Having been laid off from work last week, I've been enjoying the many adventures of being unemployed. On Friday I had the biggest of those adventures - the unemployment office. It took two attempts over two days to get everything finished. The first time I went to the Little Rock unemployment office, there were maybe three hundred people in line ahead of me. I saw a few of my now former co-workers who said they had been there since before 8:00 and were still waiting in line. Yikes, I was there around Noon. I did the little computer application and waited with them. A few hours passed, and I gave up and went home. If the office stopped seeing people at 3:30, and there were people there who had been waiting since eight that morning, I knew I had no chance.
So I tried again. Instead of the Little Rock office I went to the office up in Jacksonville. It was smaller, but much less crowded and better organized. Only about 50 people were waiting in line ahead of me when I showed up in the morning. At the front desk, I told the two workers that I had already done the computer application at the Little Rock office. "Oh you went to Little Rock?" they asked, and gave each other a look. Then they both turned to me with pitying looks as if I just strolled in from Baghdad.
I only had to wait two hours before I got called in for my interview. As she led me back to her office, the lady made some small talk in a voice that sounded like she had made the same conversation a thousand times lately. "Looks like it's going to rain today..."
We sat down in her office and she quickly told me all I needed to know, when to make my weekly phone call, how many jobs I need to apply for each week, etc. It took maybe three minutes total before I was done and out of the building. But you do have to feel sorry for the poor workers at the unemployment office, they have to see hundreds of disgruntled people every day, which considering the economy, isn't going to get any better. Someone waiting next to me said that all the workers there were going without any lunch breaks so they could see more people.
Of course, all of us agreed that maybe the state should hire some of these unemployed people standing around there to help out them out.
But after that I had the afternoon free, so I grabbed the camera and drove over to Petit Jean Mountain State Park. It's a beautiful place, and it was nice to just sit and watch the waterfalls.
The first stop was the small waterfall that pours off of the dam that makes Lake Bailey.
There was a bit of foam caught up in the water beneath the falls, which swirled around in the current...
This waterfall sits right next to an old stone bridge, built in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. A popular shot to get is of the waterfall framed by the arch of the bridge, and I couldn't resist trying to get another one of it.
The water under the bridge kinda fits in a metaphorical sense to being unemployed, I think. All the problems and stresses just float on past us, hopefully. I'm optimistic in that I'll find some work soon, but I am enjoying this brief time of being able to sleep in.
Coming soon, pictures of the mighty Cedar Falls at Petit Jean...