The COVID-19 pandemic has struck a terrible blow to local and global economies. Many companies are struggling, a lot of them have gone belly up.
About two weeks ago, most of Ontario went into phase 3 of recovery. This means that employers who had temporarily laid off their staff are now able to call them back.
However, a three-month shutdown has not left them unscathed, and in many cases business has almost ground to a halt . For Mrs. Kicou's shop things are currently running in slow motion and there are no new customer contracts. Business with US-based clients is now nil.
They could barely call back 30% of their workforce.
The employer made the remaining employees an offer: either 1. they remain on temporary lay-off in the hope that business will pick up and they will eventually be called back, or 2. they accept a termination offer along with a severance package.
Truth be told, Mrs. Kicou had been thinking for a while about switching careers: working at a metal shop is physically taxing; you breathe oil and metal dust all day long, which cannot be healthy even if you wear protective equipment.
So here was her exit ticket. She took the termination offer and as of today she is jobless. She signed the papers this morning and we picked up her tools and personal belongings.
This is not a catastrophe because we are so lucky that the pandemic has not slowed down the growth of my one-person company: revenue and profit have been steadily increasing month after month, and after a little over a year (I started in April 2019) my income level is finally catching up with my previous employed position.
It is a bummer that we have lost one source of income, but things are not looking too bad: we will be watching our spending and I may be able to make up for it within a few months.
In the meantime Mrs. Kicou will have time for personal projects at home and in the garden (we are not short of things to fix around the house), and she is already making plans to fly to France, spend a few months there and take care of her aging parents when her unemployment benefits run out.