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"My hours have been cut – I worked 3 hours today." Natalia's Story

Interview with Natalia, March 19, 2020:

"I work in the food industry. I work for Taco Time NW. I’ve been working there 6 years. The only thing that is keeping us open is the drive-through. The dining room is shut down. My shift is always 8 1/2 hours, 40 hours a week. But now there’s no schedule anymore because of the coronavirus. We are trying to stay open as long as we can, but we don’t know how this is going to turn out.

My hours have been cut – I worked 3 hours today. Not only me, we need to be equal with the employees. All our hours are cut down a lot – half the shift or even less. We go to work, and if it’s busy, with 3 people we can make it, so all the other people have to go home. We’re rotating who is working. They’re going to keep cutting our shifts as long as the corona virus stays around. Hopefully we don’t close, but down the road, we don’t know how long they’re going to stay open, because business went down a lot. 

I live check to check, so I don’t know if I’m going be able to have the rent money, because I also have to eat. People are going crazy in the grocery stores. This is throwing me – and many people – out of track. If I pay my rent late, then my other rent is going to be late, too. This was a blind-side. I don’t have any money saved.

It is stressful. I always pay my rent on time; I always pay everything on time. Not having the money, not knowing what’s going to happen next, it’s giving me anxiety. 

Bottom line, my hours have been drastically cut. My worry is my rent, the taxes. That make me stressed. If they shut down, I’m going to be crazy. 

I’ve lived at my apartment about a year. A friend of mine gave me the website. I was living in Queen Anne in a studio. I like it, it’s nice. That’s why I’m worried. I don’t want to end up homeless. 

I am alone. If I don’t work, I don’t eat. That’s the thing, when you’re by yourself. Hopefully it gets better soon. 

I take medication for anxiety. I have to hook up with some TV shows, drawing, keep myself busy. It’s hard for me to not be doing anything. I’m not used to that. I’m like a kid. I have too much free time. I’m not used to it. 

It’s hard."


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