I worked for Westside Lexus car dealership, doing maintenance, repairs, and replacing parts for 11 years. We were furloughed in April 2020, and the hair salon my wife owns is shut too.
This is the first time in my life in America that I’ve had no job. I’ve been an auto technician for over 30 years. Two weeks ago, my manager texted me to make sure I was doing OK, which made me feel better -it showed he still remembered us.
It was hard applying for unemployment -the system kept logging out and it took me several days to input all the information. I finally received my first payment a few days ago.
We don’t really have enough right now. Previously, we had another salon and then Hurricane Harvey destroyed the area, so we lost a lot of money. But praise the Lord, we still have peace! And now I help my wife clean the house and we’re trying to make cotton masks to donate to the local hospital. My wife and I both have asthma, so we’re doing it slowly.
We’re waiting for retail businesses to re-open; business got really slow the week before we closed -normally we’d have 30-50 customers a day, but by then we only had five a day. It’s so scary. When were- open it will be complicated because we can’t keep a six-feet distance from clients. We’ll need to wear a mask or face shield, limit the number of clients inside and sanitize after each client. I think things won’t be the same, even after restrictions are lifted.