"I lost seven contracts in three weeks. My current employment situation is dire."
Name: Jen Miles Guilderton
Location: Greensboro, shares custody of her two children
Job: Sales advertising executive
Job Status: Extremely underemployed, she says. In a good year, Guilderton makes $60,000. She says she has lost seven contracts and about half of her revenue since the pandemic began.
Savings: About two months worth of expenses.
Health insurance: Pays $225/month for her own insurance; she uses the A.C.A.
Most worried about:
“My health, my family's health my neighbors' health. I’m more concerned with health than the economy. I’ll say that any day of the week. Health is my number one priority. I’m extremely concerned that we’re going to open too soon."
Experience dealing with state unemployment hotline:
“I applied for unemployment at end of March, but was found to be ineligible because I’m a 1099 [self-employed] worker. I protested, and sent in my paystubs for the past 15 months. I got a call back from someone at employment security office. I’m going to resubmit April 25th. I may have to resubmit a whole new claim, but I’m unsure exactly what they’re going to want. So it’s frustrating.”
Jen says she has spent an average of three hours a week on hold, trying to get answers to some of her questions.
How she’s passing the time:
“I’m exercising at home, cooking, not watching TV, playing with my kids more, FaceTiming, Zoom calls, running errands for other people.”
"The most notable I see is other people helping strangers, going out of their way to help local businesses. And definitely the innovation. In some ways I would say there is less stress in the atmosphere.”