7 Things to Do While Waiting in Line for Unemployment

Standing in line OUTSIDE for hours on an Oklahoma summer day and hanging out with a hundred strangers in the middle of a pandemic sounds like two choices in that annoyingly awful “would you rather?” game. But unluckily for many Oklahomans, it’s a sad reality of modern life in the land of red dirt.


There are long lines at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission as they continue to process unemployment claims for the first time in-person.

“We got here at 6:20 and they were already lined up,” Betty Jones, who is trying to get seven weeks of unemployment, said.

“I’m 123 in line so,” Dustin Larsen, who filed for unemployment in April, said.

“We’re lucky number 151 and 152. You’re guaranteed if you’re the first 150 in line and they give you a piece of paper,” Amy Coonce said.

Some folks say calling has gotten them nowhere like 91-year-old Betty Jones, who is trying to get paid for the seven weeks she was furloughed.

“I applied March 29. I’ve called and gotten no action at all. They told me they would call me back every day. I’ve got no calls at all,” Betty Jones said.

Oklahoma – Forcing 91-year-old ladies to spend all day in line just so they can get their unemployment stimulus check!!! Imagine that!

Here at The Lost Ogle, we have a soft spot for those who are being punished by our disastrous government response to the pandemic, and came up with seven things people can do to kill some time…

Register to Vote

Before you stand in line, make sure you print off your voter registration form here! Since our government doesn’t seem to know how to make a functioning website half the time anyway, it’s probably a good thing you have to actually submit a paper form to register to vote in Oklahoma. But it only takes a couple of minutes to complete the form, so you should have plenty of hours left to…

Make a Face Mask

Since COVID-19 numbers are rising like the cream to the top, watch this video to learn how to knit a super-effective face mask! Or since it’s taking so long to reach the Unemployment Office on foot, why don’t you reach them by hex after watching this video on witchcraft for beginners!

Sell Bottled Water

With highs venturing in the low 90s, selling bottled water is a good way to earn some extra money from all the dehydrated, 91-year-old grandmas who are waiting in line.

Schedule a COVID-19 Test

With 482 COVID-19 cases reported yesterday and approximately 3,000 active cases in Oklahoma, going out in public can be risky. So while you’re standing in line with your new comrades and scores of others, go ahead and make time in your schedule for a COVID-19 test. Not that our esteemed governor is going to do anything about an increase in positive cases. Because like a moo cow who can’t walk backwards down a flight of stairs, apparently it’s impossible for Stitt to count backwards from Phase 3. Speaking of whom…

Organize an “Oklahoma” Flash Mob

It will provide a few hours of entertainment.

Try the New Unemployment Website

Since the ESC recently launched a brand-spankin’ new, probably just as ineffective website, try your luck at filing online while you’re waiting in line, to see which method works first! Maybe you can at least shave a few minutes off of your 6- to 7-hour wait time. While you’re waiting for the site to load, maybe you can even…

Email Governor Stitt!

Granted, Gov. Stitt will likely read the email and laugh glowingly, knowing he had a big hand in helping to disable the functionality of government services in the place he’s supposed to govern, but he does have this handy, dandy contact form that his beloved constituents can use to pass on their thoughts and opinions directly to his office. Surprisingly, and thankfully, this seems to be one of the few government websites that actually functions.

Hotternhale. Follow Hayley on twitter @squirrellygeek

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7 Responses

  1. Hayley you miss the whole point of the disfunction of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. It was never designed to provide a safety net for people who need a temporary assist while they transition to another job. It’s designed to frustrate and instill fear so workers never quit or if unemployed take whatever shitty little job is available. By keeping the unemployment numbers low the Republicans can brag about how great the economy is. They never contemplated the idea that all the shitty little jobs would disappear at once leaving huge numbers of nervous Americans wondering WTF? The fact that unemployment pays MORE than a full time job speaks volumes about how depressed wages have been over the last couple of decades.

  2. If you got one of the first 150 numbers, say #149, does that mean you could go home, come back later, and keep your place in line? That is, if you still HAVE a home and haven’t yet been evicted for non-payment of your rent for the past seven weeks.

    If you have been evicted, I guess a spot in the unemployment line is as good a spot on the sidewalk as any other.

    1. The State official who set up the unemployment process got the idea from the movie Bettlejuice. Yo King!

  3. At least OMES has been put in charge of taking care of OESC’s problems. LMAO!

  4. The flash mob was the best part of the whole article, where was it Filmed at ? At least they didn’t do the actual Flash mob Sequence of events on a local business but as pointed out earlier the OESC does the same to people whom need to file in-between jobs for self advancement so they dupe the unemployment issues to their political advantage

  5. With luck some of these people who can’t get the unemployment benefits they are entitled to will remember this when Kevin Stitt is up for re-election. He seemed to think that residents of Oklahoma were not entitled to the federal unemployment benefits that are available to residents of all the other states in the union.

    Even though he constantly appoints unqualified people to head other agencies, the Oklahoma Employment Security Administration has really drawn the short straw. The last two have no experience whatsoever, the first being someone who used to run an Ebay business, and the current one was a PR spokesperson for former Governor Mary Fallin.

    I’m guessing some of the people in the line probably are Republicans, and used to believe there was no reason for unemployment payments. Problem is that now a lot of people lost their job when the company they worked for was told to close by the state because of the pandemic.

    The reason the Oklahoma Unemployment Trust Fund was ranked #7 in solvency is because before the Pandemic it just didn’t pay out much money, which kept the premiums for the employers low, and allowed the state to report less than correct low unemployment figures. I’m guessing now the state is out of that Top 10 list now, even with the thousands that haven’t received their checks.

    The answer to why they haven’t been paid is simple, the state doesn’t want to pay them, as that is how the system was intended to work. With luck the system will change, at least temporarily, as the Governor has acknowledged that Oklahoma is in a state of emergency, and many regulations must be loosened for the public good.

    It’s sad that Governor Stitt doesn’t consider the plight of those who haven’t been able to work since March to be included in that emergency. The majority of that money is coming from the federal government, as opposed to state funds which makes this even more puzzling. He definitely spent the federal disaster funds like a drunken sailor on shore leave when he had some guy from the Tourism Department buying masks for the state at an inflated price like there was no tomorrow.

    Imagine That!

  6. I can simply tell you – I was on UE last year and the system is VERY OLD. The new website will direct you to the old website in the final effort to register. Its MSDOS/WindowsXP based. So you wait about 30-50 seconds between entry. You type in info. Wait. Confirm info Yes/No. Wait. DO NOT CLICK ANYTHING or go back or refresh! Because that breaks the process and can invalidate your entry.

    THEN if you are not paying attention because it takes so long and click the wrong answer OR change anything in your info that has to be verified (like you got a check for vacation pay two months after you lost your job) it will FREEZE your account and you have to call in to confirm this before they release your check/payment.

    So the really the trick is. Wait. Wait. Read everything on that terrible, tiny text page from the 1990s and click submit CAREFULLY. Never change any info unless you want your payment frozen and have to call in to confirm.

    And of course, don’t lie.

    The fellow in my county says they plan (ned) to reopen on July one so all the Workforce sites will be here for people to go to instead of the capitol. It will help with those lines.

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