My phone rang this morning at the unholy hour of 10:30 a.m. Unemployment has few advantages, but unquestionably one is sleeping in.
I answered groggily and managed to choke out a greeting.
“Mr. Finney, this is Anna from Iowa Workforce Development,” the caller said.
I perked up. Anna, regular readers will recall, rescued me from the endless loop of robot answering machines and suicide-inducing hold music at Iowa Workforce Development, the fancy government name for the unemployment office.
I had run afoul of the unemployment bureaucracy due to a paperwork error. To the bureaucrat, a paperwork error is a mortal sin and those who commit one must be cast into the lake of fire.
The bottom line was I was looking at four weeks without a benefit being paid. Each time I called the office and wound my way through the Byzantine process to reach a person, I got a different answer.
Finally on Tuesday, I reached Anna, who fixed my problems and put me track to get paid. I would have offered my hand in marriage, but I think Anna’s smart enough to see an unemployed middle-aged journalist as a high-risk, low-reward investment.
Today, Anna called me to say that she didn’t want me to worry about the benefits statement on the unemployment website.
I hadn’t checked it yet, but Anna had. It showed that only one of the payments I’m due had been authorized.
Anna, apparently out of a sense of near-extinct concept of due diligence, checked on my case when she got to work Wednesday. She saw a small error, had it corrected and then called me to let me know it would be resolved within a day.
I told Anna she was a superhero. If I knew her last name (and had been paid my unemployment), I’d send her flowers.
We hung up and I rushed to the window. The sun was in the clear blue sky. A chilly March wind blew.
But there was no sign of the apocalypse.
Anna is quite clearly the real deal: a public servant who believes in helping the people who need her.
Until Tuesday, I would have assumed such a person was as rare as the fearsome snipe or the elusive jackalope.
Now I know governmental customer service is no longer a myth, like the leprechaun, but rare, like the four-leaf clover.
What a sweet column. Made me smile. Ken
Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn (ret.)
The World Food Prize
Des Moines, Iowa
Sent from my iPad
LikeLiked by 1 person
How very wonderful that was of Anna to take that extra step to call you and let you know she was working on your case and getting things moving. I’m sure that have you immense hope and encouragement that all will be worked out in your favor . Now on to finding a great job you will love and bloom. Anna is a gem. As well as you are , Daniel. I’ve always enjoyed your honest sharing of yourself and all your writings, I miss them .
LikeLiked by 1 person
You are an excellent writer! Anna is an angel and I’m so glad you have her as an advocate! Keep your chin up – the sun will shine. Practice self care and follow your medical/therapy plan. I really enjoy your writing, stories and updates!