Saturday, December 6, 2008


It ain’t looking-or feeling-much like Christmas around our house this year. At least not yet. Hubby returned home from out west just in time to start school on October 18th. The day he arrived I went online and filed for his EI. I wasn’t taking any chances. Blair is part of an apprenticeship program which means most school costs are covered and he is eligible to receive EI while in school. The intensive program lasts eight weeks and he has to leave home-during the week at least-to participate. While hubby has been on EI before, we have never had the nightmare with it we are having now. As of today we have not receive one red cent -or one greenish/brown cheque. The problem? The US-based company hubby worked for can’t seem to grasp the concept of a ROE. While we certainly aren’t ain’t-got-no-pot-to-piss-in broke, it sure would be nice to have some cash flow around this time of year. While I do have most of the necessities purchased I have to admit that waiting is awfully stressful. About two weeks ago hubby finally took things into his own hands and faxed each and every pay stub he’s had since March into the Employment Insurance office. Each and every day he would call into that 1-800 number to hear that a decision had not yet been made on his claim. In the meantime he is traveling back and forth-over six hours round trip-each week, leaving his family to attend school. Thank God gas prices are low right now.
Finally this week the message stated that a decision would be made by December 5th but low and behold, on the 5th the message was changed again. They now needed even more time to process his claim.
Hubby left school and headed directly to the EI office in town (mainly because I had a major bitch-fit and threatened to slaughter him if he didn’t finally get this straightened out) to see what the hell was on the go now. By the way, if anyone has ever used the 1-800 number to get any type of an answer beyond what the recorded message says let me know because we got nowhere.
So, down he goes and is getting nowhere (again) until he utters the magic words, “financial hardship.” Blair was escorted in to see a manager who took a look at everything and assured him he would have his cheques-all of them, each and every glorious one owed to him-by early next week.
We’ll see.
Having very little in the way of cash flow in a year we have committed to go credit-free at Christmas has been a challenge. We only cheated once (ok twice) so far. Once on my winter tires (if that counts) and another on an item I ordered from eBay.
I can only imagine that this has happened to other people and I wonder what you do? Blair was told that uttering “financial hardship,“ would get the ball rolling so I’m passing that tip on to others. If there are any other tips or tricks-or horror stories, feel free to share your own. By the way, hubby received a copy of his ROE from his company just this week. EI still hasn’t received it.
And me? I’m waiting for the cash to come in and then look out for a flash. That will be me heading out to pay bills and finish up my holiday shopping.

No comments: