Filing For Unemployment At 22 Years Old

By Benny Morales, Staff Reporter

Upon my excitement for the school switching to online, losing my job brought un-excitement in my life to extents I would have never imagined. Being 22-years-old, I would have not thought in a 1,000 years that I would have to file for unemployment. 

On March 12, 2020, my boss called me with unsettling news. He began explaining how the hotel I valet for is temporarily suspending all guest services, including valet parking.

Although the laziness in me had some fun and relaxing moments these past two weeks, my boss walking me through the steps of how to file for unemployment snapped me back to reality. The continuous thought of me not having a job seemed so surreal. 

I worked out of state within the past 18 months, which has made my filing process a hassle. I was required to fill out 11 sheets of paperwork that took about four hours to do.

Once I was done with my paperwork, I was told to fax it in which presented a new hassle. Now I am not sure if other people have the same problem as me, but fax machines are such a pain to find sometimes. Every place I went to that claimed they have a fax machine were closed due to COVID-19. Eventually, I remembered that we are in 2020 with smartphones and figured out that we can fax them from our phones. 

Turning in my paperwork should have filled me with some sort of ease but with over three million people filing for unemployment within the last two weeks, I have a fearful feeling that I will not be hearing from the Employment Development Department any time soon. 

Thankfully I still live with my parents and do not have an enormous amount of credit card debt or else I would be in a huge pickle. One could only imagine the stress levels people are reaching because of losing their money source and still having to pay their monthly dues. 

Receiving no confirmation number or email/mail within the 11 days that have passed has shown me how you can not be dependent on others during life crises and should always have a backup plan. 

Since I work as a valet I receive a good amount of tip. Luckily these past few months I have been saving for a nice vacation trip to Europe, but now my vacation is basically ruined due to me using my tips and spending it on food and other bills during this quarantine.

I have never been in this situation in my life so not being able to spend freely has definitely taught me the importance of saving money for situations like these because honestly, you never know what is going to happen.

Although I have not received unemployment yet, for some reason I just feel ashamed of myself. I have been working for about seven years now and this time of doing nothing in my room has really allowed me to reflect on who I am as a person and think about what I want to do with my life.