Season 2 | Episode 9
Mar 26, 2020

Hard choices

Today we hear listeners' stories of pay cuts, layoffs and telling employers they're putting people at risk.

After sound designer Drew Dalzell got laid off two decades ago, he made himself a promise.

“I’m going to run a business the way I think a business ought to run,” he said. “I’m going to treat employees the way I think they ought to be treated.”

Eventually his new company grew to several full-time employees and seasonal workers, doing sound for theme parks, arenas and other large events. But the COVID-19 pandemic led to a sudden string of cancellations and Dalzell had to furlough everyone.

“Intellectually, I know that this is way beyond my control,” he said. But, he added, “it’s hard to not feel like I failed.”

Nobody knows what the next weeks or months are going to look like, and in this moment of uncertainty, a lot of people are having to rethink what it means to do the right thing. Today, we hear from several listeners, both employers and employees, grappling with choices that may have felt unthinkable just a few weeks ago.

We’ll hear from a listener whose pay was cut in half, another who’s considering cutting her own pay down to the bare minimum. Plus, Reema visits a restaurant that changed its business model overnight to stay open, and talks with a barista who’s begging to get laid off so she doesn’t make the pandemic worse.

If you have a story of how COVID-19 is affecting your money, your job and your life, let us know by filling out the from below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more stories about the pandemic, as well as the reading, watching, listening and eating recommendations from our housebound team.

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The team

Megan Detrie Senior Producer
Hayley Hershman Producer

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