DH Oral History, 2022/05/11


Title (Dublin Core)

DH Oral History, 2022/05/11

Description (Dublin Core)

A student describes their experience working during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

Creator (Dublin Core)

Event Identifier (Dublin Core)

Partner (Dublin Core)

Type (Dublin Core)

Oral History

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)

Collection (Dublin Core)

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Date Created (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)


Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)


Location (Omeka Classic)

New York
United States of America

Format (Dublin Core)


Language (Dublin Core)


Duration (Omeka Classic)


abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

This oral history is an anonymous interview regarding a student describing their experience working during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

HW: 0:00

Hey, what's up guys, I'm with DA right now it is currently May 10th, 2022 at 11:35 am. Before we start our interview, I just wanted to ask for verbal consent to be interviewed and uploaded and published to the JOTPY website?

DH: 0:16

Yes, I consent.

HW: 0:18

Alright, so just to start this off, I just want to ask first, were your working hours affected by the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic? And if so, how were they?

DH: 0:29

At the time that COVID initially hit I was a freshman in college, and I was still working a lifeguard job in the summer. So when it initially hit it was March of 2020, I believe. And what I was doing is I was social distance guarding at a beach near me, so my hours weren't actually affected. And yeah, so I was still working nine to five jobs from Monday through Friday.

HW: 0:58

Oh, nice. That's awesome you're a lifeguard. How's your transportation method changed since the initial outbreak with getting to work?

DH: 1:07

I have had a car since my senior year. So in my entire work life, I've been able to provide myself with my own transportation. So it really hasn't changed much.

HW: 1:18

Alright, so next up, did your employer reduce the amount of workers present at the workplace at one time following the outbreak?

DH: 1:25

Yeah, actually. So we normally have 35 guards down at the beach. And we had seven. So it was cut severely. There weren't as many people in the water. But we just had to make sure that people were following COVID protocols.

HW: 1:44

Gotcha. All right. So And with that, were you expected to follow any strict cleaning procedures such as wiping down countertops, sinks or bathroom facilities?

DH: 1:54

Yeah, actually. So the way that our beach is designed is we have a north and south end. And they usually have two to three different types of bathrooms for all sorts of people. So yeah, so at the end of the day, we were told to wipe it down and make sure that we're sterile for people to come in and use it again the next day.

HW: 2:12

All right, that's great. And so during your work shifts, did you tend to see an increase in sanitary awareness among co workers, such as, you know, people using hand sanitizer frequently?

DH: 2:24

Yeah, I would definitely say so. I'd also say that most of the guards that we had, especially if we were in a group together, we would set six feet apart, obviously, because of COVID. No one knew what it was at the time. So we were all definitely very COVID Safe.

HW: 2:38

So when you were on the shift, did any tasks assigned to you at work changed due to the pandemic?

DH: 2:45

Yeah, so we had to wear masks when we were working at the beach pool. So we would actually go up on the stand with our masks on and as soon as we were able to sit down, it would only be instead of two people in the standard it would be one, and we didn't have to wear a mask. But those were the only things that changed in terms of procedures.

HW: 3:06

Gotcha. So following the outbreak, did you notice any co-workers leaving or new workers coming in?

DH: 3:14

So when it first hit, we had said before we had seven, we were supposed to have at least 15. And it was just up to the parents of the workers, if they wanted to send their kids into work that day or not depending on, who has COVID, who doesn't. So I could definitely say that people were leaving and people were coming in all different times. It was very, was a very flexible schedule, I would say.

HW: 3:44

Were your wages affected by the pandemic at all?

DH: 3:47

Yeah, they actually went up surprisingly enough. Not many people wanted to work during it because they were so unsure of what COVID actually was. So the people that volunteered and wanted to do it, they were given a decent raise as to what they made last year working at the beach.

HW: 4:09

And when working during the outbreak, did it become more difficult to juggle both personal or professional life during this time, or instead easier?

DH: 4:17

So I initially quarantined with my friends. I didn't actually want to go throughout the whole pandemic without having just a group of people to hang out with. So work was actually cut a little short because we were only able to stay open from certain hours of the day as my government mandates. So I wouldn't say that it was difficult. I'd say it was actually easier.

HW: 4:43

All right, that's good. So when this outbreak happened, were you forced to rely on any government subsidies such as unemployment relief?

DH: 4:53

I was not because I still had my job. So I wasn't laid off. I didn't have a reason to be on unemployment and I didn't feel the need to take money from someone else who couldn't need it.

HW: 5:04

That's a great point.

DH: 5:05

Yeah, so I didn't.

HW: 5:07

And so when you were on the job, did your work become more difficult due to social distancing or wearing a mask?

DH: 5:15

Yeah, it was just annoying having to wear it, I'd say in the sun, I would be at the beach from anywhere from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon. So having an on the whole time definitely got a little annoying, and I got a little, I got a nice tan line. So that's great.

HW: 5:37

That's great. And so in your opinion, with all these restrictions to the work environment become a little less friendly or interactive during the pandemic?

DH: 5:45

Especially since we were six feet apart, definitely. We didn't have as much of leeway to hang out with people, especially at work. And when we had to go on breaks, we had to sit in our cars, so we definitely weren't talking as much.

HW: 6:02

And during the pandemic, did your stress levels increase when on the job? Or?

DH: 6:07

I don't think so. My job is pretty easy as it is, I didn't think having the restrictions that made it more stressful. I just think the people that I was looking after were definitely stressing out more than me, just because they had to be six feet apart.

HW: 6:24

Gotcha. And so during the early months of the outbreak, was there any sort of lack of motivation to work or even keep your job at the time?

DH: 6:34

I don't think so. I think the fact that I was still able to keep a job and make money during the pandemic was enough motivation for me to keep working and get the drive going. So I don't think I was severely dis-motivated.

HW: 6:53

And so during the initial outbreak, were you required to get the vaccine? And if so, was that used to determine employment eligibility?

DH: 7:02

So at the time when I was working, the vaccine wasn't actually out yet. So obviously, it wouldn't be required to get it. But I know that in the years afterwards, we were required. So.
So yeah, so definitely, if you weren't, I don't think you were able to work.

HW: 7:23

Alright then. So lastly, before we wrap it up, did your family experience any hardships as a result of job loss or other pandemic complications?

DH: 7:31

We were lucky both my parents kept their jobs. They were able to work through it. My mom's a teacher. My dad was a car salesman, so he was fine. And yeah, so we were able to keep going. Very lucky, though.

HW: 7:44

All right. That's awesome. All right. Well, I think I've just about asked everything I needed to, before we wrap it up. I was just wondering if you have any questions for me?

DH: 7:54

Not that I could think of now.

HW: 7:56

All right, sounds good. Well, I just want to thank you for your time today. I really appreciate it. And I wish you the best of luck with your studies.

DH: 8:04

No problem. Thank you.

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