Fair enough! After all, my kind of jobs are not exactly floating around like butterflies in a lush garden. Plus, in all honesty, I am not yet exactly looking for a real job. I still have my book to finish.

‘As far as I can see, everything looks fine. I’ll put through your paperwork. You will be receiving $321.- per week in two weeks’ instalments. Should you end up working during that period, you must report it. We’ll not pay for those times, but that amount would remain as credit to you. Your benefits will stop when you have run out of the total amount of the benefit you are entitled to.’

As if in a recorded voice, David M. rattles off the base information related to my application.

‘Any questions?’

‘Not really. I think you have explained it so clearly.’

‘Good.’ He says and then fumbles under his desk and pulls out a letter size pink form identified as Claim Certification. ‘Starting the week after next, along with your first check, you’ll receive one of these in mail with all your personal information already filled in. Fill in the info on the jobs you have been looking for during the period. You must list at least six in the columns provided, minimum three a week.’

Seeing my head lifted from the pink form, he meets my eyes, what? He asks.

‘How does one find six jobs worth applying for within two weeks?’

‘How do you mean?’

‘I mean, I hope you realize that for what I did for a living, isn’t exactly like being an accountant or an engineer, or even a construction worker.’

‘Yes, but there’s got to be enough to write to six of them every two weeks.’

‘To the best of my knowledge, there aren’t even total of six such jobs in the entire publishing industry that require someone running the international division of their magazines. The ones that exist, I know for sure are filled. It’s going to take some doing on my part to even find something that comes closer.’

‘I can see that. But unless we have evidence that you have been actively looking for an employment, we can’t possibly approve the payment.’

I should have left it at that, but I am in my ultimate being Mr. Honest mode. I venture!

‘To be honest, I would have to be making them up!’

‘I don’t think so. Whatever!!!’ I get a frustrated and the pointed look from him. He doesn’t say it, but what I read on his face is: why are you being difficult?  You don’t think we have time to go through them week after week, do you?’

‘Okay. I get it. I’ll do my best.’

‘Good! You can fill in this form and mail it back to us on Sunday evening. Thereafter, you will do it once every two weeks on the date indicated at the top of the form – but it must always be mailed on Sunday evenings.’

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