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Mon Jun 29, 2020, 07:42 PM

State employees wasted hours on Instagram as unemployment backlog grew:

PORTLAND, Ore. — As tens of thousands of people in Oregon waited for unemployment benefits, state workers paid to process their claims wasted hours scrolling through Instagram and Facebook at a temporary call center in Wilsonville.

“A lot of us were playing on our phones. I was playing on my phone throughout the whole day,” said Desi Thonis, 32, an Oregon Employment Department worker. “It was so stupid because we could have been working.”

Thonis said for roughly two weeks, managers limited workers to only a small handful of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applications after the program launched in Oregon on April 28.

“We all worked on them so fast that there weren’t any left,” said Thonis. “After 9:30 a.m. there was nothing left for us to work on.”

The Oregon Employment Department director David Gerstenfeld said, if true, he would be troubled to hear that state employees were on social media for hours.


https://www.kgw.com/article/news/investigations/oregon-employment-department-employees-wasted-time-on-instagram-as-pua-unemployment-backlog-grew/283-9ff7a8a0-fe16-4b17-9fc0-681f39034d76

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Reply State employees wasted hours on Instagram as unemployment backlog grew: (Original post)
oxymoron Jun 29 OP
mzmolly Jun 29 #1
oxymoron Jun 29 #2
mzmolly Jun 29 #3
madeup64 Jun 30 #4
mzmolly Jun 30 #5

Response to oxymoron (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2020, 07:43 PM

1. Sounds like anti-Government BS

“temporary call center in Wilsonville” implies temp workers took calls.

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Response to mzmolly (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 29, 2020, 07:46 PM

2. Hardly

I am at week 11 without any communication or funds. Many people have waited longer.

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Response to oxymoron (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 29, 2020, 11:02 PM

3. I'm sorry about your experience.

Last edited Tue Jun 30, 2020, 12:17 AM - Edit history (1)

Sounds like they made bad hiring decisions, if people sat on their phones instead of asking for more work.

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Response to mzmolly (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 30, 2020, 04:26 AM

4. Sounds like higher ups purposely slowed the process

The worker in the story said they only had work until 930 am. Their jobs are all on the computer so I would assume the department has a way to track claims being processed and things like how many minutes are spent actually working. When the whole office stops working why wasn't more work given out? This seems like a very weird story.

The issue with how slowly nearly every state processed unemployment claims which has cost our economy untold billions has been a national travesty that deserves way more attention.

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Response to madeup64 (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 30, 2020, 11:06 AM

5. That could be. But I've worked in

similar units and would ask for work vs played on my phone when out of things to do.

I agree it should be examined as should the agenda of those with oversight of the department.

I hope things are resolved soon, regardless!

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