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Temp Jobs Cost Me My Unemployment

Share Your Story: Share Your Unemployment Story

By Bonita Freeman

The job I lost

I was working at San Bernardino County Probation and lost my job in January, 2008.

What it's like being unemployed

Since then, I used my 457(k) that I received from the County of San Bernardino for living expenses, as unemployment kept making mistakes and giving me telephone interviews. I even went to school to become a pharmacy technician. I have taken 2 temporary jobs. The first temporary job was as a pharmacy technician in a call center for 3 months. It was full-time for the first 3 weeks, then the number of hours kept going downhill until being cut to 20 hours per week. However, since unemployment considers you to have a full-time job after you work 2 consecutive 40 hour weeks (regardless of pay), my unemployment stopped. I then took a job as a medical office coordinator. This job lasted approximately 6 weeks. Because of this job, I have had my food stamps cut off because I made more than allowed on the foodstamp program. I have 2 weeks left on all the unemployment benefits and am grateful for what I have received. However, I am also at a loss as to what to do. I can not afford medical insurance. Medicare and Medi-cal will not accept me because I am too young according to their standards (I am 50 and they told me I have to be 65.) 211 will not help because you have to qualify for medi-cal. Kaiser will not hire me as a pharmacy technician because they want you to have 5-10 years experience. (I received my pharmacy technician license in 2009. I had a 4.0 GPA. In my past job I worked as a pharmacy assistant for 10-1/2 years. None of this mattered, however.) I am struggling to file bankruptcy. I needed a 5-unit bridge in my mouth. I could not afford this. Ended up with a partial. My church paid $400.00. The other $75.00 I am unable to pay. I even told the dentist's secretary before I received the partial I am filing bankruptcy. Now they are calling me one time weekly. It has lowered my self-esteem. I feel like I am not worthless. The temporary agencies are not working to help find me a job. It is 20 people for 1 job with the temporary agencies. And to sign up with temporary agencies you have to take 1-2 hours of testing first, which takes away from the amount of time you could have spent looking for a job, not to mention the time you spend going to and from these temporary agencies. And gas has risen to $3.30 gallon for regular unleaded in my community. This is outrageous and I am unable to pay for my car insurance, car tags and any schooling I may need to further my chances of obtaining a job.


  • Call 211 only if you qualify for medi-cal.
  • Save all your money.
  • Look for bargains on everything.
  • Try to get food stamps.
  • Save coupons. Do not use the ones on the internet as they do not work most of the time.
  • Taking any job is not always worth it.
  • Cobra is %110 of group rate. I now cannot afford health insurance. I take medication daily so I will not be able to last. Medicare and Medi-cal both told me I am too young to be on their insurance as I am under 65 with no minor children in my care.
  • If you go back to school, look online first, especially for trade schools. They are less than $1,000

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