I was furloughed, and then I was laid off, and then I was re-hired by the same company, which was an interesting situation. I was laid off permanently, and then they had called me and asked me to come back instead, a few weeks later. Basically almost like a "changed your mind" situation. And I don't blame them for it, and I was never mad at them because again, people are kind of rolling with the punches, they didn't really know what was going to happen or how this was going to play out, or how long. They were doing what they thought they had to do at the time, and then they realized that they didn't actually have to get rid of me, which is why they brought me back...
Furloughed, you know you're going back and you're just waiting for when. Laid off, when I first got laid off, I think you panic because it was the first time I technically didn't have a job since I was like 15, so you panic and you freak out and you kind of worry 'cause you don't know.
You don't know, a lot of places aren't hiring right now, obviously, so you don't know when or if you can get a job, and then... But I will say after a few days, instead of panic and worry, it was this idea of like, well, now I have all these options, I can change and switch my career, I can really do anything. It actually became kind of an enlightening feeling of like, I can just totally change my life from here, I don't have to work 50 hours a week and go to the same place every day. I can find something new.
I did end up going back... I did go from salary to hourly, but the same position, and at the end of the year, about the same pay range. The only difference with hourly is I'm not required to hit a certain amount of hours. And for their benefit, then that also means if I go take a few days off or whatever it is, they don't have to pay me for those, so... But I... Yeah. It worked out pretty well for me, to be honest, I'm not going to complain.
— Emily Walters
Stories of Wisdom from Bodies in Separation (SWaBS): Archiving the Coronavirus Pandemic Through the Lens of Humanities has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.