Service Canada. I know better than to cheat the system, and not just because my parents raised me to be an honourable person.