Crying on the phone to government agents (a rant)

My baby is dead. I’m unemployed, and now, I owe the Canadian government over $2,000 because of a mistake they made on my file for receiving employment insurance (EI)… MY money that I earned while I was employed. I’m cut off because, lo and behold, I was entitled to benefits from the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan this whole time. I hope they accept monopoly money…

But why would they bother to inform me of this when I first signed up for EI, when Henry had just died, back in September, and I was in too much emotional distress to find this stuff out for myself? No, nononono, it’s much better to let me collect benefits, then send me a letter (that I received today), mid-November, saying that I was eternally ineligible to receive disability on EI, and, woopsie-doodle, can we please have our money that we mistakenly gave you this while time? Yeeah, that’d be great, thanks.

What is with this week? Seriously??????? Why? What the bleeding fuck?

The good news is that I’ll be receiving more from QPIP than I had been from EI, and it’s retroactive, so that’ll soften the blow from my fish-face-slapping debt to the EI folks. Had I known this – just like my conversations this week with Dumdum the idiot-face receptionist at the OBGYN, I would have freaking DONE that in the FIRST place had I known!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why does someone like me have to jump through these firey hoops? I’m not normally one to yell or cry on the phone, but these employees at Service Canada (who process the employment insurance claims) have each assured me, every time I’ve spoken to one of them (I’m going on five different agents in the last two months alone), that going on disability was THE thing to do in my case. Hearing about being eligible for QPIP is brand new news to me. And they’re making my life absolutely miserable. Aren’t they there to serve us? Help us? Am I just being naive? Oh wait, I forgot – we don’t have a government that supports systems that actually help people.

Thankfully, I was able to speak with a Service Canada supervisor today to file a complaint (yes, another one…. *sigh), and SHE even agreed that something went wrong on her end. I have no idea what will come of this. Maybe they’re just used to slugs who try to take advantage of the system (whatever, I’m not judging anyone, that’s just an assumption), but I’m someone who actually needs assistance right now. So, you know, like, try to recognize that, or whatever.

I can’t even talk to these people without breaking down in tears because each time, I end up needing to explain my situation (put notes on someone’s file? pffftttt.. who does that???!!!), and then I end up getting very stressed out, which turns into me being very bitchy to them on the phone. I try to be apologetic when I really lose my temper, which is often these days. I know they’re not out to “get me,” but I’m seriously starting to wonder if it’s in their training manual to make sure that they make claimant’s lives as absolutely difficult as possible.