Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

More foot fallout

Yesterday was our last day of work before 2010 – the main show goes down tomorrow and won’t come back until after the new year.

We had a late call and an easy day – well, set lighting did. The first part of the day was ‘drive-bys’ up in the desert, which meant that the camera guys, the director, the ADs, and the grips, etc.. all piled into a van and drove around with the camera stuck out the window of said van in order to get day exterior driving shots. Since they had no lights or power of any kind with them, there was no reason to send along an electrician, so we came in at lunch after the rest of the crew returned to the stage.

Since we came in at lunch, we only worked about six hours, which means we beat the rate (we get paid for 8 hours minimum, so if we finish in less than that we beat the rate) which is always nice – kind of like a Christmas bonus.  At the end of the day, we had a little impromptu party in one of the morgue sets. We had ice and margarita mix (no booze though. The film industry used to run on hooch and cocaine, but now we have the kinder, gentler, more responsible version and none of us would even dream of breaking the rules. Honestly. You can trust us) and a blender set up on a table where a fake rotting corpse usually rests, and we made virgin drinks and chatted before we drifted off to try to not think about the fact that it’s almost Christmas already.

Today, I ran some errands and went to the gym. When I got home and opened the mail, I got a nasty surprise.

When I was on state disability, they were supposed to report all those hours to the health plan so I’d keep my health insurance – I got the letter in the mail today telling me that I haven’t worked enough hours and am ineligible for insurance. Of course, none of the disability hours were reported. I have ‘banked’ hours that I can withdraw to qualify, of course, but had the disability hours been reported it wouldn’t be necessary. I’m also afraid to draw out of my bank since the past couple of years have been so slow. I’m afraid I won’t work enough to rebuild it, and then when it really slows down (like when the writers go on strike again and hours required to qualify jump from 300 per semester to 400 per semester) I’ll be fucked.

What the hell? The folks at the state disability office told me it was all automatic and that I wouldn’t have to do anything, because I anticipated this very situation and asked.

I know California’s broke and cutting staffing to the bone, but this is just inexcusable.

I’ve got all the paperwork still so all I have to do is spend the better part of the day tomorrow on the phone doing the telephonic equivalent of bashing my head against a brick wall, but honestly I can think of a whole list of things I’d rather be doing with my time.

I just know this is Karmic payback for my calling Joe Lieberman a waste of carbon on Twitter, even though I stand behind the statement 110%.

Stupid foot. How long is this going to go on?

Speaking of the foot, please enjoy the latest photo while I field more email from creeps:


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10 Responses

  1. k4kafka says:

    Stop playing “footsie” and enjoy the holidays…
    Bah, humbug !

  2. cp says:

    call patrick and see if he can help.

  3. geekhiker says:

    Aw, such a shame to work on that “dry” set. *wink*

    That’s totally messed up about the disability screw-up. I mean, it’s not like the State office having to work with the film industry is anything NEW. Sheesh.

    Can’t argue with the twitter post though.

    Anyway, all that aside, I still hope you’re heading into a good holiday season!

  4. Peg:

    Just take your EDD disability check stubs down to the Motion Picture Health Plan office to prove when and how long you were out, and they should take care of it. I got a similar letter after shoulder surgery (and a 4 month recovery) in 2001, but when I took those disability stubs down there, I retained my coverage without dipping into my bank of hours. They were very nice about the whole thing.

    Good luck…

  5. Branch says:

    Michael’s right. And go in person because you actually get to talk to someone face to face and not wait too long for that chat. I have resolved several issues like that after getting tired of the phone game. Good luck.

  6. Wen says:

    The same thing happened to me this year. In the event that you don’t have all your pay stubs, call the number for disability (800-480-3287). Press 1 for english, wait while they tell you 47 times that they’re closed on fridays, then press 2, then 1, then 2. When you’re prompted give all your info into their vociemail. I got my print out in about a week which I then mailed a copy off to MPIPHP.

  7. Meg says:

    Wen-jumped through those hoops yesterday on the phone w/ EDD. got all the way to the “submit your info” and got a recording “this mailbox is full, try later.” Later when. like 2012?

  8. zhoen says:

    It can take a year. Recovery from foot surgery, that is. Before it all feels more or less normal. Those scars on the outside that still seem raw? Figure that’s what the inside looks like, too. Sucks, I agree.

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