Coronavirus' Effect on My Job
Although most people are required to stay at home, my job is considered essiential by Texas State University, so I still go into work on a daily basis. In the interview above, I talked with Lauren Roper, a Texas State University Sophomore who I work with. She is also a student worker at Network Operations on campus, but her experience differs from mine as she still lives in San Marcos away from her parents who live in San Antonio. She talks about how her classes have been different since transitioning to online courses and also what she does at home to stay entertained while being quarantined.
Not that everything else hasn't, but the rules of my job have changed drastically since the Coronavirus began to spread across the United States. I am a student worker at Texas State University in the Network Operations department, and when the stay at home order was issued for San Marcos, I got really nervous. As a student worker, I don't get paid sick leave or paid time off. "If student workers don't show up, they don't get paid," my boss stated. Some people at my job have taken extra cautiounary measures so that they have a lesser chance of coming into contact with someone who has the virus. Several people are working from home, especially those with kids, one technician is working adjusted hours, coming in at 5pm and working until 2am. The lady in charge of the security cameras across campus, Annie Watkins, decided to take 2 weeks of unpaid leave as she has a weaker immune system and does not want to risk getting sick.
Here is a photo of Annie working on a camera that is to be deployed on campus. This was about a week before she decided to take two weeks off due to Coronavirus.
I am extremely grateful that my job is considered essential as I would not be able to pay my bills without my paycheck. However, how things are done at my job have changed. My boss sends out all of the technicians with gloves, sanitizing wipes and face masks out of an abundance of caution. "If any of you don't feel comfortable being here, please request time off and I will approve it with no questions asked." She said in the biweekly stand up meeting. "I understand this is a difficult time, and I want everyone to feel safe while they are doing their jobs." At least two people in my office work from home as they are able to unlike the technicians, and one of my coworkers had to self-quarantine for 2 weeks as he was potentially exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
The university has been proactive in taking cautionary measures against the Coronavirus, to the point where working from home has become the new norm. Parking, which was once scarce, has now become more plentiful than ever; one can leave campus, come back and snag their original parking spot. The university has also decided to provide free lunches for those who are still working on campus in person. At the Harris Dining Hall, one can get a free meal which includes a hot protein entrée, a vegetable and a starch along with 2 cookies and a water bottle by just showing their Texas State ID. Thankfully, student workers are also taken into consideration and can also choose to get a free meal. This helps alleviate stress from my day to day life because I don't have to worry about bringing a lunch or trying to figure out where I can go to eat, since most restaurants are either closed or open for takeout only.