The past couple of weeks have been interesting. From reading various tweets about how people are affected by Covid 19, people loosing their jobs, business owners closing down as well as local fish shops running out of stock it all looked like a dream. This week there were series of events that actually got me realize that it is far from being a dream and it is actually a reality.
A very close relative got a letter from an employer this morning that effective this month, they are getting a 40% salary cut. This is because the employer is struggling to keep up the running costs of the business and that is the way they will stay afloat.
On Friday I was assisting a friend with a business plan and he mentioned that his salary costs is lower in April as there were employee who did not get paid on the basis that they do not get basic salary. They are commissioned based employees and since they made no sale, that meant no commission for them.
Lastly , this morning I also got an sms from one of the company I invested in asking me to reach out should I be affected in any way. This is because I have a pension fund. life cover and home cover with them and should I be affected , it might mean that I may not be able to honor those commitments.
So what should you do if you find yourself in a similar situation?
- Realize you are not alone and please do not take it personal. This is not some form of punishment and hence you are not to be blamed that you lost your job, you closed down your business and may default on fixed commitments. Getting to that understanding may be the best thing for your mental and emotional well-being.
- Act quickly – While you may still be in pain from the above, there is not much time to be sitting around waiting for a miracle to happen. If you were a salaried employee, revisit your budget to see what can be changed. What costs can you eliminate ( such as TV subscription, monthly superaweh, luxury food etc) versus those that can be put on hold. Things like pension fund contribution are fixed but one can write a letter to the investment company informing them of your inability to pay during the tough times and maybe resume later.
- Have faith and focus the future. Do look at the possibility of what lies ahead and that things will look up for you. Maybe you do not get back your 40% salary cut but rather even more. Maybe you might not go back to the job you were retrenched from but instead start a business that will make you more than what your employer was offering you. You are stronger than you think.
As we ponder the above , let us pray for the safety and health of all of us and for the world to return to the new normal.