Unemployment Blues: The Dignity Trap

Never, ever, ever walk into the Department of Human Services with a shred of dignity or self respect. 

Not only will the staff sense it, but your fellow applicants may as well. While there are some people who are unemployed like you, some aren't. 

The unifying factor in this group is that everyone will be frustrated and angry. 

Hmmm...let's evaluate:

1.  A group of frustrated and angry people.

2.  The said group is sitting on crappy plastic molded chairs that are very uncomfortable.

3.  The group may very well have nowhere to channel their anger and frustration.

4.  You walk in with shoulders squared, articulate, (but looking like a bag of ass) confident and hopeful. 

Guess who's going to get the brunt of their anger?

 "Who does that b*tch think she is?"

"You're just like everyone else here.  Tryin' to act all bougie."

A hang dog look or vacant stare is an appropriate way to deflect potential high self esteem animosity.

Lastly, you should expect to wait.  And yes you will wait even if you have an appointment. Please don't think you can just arrive ten minutes early and check in. 

You will have to wait in an extremely long line to even get to the front desk to announce yourself.

Cutting the line is at your own peril.  Please refer to the video in the first Unemployment Blues post for possible consequences.

On occasions someone from the front desk will ask if anyone has an appointment.  If so, immediately bring your letter up front.  That will move you through the line but you will still have to wait until your name is called.

And woe unto you if you don't hear your name.


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  • "Who does that b*tch think she is?"

    "You're just like everyone else here. Tryin' to act all bougie."

    Is it just us or do you think you'd hear a comment like this if you went to DHS on the north side?

  • Kimmy,
    I can only give you the benefit of my experiences at 63rd & Ingleside. I couldn't even venture a guess on what DHS would be like on the north side.

  • I can tell you what it's like on the North Side--same hard, uncomfortable plastic chairs, same long, long, loooooooong wait times...not so much sass...but a quite a few people who don't speak English very well. I was especially aghast at the beautiful, late-model Mercedes Benz I saw in the Skokie DHS office parking lot on the way from and to the bus...

  • In reply to phoebek:

    Wow, Rogers Parker. It takes all kinds---especially the ones with Mercedes.

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