You heard it right, unfortunately I'm unemployed (well kind-of) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Let me quickly sum of the month of March for you, shall I? Started a new job, totaled my car, and lost said new job... all in the same month! March, I will never think/look at you the same (sorry, Hunter, his birthday is in March).
First and foremost, my heart goes out to all other men and woman unemployed during this time. I understand it's a tough time for many, and if you're someone that's unemployed right now due to the pandemic, know I am thinking and praying for you and your family during this time.
No, this isn't the best pictures of me, that's the point... it's a true representation of how I feel right. this. moment. Also, Kentucky gals can relate... Keeneland 2019. Keeneland 2020 RIP.
Today, I want to share my unemployment 'journey' to shed light on the situation, because far too many people see others on Instagram and think that's a highlight reel of their 'perfect' life. It's not, no one's life is perfect, not even mine... and regardless how much money you have in the bank or whether you're still working, I can promise you
e-v-e-r-y one is experiencing so sort of hardship during this time (you're not alone).
T H E J O B :
Talk about bad timing for a new job... I started a new job, the beginning of February at Hyatt Regency downtown Lexington, connected to Rupp Arena (dream come true, for the Kentucky fan inside me) as their Convention Service Manager. Before that I had been at the Kentucky Horse Park for two years, and honestly only left to seek professional growth and advancement.
T H E F U R L O U G H :
Never in a million years did I ever think I would hear the words "you've been furloughed." Honestly, in the moment I couldn't register what I was hearing... I even looked up the word 'furlough' on Google to make sure I was understanding what I was being told, and unfortunately I understood correctly.
I knew something would happen, because of how many events were cancelling. It was gut wrenching! It's hard not to blame the Hyatt, but looking back... especially now considering how long this quarantine/social distancing has lasted, I get they're trying to run a business and whether the storm too... BUT I'm human, and I'm here to tell you, it just down right SUCKS!
T H E U N E M P L O Y M E N T P R O C E S S :
Worse than getting your wisdom teeth taken out, sorry I am not going to act like it's fun. Filing for unemployment was the first thing I did when I got home... my biggest worry was how am I going to make up the income I just lost. Just know, the unemployment process is daunting, long, and just missing a DNA sample from knowing e-v-e-r-y-thing about you. Stick it through, and if you don't know the answer to something, go with your gut... you want to get that application sent (if there are problems someone will reach out)!
Fast forward, application submitted... I waited, I received, anddd fortunately I've not had any issues (knock on wood). Note, I do have to request my claim/payment every two-weeks, and do so online... it's just a few clicks of a button, and you're done (not to be confused with re-doing the original claim/application, it's not that).
H E A L T H I N S U R A N C E :
Another thing to consider if you're unemployed. Fortunately, I was able to be added to Hunter's health insurance through his work, before I had my insurance through the Hyatt because it was cheaper.
T H E J O B H U N T :
Yes, I was furloughed... meaning, I should get my job back (in a perfect world). BUT if there aren't events, and people aren't traveling/booking rooms then there's no need for me.
But you're getting unemployment, why would you work? For my sanity, in all honesty! Also, someone once told me, "the rich don't get rich, doing nothing." Mind you, I am not rich, but I certainly am not going to live 'comfortably' if I do nothing. FYI, if you're on unemployment and you're working (no matter the hours/pay) you must submit your earnings, and that's what I'm currently doing. Aside from applying for unemployment the day I got furloughed, I also immediately started applying for EVERY JOB imaginable. I hustled, in three days I applied for nearly 100 jobs, both part-time and full-time. Wednesday, next day I got a job... at Kroger. I was hesitant because obviously I'd be working with the general public in close quarters, handling cash, and touching e-v-e-r-y-thing during a health pandemic... BUT a girl has to do what a girl has to do. I accepted, and here I am 'Krogering.' Obviously it's not long-term, but it helps fill the gaps. It's a lot of hand sanitizer, washing hands, and praying.
W O R K I N G A N D R E C I E V I N G U N E M P L O Y M E N T ?
Like said, I am working part-time at Kroger and still on unemployment, how does that work? Well, to be honest my unemployment checks have basically depleted, as expected. Not sure if it's the same for everyone, but in my case I have to request my claim/payment every two weeks. It's just a few clicks, but it's during that time that I have to report my hours and income from Kroger (or any job that you're working). Not sure, how they determine your payment, but they do and since working at Kroger my unemployment payments have decreased drastically (as in like $150 for two weeks), but all is fine, because I'm receiving the difference from Kroger.So far, it's getting me by without having to touch my savings, so it's working out.
I S I T E M B A R A S S I N G W O R K I N G A T K R O G E R ?
Let me tell you, I was stunned when a co-worker at Kroger asked me, "aren't you embarrassed to be working at Kroger?" Wait, what? I couldn't find my words. They went on to say, "you have a college degree, you had a career path, and now you're working at Kroger wearing a blue apron." Well, I most certainly hadn't thought about it that way (and the mention of the apron was a dagger, because I do hate it), but assured him, no I'm still no embarrassed. It takes a lot, like A LOT to embarrass me and what someone thinks about me working at Kroger, is the least of my worries. To be honest, here's how I look at it... I was dealt an unfortunate situation. Like mentioned at the beginning... I started a new job, totaled my car, and lost said new job all within three weeks. Why did it happen to me? I don't know, but it did. I can't dwell on the past or the situation, so I did something about it. I have never NOT had a job since I was 16 years old, so to think about not working wasn't even a question. Let me leave you with this quote that my Grany used to always tell me growing up, "if someone is talking about you, it's likely because they're jealous." So, yes... if someone has the time to talk about me or look down on me because I work at Kroger, get over yourself!
A M I G O I N G B A C K T O T H E H Y A T T ?
A question I can not answer. The nation's current state is unknown right now, and how everything is going to play out and unfold for me is still unknown.
Y O U W I L L G E T T H R O U G H T H I S !
Sorry for the long-winded post, but I hope it helps others to know you're not alone. I know if you follow me on Instagram, my highlight reel of my life may look grand, it's not. Shocker! We all have our battles and things we're dealing with, and for me right now, behind those little boxes, this is what I'm dealing with.
C O U N T Y O U R P E N N I E S:
As you tackle this temporarily lifestyle, count. your. pennies. I immediately made a list of every. single. bill. Hunter and I have to pay monthly so I could see the big picture. Obviously, I know Hunter's monthly income and he's fortunate to still be working, so I did the math to see how far his income could get us/cover us each month. For us, I am extremely, extremely, EXTREMELY grateful that his income alone will pay for every. single. bill. we have each month. I'll be honest though, it doesn't leave much room for groceries, gas and just the miscellaneous things you need and here, or the dogs' expenses. Point blank, that's why I wanted a part-time job. There is absolutely nothing I hate more, or anything that gives me more anxiety than touching my savings. I also wasn't sure if I would get approved for unemployment or how much it would be, so that's another reason why I immediately started applying for jobs... aside, from sanity's sake. Also, shoutout to my husband for helping pick up the slack in every way possible!
! ! H A N G I N T H E R E ! !
If you lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, let me know in the comments below, because I know I'm not alone, and I KNOW THIS SUCKS!
Thoughts and prayers extended to everyone fighting or to anyone who has lost someone due to the Coronavirus, and to the medical staff, THANK YOU, thank you for e-v-e-r-y-thing!