When I staggered out to the mailbox this morning, there it was, waiting for me – the judge’s written decision in the unemployment case.
I won! The judge ruled that my mistake (which resulted in an overpayment last year and caused a delay of benefits and a fine this year) was made because of poor organizational skills and sloppy accounting on my part and not a deliberate attempt to defraud the state of California.
Although I’m not sure how thrilled I am about having a judge pretty much call me an idiot in a written decision, at least the state has to refund the penalties to me now.
If I’ll ever get them is another story – the California unemployment folks seem to be doing anything they can to avoid paying out claims. I know one person who is owed almost 8 weeks worth of checks and can’t get an explanation as to the cause of the delay, another who has had to go to three different offices to verify his identity in person and still hasn’t been issued a check, and another person who is getting one check out of every four that she’s owed – also with no explanation of why.
Even if I never see any of the money, at least now I’m not viewed as a criminal by a group of bureaucrats who may or may not have souls.
Speaking of surprises, I saw this while riding my bike the other day:
I wonder if the homeowner was hoping that some passerby would take them. When she saw me taking pictures of them, she ran out of the house to yell at me in what I think might have been Russian, but I’m not entirely certain.