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Musings on the Amusing: Why is the Government Trying to Steal My Identity?


a blogumn by Jessica Glassberg

A journey through the struggles, insecurities and over-analyzing that make a comic funny

Like far too many Americans nowadays, I am currently “between jobs.”  Or to give it a little more credibility… “working for the government.” 

Or to add some LA flair to it, I now have an overall deal on this new project with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It's funny b/c "dole" is British for "unemployment benefits"

It's funny b/c "dole" is British for "unemployment benefits"

No matter how I package it, I am unemployed.  Sadly, writing spec scripts that hang out together on my hard-drive and performing stand-up aren’t paying the bills

I completed my on-line application claim for “unemployment insurance,” where I was asked to recall my previous employment from the past 2+ years.  But the Employment Development Department didn’t really want to know about my previous employers.  They wanted to know the addresses where my paychecks were issued (not to be confused with the address where I reported for work, nor the address of the made up production company Disney invented for the show that I worked on in order to get out of paying health insurance for those of us not in a union.).

A week after completing my EDD application, I received my first envelope.  YES!  I know unemployment doesn’t pay much, but not much is still better than nothing.  I anxiously opened the envelope to reveal… a letter.  More specifically… a “Notice of Requirement to Register for Work.”  It declared that I had 21 DAYS from the date on the notice to complete my registration information and add my resume to CalJOBS.  No problem.  I had my resume ready to go and I knew if anyone can get me a writing gig, script coordinator job or writers’ assistant position… it was the California Government.

So… I went to and they asked me to register by typing in… not once… but twice…  my social security number and my birthday.  Hmm, to me this just screamed…

I thought for a moment… okay, ya know what???  I’m going to call the Work Source Center.  I called… I got voice mail.  I left a message explaining my fear of someone stealing my identity.  I think I even rambled about how the joke would be on the criminal because I’m unemployed.  After realizing that I am projecting my lack of person-to-person interaction since the onset of my aforementioned unemployment, I hung up the phone.

A few days later, the EDD still had not called me back.  I started to feel like the EDD and I were dating.  I wondered if my rambling turned them off… maybe they didn’t get my message… maybe they DID call me back and I didn’t get their message… maybe I’m just not good enough for EDD?  Did I say something wrong?   Was it too soon into the relationship to ask for money?  WHAT was it?!?! WHAT!?!?!

So after agonizing over it, I figured… it’d been almost 10 days since the date on the notice… I’d better just do it on-line.  I signed in to register… typed my SS# once… DEEP BREATH… I typed it in twice… DEEP BREATH… I typed in my birthday…

Flashes of my bank account being wiped out…

Flashes that my hard drive would be erased….

Flashes of Betty White scolding, “I told you so!”

I hit return… and…

I am promptly alerted:

** You are already registered in CalJOBS. Please go to Job Seeker Login.**

Apparently, the last time I applied for unemployment I was less concerned with my identity being stolen than I was with adding a credit with Arnold Schwarzenegger to my resume.

At least I know that EDD and I have a good relationship now.  I have to check in via the mail every two weeks and online every two months… we’re taking it slow.