With the outbreak of COVID-19, many jobs that are deemed “non-essential” have closed their doors. Non-essential employees, including myself, have been left with little to no help from our employers. 

On March 15, I got word that my workplace would be closed until March 27. Only a few short days later, we got word that we were not sure we would reopen. 

When we were first notified that we would be closed, they said that we would be getting paid for the week off. 

Now, with the extension of our closing, the company will not be paying us and told us to all file for unemployment. 

Before receiving the news that we were not going to reopen on March 27, I had already started applying for jobs, as my supervisor had an idea that we wouldn’t reopen on time. 

I thought that finding a new short term job would be a piece of cake since a lot of grocery stores and other essential businesses are doing “emergency” or on the spot hiring. 

Some places I applied at were Aldi, Meijer and Family Dollar. 

I applied at Meijer and Aldi and gave them nearly two weeks before calling to check up on my application, since I figured they were having a lot of people apply. 

At Aldi, I was not able to reach anyone. They have removed all of their local numbers off the internet, so I was unable to call and check up. No one has reached out to me about an interview, but they have been posting jobs on Indeed still. 

For Meijer, I had a similar, but slightly different experience. I called the store and was able to reach someone in Human Resources. I asked to check up on my application, because on the hiring flyer it said to call after applying. When I asked, the lady told me that they would call me once they got to my application, as they are reviewing them in the order they were received. 

At Family Dollar, I thought that things would be different. The day after I applied, I got a call for an interview. 

When I went in for my interview, they found out that I was only looking for short term work due to being unemployed due to COVID-19, and ended the interview. 

They informed me that they were only hiring long term people, not short term. They also mentioned that I was the third person who applied that was looking for short term employment.

Unfortunately, this is something that a lot of people are dealing with. I’m thankful that my employer chose to pay me for at least one week, as I know that there are people who are not getting paid at all. 

On the flip side, I also have a friend who works at a daycare center, and they are guaranteed pay for the entire time they are closed. 

I understand that a lot of people are being affected by layoffs due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but I am just simply frustrated at places that are “emergency hiring” but not taking initiative in hiring people. 

I hope that this pandemic is over soon, as there are many who are struggling financially now. 

The views in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily of The Torch.

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