2016 Defending The Reality Of Poverty

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So for those who may or may not know, I quit my job a few weeks ago. It wasn’t because I was like oh hey I don’t need a job anymore. There were some changes going on at my job and due to a lack of communication(which was continually documented) and having to rely on the bus as my mode of transportation, I had to quit my job. Everyone knew this, no one was left the dark, they just chose to act surprised when it happened.

So I applied for unemployment(as we all have a right to do). When you apply for unemployment benefits, you have to have an interview which requires you to answer questions related to your case. Well, the interviewer asked me questions related to my commute and related to my mode of transportation. First I had to break down my actual commute by time and miles. Second, I had to reiterate that these proposed times were never concrete. Then, the interviewer  asked me how long I had been without a car.

For the record, I have not had a car since 2010. Not because I don’t want one. Not because I can’t drive. Not because I don’t have a license, but because I cannot afford a car. So my main mode of transportation is the bus. Which works pretty well during the day but some sort of switch flips at night and it is only good in certain parts of town. Our city is shaped like  a wagon wheel and most of the buses only cater to four sections of the wheel.

At the end of the interview, the interviewer mentioned that not having a reliable mode of transportation would hinder my unemployment benefits. Which made me think that many, many poor people are unable to access their unemployment benefits because of the fact that they are too poor to afford a car.

It also brought up the usual of people who have never been in poverty not being able to understand the reality of what it means to be in poverty. Yesterday a friend had to drive to my place to leave a note for me about this interview because there was no way to reach me without my phone. All of these things add up and don’t help those who are already down on their luck.

Here’s to new jobs in the New Year 🙂

 

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