Retrenchment Recess: Episode 7

Retrenchment Recess:

Episode 7

Sitting in the UIF line online…

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Following my previous post, a few things have happened.

One of these was not the UIF fulfilling their pretty basic function and paying me the money I’m due. One would ordinarily start a sentence like that with “sadly” or “unforunately”, but I don’t even have the capacity to feel sad or unfortunate at the moment. I am enraged, in a strange calm and calculating kind of way. The UIF and its incompetence is an utter disgrace, and the people who work there should be ashamed of themselves and their superiors. And we should all be ashamed of the government, because they are letting us all down!

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Let’s be clear – this post is not essentially about me and the money I am owed by the UIF. It is about a matter in principle. It is about the fact that there are countless poor people out there who are shoved down and trodden on by the government when they’re at their most vulnerable.

So, despite the fact that I started every conversation at the UIF centre in Randburg with, “I’ve applied online, but…”, it took multiple sessions of wasting-of-my-life there before I was told that they can’t process online application queries there and rudely sent away with an email address scribbled on a torn-off corner of paper. This address was for Deon van Niekerk, Assistant Director, e-operations…

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Retrenchment Recess: Episode 6

Retrenchment Recess:

Episode 6

Sitting in the UIF line…

Sitting and waiting for an undefined period of time is certainly not one of my strong points.

I think that the day of The Voice auditions was proof enough. Wake up repeatedly, terrified of oversleeping. Unable to sleep since 04:00. Arrive 06:40. Audition 15:40. Me = NOT a happy camper (since about 08:30).

However, it seems that the South African Labour Department’s UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) wants to prove it to me repeatedly, just for the sake of it. I’ve spent about 10 hours queueing there and have not yet actually gotten to the counter. It’s amusing how there are SO many unemployed people and SO many people getting retrenched in the last 5 years but the process is still an absolute disaster, stunted in so many ways.

alfriendo asinghlife retrenchment uif

Despite the fact that you can apply online, things are halted halfway through with senseless reason codes stated, which delay everything further. You then have to launch a query simply to understand the reason stated for the unsuccessful online application. Then you get told the employer didn’t submit the right document. You know, I don’t know whether the tail’s wagging the dog here, but I think that with the frequency of retrenchment cycles in South Africa, the large companies know EXACTLY what to submit. I’m not sure who’s fooling who here!

So, here I am, it’s almost the end of November. I’ve been out of work since end of June. I applied for UIF online in July. And… nothing! Someone somewhat officially involved in the process told me it’s like hoping to win the lottery.

This would probably be funny if there weren’t UIF contributions going off my salary for years, like clockwork, only for it to be impossible to claim when I need it back… I hear that some of my ex-colleagues got their applications in and done within 5 minutes by using (quite possibly paying off) someone’s connection. This is where I truly get irritated. Everyone is against corruption and fraud until it makes life easier for themselves.

I feel like there are people in South Africa who go out of their way to make things complicated. It’s a personality thing. There are people who want things to work, and to make South Africa a better place. And then there are people who don’t understand or care how simple a process like UIF application could really be. If your thinking is angled one way or the other, I think it’s quite difficult to cope with the opposition.

alfriendo asinghlife retrenchment uif

I try really hard for my posts not to become bitching sessions, but I’m viciously struggling to see the ray of light regarding UIF at this point. I suppose it’s quite simple. I’m going to have to change my strategy, take some music with me, and go try again. Attempt 4…

So please, pray for me. Think of me. Send me good vibes. I will go back next week. I will go and stand in the Randburg CBD at 05:00 hoping not to get mugged. I will wait for the place to open at 07:30.

I will not be unnerved.

And

I WILL BE SERVED!

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