Not Gainfully Unemployed
For the last few hours, I have been calling the State of California Employment Development Department, 85 times to be exact. Three times I thought that I was going to actually get to speak to a human being, only to enter in several various choices, including my Social Security #, only to be told, by an automated voice of course, that there were too many people waiting and to call back later.
This was after I went to the Georgia Department of Labor this morning because after submitting an application on-line for Georgia unemployment, I was called and told that because I worked in three states this year, I needed to be there in person to discuss my options; over the phone or via e-mail were not options.
Turns out I can choose which state I want to submit my unemployment claim. I chose California because it pays the most. She gives me the website, as well as phone numbers and hours.
I head home, collect all the info I'm going to need to submit my claim and...
after the first page of question, which includes, 1. Did you work in a state other than California during the last 18 months?, I am told that "special handling is required to file your unemployment insurance claim" Phone Call Required.
For the next four hours, I was on my phone. At some point, I tried to send an e-mail to them, which was its own challenge. I'll try again tomorrow, but certainly not for four hours. We'll see how this turns out...
Running Out of Time
Planned obsolescence -- There seems to be a ridiculous level of this practice in the realm of running products, probably because theoretically one shouldn't have to buy that much to be a "runner".
Yet there are all sorts of guidelines as to how often one should replace running shoes, not to mention the constant "improvements" and latest trends. The same goes with watches.
After years of being perfectly content with a watch that had stop-watch function, I finally bit the bullet and bought myself one that had GPS and a heart-rate monitor.
It was awesome.
I could keep track off all sorts of important data. The truth is the heart-rate monitor always seemed to be a little off and the only thing that really mattered to me beyond the stop-watch function was distance and pace.
Having that information with me at a glance was actually very helpful.
When my first Garmin stopped working, I wasn't too heartbroken. The first one was enourmous and a little to geeky-looking, even for me.
My next watch, the Garmin Forerunner 305, was awesome. Smaller than the first one I owned with even more data. Again I only used a couple of the functions, but it was still easy to use.
I'm a great consumer because I am both, regardless of how many times I should learn my lesson.
When my second Garmin stopped working, I was pressed for time. I think I had an important race coming up.
So I got myself over to the Sport Chalet down the street from where we used to live. The only Garmins they had in stock were in the high $300-$400 category.
I'm not that rich or that much of a stat-freak to justify that, so I went with the more modestly priced Timex Ironman version.
My everyday watch is a non-GPS Timex Ironman. I've had it for years and my "work" watch before that was also a Timex Ironman. I've been rocking them for well over a decade.
The first thing that struck me about the Timex was its charging device. I didn't like it, but I figured I'd get used to it.
I didn't. In fact, the thing was dead ten minutes into my Ultrarun at Burning Man.
I didn't use the watch for several months after that, because I didn't run for several months after that adventure.
When I did end up using it again, it ended up being way too complicated with too many options, too many settings, too many bells and whistles.
More times than not I would finish a work-out only to realize I had turned off the GPS halfway through the run.
I wanted simple.
After spending a day driving around trying to find a "foot-pod" accessory that I thought would somehow simplify the Timex Ironman, I stumbled upon a very stripped down, simpleton Garmin watch.
In attempt to break into the sub-$200 dollar GPS training watch they had the Forerunner 10.
All it pretty much did was keep track of time, distance and pace.
Maybe when my training gets more intense and specific, I'll go back to the Timex and all of its great functions. Or maybe not. Until then, I'm quite happy with my "simple" watch that just ten years ago would have been top-of-the-line and the envy of coaches everywhere.
You can check out a similar experience I had with headphones/MP3 players at a really old post of mine, back when the blog was Where in the World is Jon? A Gaggle of Gadgets