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I Lost the Church Job I Love Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

I recently wrote a blog about everyone not being in the same boat when it comes to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and how that compares to women postpartum, which may be why some go through postpartum disorders and some do not. I wrote about being one of the lucky ones. Well, maybe I cursed myself because right after that, I found out my work would not be reopening. I still consider myself one of the lucky ones. I am still babysitting for essential employees, they have a pool, my husband is still working, I am about to republish my book and I am blogging. Once my babysitting job ends, I have many other options to consider. I still do not know of anyone close to me dying or even getting really sick. I am still walking the dogs and am now even able to get their nails trimmed and my hair cut again, and I can get massages again!

I had to miss watching my niece graduating from my old high school in person because only four could attend, but I got to watch it on TV and part of me even thought, “can we keep doing it this way forever,” as I watched comfortably from my bed in my pajamas. I also recently wrote some blogs about my career not going as expected, so of course, that continues to be the case. I have no idea what I am gonna do next. Of course, I am hoping my book and blogs take-off and/or my husband gets promoted in the near future, but if not, I must decide if I want to find another preschool teacher job, maybe even stay a nanny, maybe even for one of my former students, go back to the corporate world in HR or payroll again, or do something completely different. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. Since I have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety, of course it is scary, but over the years it has kind of become so “normal” I have had to learn to manage through it.

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Many people do not stay at jobs for long anymore. I often wish I had lived when people kept the same job forever and companies took care of you even through retirement. It is so hard to change jobs, even when it is for a better one. It is hard to start over learning everything again, it is hard to make new friends again and it is hard to leave your old ones. It is hard to hope you get a good boss and management, and a company that really cares about you. The place that is closing is a church daycare. Many are hurt by their decision to close. Some say they are a business that needs to make money, but there is also frustration because they are a church, not a business, and they don’t pay taxes for that reason. Yet, when it comes down to it, they layoff people if they do not make enough money. Not only are they not required to pay unemployment, they are not allowed to in the state I live in. If it were not for the exceptions passed by Congress due to COVID-19, no one would even qualify.

Although the reason for not reopening seems to be the unpredictability of when and how to reopen, and new stringent requirements (which are already pretty stringent), the daycare had a waiting list of 100 people and was one of the best around. Despite that, it often seemed to be hinted that a yearly consignment sale helped to pay our salaries, and we were strongly encouraged to volunteer to work at it for free, so I guess the money parents paid each month was not enough? The church did pay workers more than most of them around here, in addition to a huge childcare discount, which was amazing, and they are still paying us for another month even after we just found out we are closing. The parents of most of the kids were amazing and often gave the teachers gifts, and you always felt appreciated by most of them and most of the church staff. The people who made this decision were not people I knew well or worked with closely. My bosses and co-workers were all amazing. I will miss them and my work babies so very much.

Those of us who loved this job are left with so many questions. Even working for a church, I found my HR background had me questioning the morality and legality of many of their practices. I felt there was no fighting it though because if someone did, they probably would have just closed like they are now. I personally did not need benefits and paid time off. I currently have them through my husband, but many did need them but could not get them. Many struggled to even pay for lunch each day and I personally helped as many as I could. One thing I have really been shocked about over my career is how little most people at the top care about employees or really even customers for that matter. It always seems to come down to money, even in a church where I thought my job was mainly a ministry to win young people to the church, to give people in the community a job and to give parents in the community great child care. I just hope after how many have lost their jobs and many even (permanently or temporarily) lost their insurance during this pandemic, that some things will change in our country.

For more on the coronavirus, check out the following stories from our community:

Photo by Edwin Gonzalez on Unsplash

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