Cory Dilts feels like a character out of "Star Trek" these days.
He's trying to boldly go where no man has gone before. Really, he just wants to log on to the Illinois Department of Employment Security website.
"You don't get to talk to a human," he said. "You don't get tech support."
When the Kewanee, Illinois, man lost his job in August, he turned to the IDES website. But instead of help, he found Klingon as a language option.
"To see this, it becomes a slap in the face," he said.
Yes, Klingon, the language of fictional villains from "Star Trek."
IDES says it got a positive response and boosted website traffic from a free Microsoft service.
But Dilts isn't laughing. After battling faulty passwords and phone numbers, he faces losing his home.
"How does this make them look?" he asked. "They do not look professional."
Dilts just want to make ends meet, let alone to live long and prosper. To him, this Klingon communication is no joke.
"They make it sound like just because you're unemployed, this is going to make you laugh," he continued. "It does not."
IDES is already under fire for policy changes at its Rock Island office. The agency is driving clients to a website that frequently locks up while offering bad practical jokes.
"When they're running into those kind of roadblocks on the internet or on the phones, it's just that more hard to do," said Moline Township Supervisor Don Johnston.
There was more bad news in Thursday's mail for Dilts.
"You have been rejected for benefits," he read.
His unemployment application was turned down. It will force him to appeal and fight the system again.
For Dilts, whose wife is also unemployed, time is running out.
"It becomes whether I'm going to have a home to live in," he concluded.
The punchline of a rotten joke that's hitting him at warp speed.