Four lessons learned from an unemployed teenager during the middle of a crisis


photo or infographic by Emily Meachen

COVID-19 has closed many area businesses. Editor Kelsey Soape shares the lessons she has learned since being sent home from her job as a waitress.

So I am sure that everyone has been affected by COVID-19 one way or another. The biggest impact it had on me was shutting down my job. I am a waitress at Cracker Barrel, and our dining room shut down as many others did in the area. The first day off was pretty nice: not having to get up and get ready for work, not washing my uniform or scrounging my car for a pen five minutes before I have to go in for my shift. It was leisurely and relaxing, and I thought to myself “I could get used to this”. However, as days have passed, and I have not gone to work nor school, being in my house has taught me several lessons.

Lesson one:  I no longer have a sleep schedule.

When I was working everyday of the week, getting off at 10 or 11 o’clock at night, I was always asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Now, time no longer exists. I stay up late at night watching Netlflix, painting my nails, doing face masks and watching the latest Tik Toks trends. The moment of realization was when my Apple Watch told me at two in the morning, as I was mid-bite of my favorite snack, that my sleep schedule seemed off. I finished my snack and then had a moment of wonder. I am staying up all night, sleeping in most of the day and not being productive. 

Lesson two:  my dad is a pretty good cook. 

When I was working I always worked the dinner shifts, which obviously meant I was not home for dinner at my house with my family. Now all three meals, excluding all day snacking, are spent with my family. I had an idea that my dad could cook; afterall, he was a chef in his prime before I was born. But I did not know, if I had a blind fold on while my dad was cooking in the kitchen, I wouldn’t be able to tell if it was my dad or Guy Fieri taking me on a trip to flavor town with his one of a kind seafood gumbo. Needless to say, my father’s home-cooked, flavorful meals are one step above my usual “whatever messed up order is in the kitchen at work” dinner. 

Lesson three:  I have an online shopping addiction.

I have always known I have a shopping problem. I love things. Big things, small things, expensive things, cheap things. However, COVID-19 has rudely shut down all of my favorite places I throw my money to. I have started online shopping; it is AMAZING. I can shop from my bed in pajamas, in the bubble bath with candles, on the pool with my unicorn float; wherever I want to shop, I can. The recycling pick up guys have become my new best friends with the mass amount of cardboard boxes, wrapping paper and packaging that they have picked up from my house. I am completely content with my shopping online, but my bank account will beg to differ. “Spend $20 and get free shipping,” says the online advertisement, while my bank account says “How about we cancel the whole order and spend no more.” 

Lesson four: my family has some annoying habits.

I saved the best for last, my lovely family. As I spend every waking moment with these people, I have slowly but surely picked up on little habits that really grind my gears. My little siblings can’t keep me from looking at their food while they chew it to save their lives. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have told them to close their mouths when they eat. My father, amazing food and all, is OCD. Now, I am no psychologist, but I think when someone has to have every soup can facing the exact same way, organized by brand and in alphabetical order, it is OCD. Leave it to me and WebMD to become the new diagnosers of the household. 

In conclusion, I would like my job back 🙂