Aid Application Frustration

Doing the same thing over and over again, hour after hour without success. The channels are clogged for people out of work applying for government aid. So too for small businesses that face insolvency in a matter of weeks.

What this process takes is very emotionally taxing, frustrating and discouraging for most people. Yet this is what many of us, our family members, friends and neighbors are having to do with financial survival at stake. We see on the news that some people are keeping count of the number of times they have called and not gotten through or applied online and pushed the final submit button and nothing happened. It can be hundreds of times before success comes. Many people are still in that process.

There is a way to minimize mental/emotional wear and tear. These same things work for applying for jobs, when we are at that stage.

First, treat this like a job. This is now what you have to do. Approach it with the same discipline. On this job, you are both boss and employee. The boss part of you makes the plan. The employee part carries it out, even when you don’t feel like it. This really helps. Maybe even physically put on different hats for each role.

Second, as boss, make a plan. What is the task? What materials do you need to collect to make the applications?  Establish a work schedule similar to your usual workday. Set start and stop times. Build in breaks. If you live with other people, let them know your schedule so they will not interrupt you. This can be hard for small children and pets. Set up a conducive workspace to do the task, like phone calls or online applications. Does some music help? What kind?

Then, as employee, follow the plan. Gather the materials. The work task is done repeatedly until an application is successfully filed. Some paid jobs are like this anyway. Keep the schedule, including breaks. Don’t let feelings and thoughts distract you. They are not helpful. You can indulge them when you are not working.

Will counting the number of attempts help? It may for some people, as a mark of your accomplishment. For others, not.

You can’t afford to have the mindset of failure. With each attempt, you are doing what you are supposed to do even if it is not successful. No, “I’m such a loser” kind of thoughts. Be a good supervisor to yourself. Be encouraging. With each attempt, many others are doing the same thing at exactly the same time. So, it is just a matter of luck when you will get the application submitted.

If you are calling to make the application, when you get through to a real person, help make their day. Don’t complain. It is not their fault. Be pleasant, maybe even with some humor. Theirs is a stressful job.

Then, be grateful and relieve. Yes. We are all in this together. That is how it works.

The Greeks and Romans called luck Fortuna.

Good fortune to you.