"I had been working from home ever since the lockdown was announced. I was a graphic designer, part of a company that printed pamplets, flyers and other booklets etc., for clients. COVID hit us hard. We lost a lot of clients and contracts because of COVID.
Last week the inevitable happened. I was laid off from my job with a month’s salary in hand and no where to go.
I haven’t told my parents or my wife as of now. I got married this year in December itself. My wife is a very nice person and I love her, but I am also ashamed to face her and tell her the truth.
My dilemma is huge: I feel ashamed, embarrased and stupid about telling them that I don’t have a job anymore. What will they think of me; how worthless I am? Everyone will doubt me; they will think that I must not be talented enough and that I why I have been laid off; they will think that I don’t know how to control things around me and that I am a fool, stupid, worthless fellow.
I don’t have the guts to tell them.
Even at 29 years of age, I am scared of my father. He is surely to fly into a rage when I tell them that I have been laid off, he can also abuse me verbally. What if it all happens in front of my wife? She will also cringe hearing my dad calling me names. My father is a self-made successful man who runs a garment shop in our city. He is very proud and I think I am a disappointment for him. He will surely judge me as incompetent, a fool, a non-serious, insincere person who just thinks life to be all fun and games. He will also feel ashamed if the news gets out. What will his friends and brothers say? They will point fingers at him and tell him that since he spoilt me with all the things-my father gifted me a bike last year--I am a ruined, hopeless fellow. It will reflect badly on him.
My father also has a temper and he will surely vent it out on my mom and they will have a fight. He will tell her that she did not bring me up properly and that it was she who instilled wrong values in me. It will hurt her and she will cry. The environment in our house will become so toxic with everyone crying and fighting.
And what about Sangeeta my wife. I had promised her I will gift her a pair of gold earrings on her birthday which is in July. Now, I need to save money and can’t spend my savings. Her dreams and faith will be shattered. Ours was an arranged marriage and she had really liked my job profile. She was, like me, hopeful that there is immense growth in this line. We had planned that after 3-4 years of work, I will set-up my own designing company and she can help me with admin jobs and HR duties. We had even thought of a name--Sahyogi--a combination of Sangeeta and Yogesh, our names. But now everything is lost.
She is going to think she married an incompetent, loser fellow, lazy and totally worthless more so since my friends still have their jobs. She is surely going to think that something is wrong with me--she did not like my bike rides with my friends and is going to think I am some kind of loafer, more interested in stupid, frivolous things than working hard. She will stop respecting me and may even call me names and insult me and my family.
And what if she tells her family. They will be furious with me and think I am irreponsible, good for nothing person and it was a mistake to get their daughter married off to me. They can call up and insult me and my parents also possibly; I can’t bear all of this.
I don’t think I will tell anyone right now that I don’t have job. I will still get one month’s salary so no one will find out..I can continue pretending to work like I have been doing since last week...sitting in my room, doors closed, and head bent over the computer.
I may get another opportunity within this one month...I will apply everywhere...even for a junior role...
Or maybe I will drown in my own shame and die within this month...before anyone finds out the truth," says Yogesh Srivastava, 29-year-old graphic designer who has been laid off from work due to COVID.