As most know I've been unemployed for a while now and despite what it might look like, I have tried to find any kind of job I can. I keep hearing from potential employers that I am over-qualified and should be concentrating on getting a job in my profession and at the level I have experience with. Of course I would be happy with that but none seem to be hiring for that. And I had started suspecting that maybe my previous employer (for 10 out of past 15 years) was not giving me a good recommendation. (Here, if it's not a good recommendation, the person might comply with the law in info given out but that is considered a bad recommendation if that's all they say.) OK, so a couple of weeks ago this past employer and his wife show up at my yard sale and want to chat about how things are going and where difficult child is, etc. Weird I thought but fine. This week I rec''d a card from him with a GC in it. It wasn't at all out of line, like too personal or anything, and had been sent from the company address. I sent a thank you card back and plan to email or call him in a day or two. I want to call him to let him know that I'm sending resumes out, trying to leave this area (so he won't think I'm fishing to work for him again- I truly am not), and let him know if anyone calls for a reference from him for a position that seems too high for me, that the government's job description of that job is equivalent or requires less experience than what I had. Hopefully, I will be able to count on him for a good reference after that. But then, I was talking to my ins agent, who I've had for years and we've chatted about all sorts of things over time, and she said I needed to appeal the employment commission's decision not to give me unemployment. She thinks I have a good chance of getting it. I think I should have gotten it too under the circumstances, but my concern is that if the employment commission starts stirring up stuff with this ex-employer- like questioning how he documented a leave of absence- and then if this guy's company has to pay for unemployment (don't they have to foot the bill for part of it?), there would go any hope of improving a reference from him. Do I have the info correct about how unemployment works, and what do you think I should do? I'm a lot more concerned about maximizing chances for getting back into the work force. Given that I worked for that guy for so long, no matter what type of job I apply for, they will want to contact him for a reference. on the other hand, I could sure use the unemployment since I have no idea how long it will take to get back in the work force and I didn't do anything to warrant being fired.