As classes are shifting to online and more and more people are beginning to work from home, I have been given the opportunity to continue to work at my on-campus job as a student worker.
Not that everything else hasn’t, but the rules of my job have changed drastically since the Corona Virus 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 students don’t show up, they don’t get paid,” my boss stated.
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 Corona Virus, 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.
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