Unemployed and Insulted

The news over the last few months hasn't been good.  Company after Company has been laying off and/or closing it's doors.  By now most reading this will know people who've lost their jobs. The company I currently work for just let a bunch of people go today.

Friends of mine have sent out that dreaded email announcing they are looking, asking if anyone knew of any openings.  Many good IT people are struggling to find openings, a couple that I know have taken temporary contracts located hours from their home just because they couldn't find anything else close by.

A few years ago I went through the whole unemployment process.  Until then I'd never been unemployed for long enough to really be in the unemployment system.  What I experience, as I'm sure many now are learning, is an insult to the vast majority of business professionals out there.

After getting my pink slip I headed down and filed the paperwork to collect unemployment.  Long lines were the norm and from people I've spoken with it hasn't changed so if you're about to file for the first time plan on an afternoon there.

As part of filing in NH I was required to attend "classes" in which they went over different aspects of searching for work.  These were typical topics one would expect covered such as resume writing, interviewing etc. however it is how they were covered that was the real insult.

I understand that there are people who aren't business professionals and who's only work history consists of working in the local Hot Topic store where dressing for work involves picking the correct color dye for their hair to match their socks but anyone who's worked in a professional office environment already knows that you shouldn't walk in for an interview with rings in your nose while wearing a tee shirt that talks about what you would do on a first date and involves chains.  We however we lectured about such things along with being told it would be a good idea to wear a tie.

I found myself growing more and more upset in these mandatory classes paid for with our tax dollars having to listen to a woman who openly admitted during the class she was running that she kept coming week after week to the unemployment office looking for work for so long they finally just hired her there since she couldn't find work elsewhere.  This was who the state felt should tell me, a 10+ year professional how to find work.  It was insulting and yet if I choose to make better use of my time I would have lost my benefits.

Why if someone has worked as a professional from a senior level position should they be required to listen to someone who admits they couldn't find a job themselves telling them on how to find work?

I've gotten more information from Monster.com and BrainBench.com then I could ever have hoped to get from the employees of the NH unemployment offices. 

Then was the resume "class".  Again, as a senior level professional I already know that my name and contact information needs to be clearly printed on top so should someone actually be interested in hiring me they know how to get in touch with me for an interview.  The employee in the unemployment office however felt that I may not know this and need to be informed of this basic information.

As our economy continues it's decline maybe it's time we look at whether or not the services the state requires these people to attend is actually helping or if its just wasting more of the money of those still earning incomes.