I lost my job and they say its as a result of Corona virus — I’m not really sold on it — but whatever!

How I reacted to this experience.

Photo Credit: Kizze Cumberbatch

When corona virus leveled up to a pandemic most people worried about contracting the virus and dying. They were also concerned that they wouldn’t have enough toilet paper. I still don’t get that. What they didn’t worry about at first were their jobs. The intrinsic link between health and economics was largely ignored; but not for long.

As governments everywhere around the world began to lock down it suddenly started to dawn on people in certain sectors where there is no work from home situation and even in work from home situations that they may not have any work during or after lock down. Why? Their employers were not prepared for a pandemic. It was a hundred years since the last one and no businesses around the world had a crisis plan on the computer or in a dusty filing cabinet for it. “Hey Joan, grab the pandemic crisis plan for me, we’ve got this covered.” said no one.

I too began to worry about my livelihood. What would I be able to fall back on when the ax came down? How was I going to react when the news came? How was I going to survive? But for me the ax came in stages. Picture a faulty guillotine that slides slowly down and sticks but ultimately gets the job done.

PAY CUTS AND REDUCED HOURS

At the end of March, the company sent out “the” invitation. On the call employees waited with baited breath to find out their fates. Although microphones were muted I heard a collective sigh when it was announced that the company would be reducing hours and cutting pay. I could literally hear colleagues thinking it’s better to have a job and get a little something than nothing. I said it too.

Then at the end of April they sent another invitation. “Things are not improving, Covid 19 has got us by the balls and we need to act fast.” That was what I heard not what was actually said as we received further reduced hours and a rather large pay cut. Saved again? Not really! At least this was true for me.

All my salary at that point would be able to pay was my mortgage. I still had other bills I needed to pay but no income to pay them. However I was not daunted by that because for the past two years all my bills were in credit. I smiled and said God really got me. Sometimes we don’t know why things happen the way they do but then it clicks and boy did it click for me. God knew two years ago when my niece moved out that corona was coming. She left the bills in credit as a present to my parents and I kept them that way.

May came and passed without anymore announcements. Then on June 22 (I m calling it D-day now) the dreaded meeting invite came again. The CEO after about two minutes of useless talk no one was interested in said some of you will no longer have jobs. Again he worded it differently but I heard what I heard. We are so sorry it has come to this blah blah blah.

THE END OR A NEW BEGINNING

I didn’t need to hear anymore and deep down inside I said this is it. This is the end. And it was. To say I’m clairvoyant would be a lie; to say I’m observant is the truth. I saw this coming. At about 4:56 on that same day I received the meeting invite. The invitees said it all; HR and my three main bosses. The guillotine had finally reached and my head was gone. My reaction in that last meeting; nothing but gratitude because I learned a lot in that job; mostly what not to do when in positions of authority. Thank you.

Somehow I thought before it happened that I would feel like my world had gone under. But in reality I feel a sense of peace and wonder. A new adventure is coming and I’m okay with that because sometimes it takes uncertainty and loss to rise from the ashes and conquer.

Kizze enjoys expressing her views by writing about the things that matter to her. She has spent the majority of her life in the Caribbean.