Even though this is government, the same steps I took to deal with an unemployment issue today can work when dealing with company problems.
I received a letter this afternoon from the state unemployment division regarding a “pending issue” with my claim. I had indicated I was taking a class, but I didn’t realize a community enrichment course in Spanish doesn’t count.
The letter said my unemployment benefits would be withheld throughout the investigation. Yikes!
After freaking out a little bit, I called and sat on hold for twenty minutes. No biggie; I simply put my phone on speaker and did something else.
Finally, someone picked up. I calmly told him my name, social security number and birth date, and explained my issue. He told me this course wasn’t considered attending school, and I didn’t have to click “Yes” when filing my weekly claim. (I didn’t know this, really.)
He said he would delete the issue and my payment would be released tomorrow. Yay!
Image: zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Here’s what I did right, and how it helps deal with a company:
#1 – I acted right away.
If I had waited to fax or mail the form they sent me, I might have had to sit through a 4-6 week investigation process.
Depending on the issue, if you call soon after you notice the problem, it’s often possible to deal with it before it becomes intractable.
#2 – I told the rep exactly what the problem was.
I was a bit indignant, and I did say so, but I stated my case clearly so the rep could understand what was going on. He didn’t need to know all the details of my layoff, just what the letter said.
When speaking with a company rep, don’t waste time on extra information that has nothing to do with the issue.
#3 – I stayed calm.
No reason to yell at the poor guy. It wasn’t his fault. He explained to me what I did wrong and kindly offered an immediate resolution. If I had screamed at him, he might not have done that. He might have simply told me to mail the form just to get my loud butt off the phone.
Remember also that if you cuss, most CSRs can hang up on you.
Image: Stuart Miles / Freedigitalphotos.net
I’ve had to do this at work too, and having that experience helped me with this one. Transferable skills aren’t only useful on the job, but in daily life as well. And dealing with this type of problem at home can give you confidence when you must do so in the workplace.