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Showing posts with label gig economy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gig economy. Show all posts

Monday, March 16, 2020

COVID SIDE OF LIFE. Day 1: Job Today. Gone Tomorrow.

Pandemic Log: Monday, 16th March 2020

On Friday the 13th I was a contract employee at a global agency, finishing up a new business pitch. We had just been informed that everyone was being asked to work from home, starting that day.

That evening before I left the office I was told that I was being put on a new project. It was to start the following week. I ventured into the weekend grateful that my gig was being extended and that I would have a paycheque a while longer, during this uncertain and turbulent period.

Cut to Monday morning, I emailed my boss to discuss the new project and asked about my new contract. He suggested I speak with the HR head as they were responsible for sending my contract.

I contacted HR and they told me they would need to get final sign-off from the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and would then get the renewed contract back to me.

All good.

About twenty minutes later I got an email from the head of HR saying the CFO said that because numerous clients had cancelled or postponed ongoing projects, the company was suddenly stuck with excess staff capacity and would be unable to take on an external resource.

Not good.

The world was still pretty calm when I left the office on Friday evening.

Yes, people were preparing to work from home and getting used to a strange new normal, but as the weekend progressed things got dire.

The number of cases in New York State continued to rise. Panic started to set in among state and city  officials, as the Federal government woke up to the fact that they needed to deal with this crisis on a war footing. It could not be business as unusual.

The stock market crashed; again.

Oil prices plummeted; again.

States started mandating that all restaurants, cafes and bars close.

Gatherings of 500 people or less, allowed on Friday, became no more than 10 by Monday.

Primary elections in a number of states were postponed.

Lines at grocery stores continued to grow; even as their shelves continued to empty.

I had a gig on Friday. Everything changed the following Monday.