Voluntary furlough, y'all.
Let me share a bit more about my job.
I work at a tech company, but our industry is travel. Our business has been completely decimated by the travel bans and mandatory quarantines now implemented all over the world. Lockdowns mean people are not even traveling inside their own countries any more. Our revenue dropped pretty much to zero in the space of a few weeks.
The recovery will fucking suck. While other industries will come back online in their local regions as lockdowns are lifted, travel will be utterly fucked until mandatory quarantines are over. There will still be a few people who need to travel, of course, but the vast majority of people are not going to be able to spend 14 days in quarantine every time they arrive in a new destination. And that's assuming they would even be allowed in - right now many countries have a blanket ban on all non-citizens entering.
So. My company is in the shit. We will probably make it through, but my guess is it'll be 6 months or more till we even get close to bringing in enough to cover our monthly costs again.
Because we are a tech company, our costs are largely the people. Getting an email asking for volunteers to take paid furlough, reduced hours or unpaid leave was not a big surprise. Four other tech companies i have worked at before this one have all gone through their tough times and oldtimer colleagues often tell war stories of "back when we all took reduced hours to keep the company afloat".
I didn't even read the FAQ, i immediately volunteered for the options to reduce to a 3- or 4-day work week, and emailed that i'd be good to furlough as well as long as it doesn't affect my visa status.
This shit is made for me. My lifestyle is so simple that over the past 12 months of working at my current job, i have literally spent none of my income. I am still living off the income from my previous jobs in China. And starting at this company doubled my salary!
I have written a lot in this journal about how disgusting it is that tech workers get paid so much money. It is truly shameful how much we are paid, given how cushy our work is.
I couldn't believe it when my company decided to subsidize private vehicles as part of their "come back to work" perks for Shenzhen employees. They gave everyone a coronavirus bonus too, back when they thought the virus wasn't going to make it out of China. It was some kind of weird gift to show their recognition for the stress we all went through. Needless to say, i did not claim the bonus because you had to bring in receipts, and the wet market does not give receipts.
Also. The principle of the thing. Coronavirus bonus. Like, are you fucking kidding me? We are some of the highest paid workers in the whole city. Tens of millions of people spent the lockdown with no income whatsoever, we sat at home on our laptops like life hadn't changed a bit, then we got a free corona bonus, then people still complained that they didn't want to take public transport and managed to wangle even more money out of the company for taxis and parking expenses. It's fucking disgusting. I actually wrote to HR a few weeks ago expressing my anger at the whole thing. It still makes me sick to think about.
Well, joke's on them because now the company is asking people to furlough to survive.
Fuck, whatever. I was ready to quit anyway. How perfect would it be if i could get 3 months off work without losing my work permit, and still receive furlough pay of 1.5x the average salary in China? That would be utterly ridiculous, the most tech company bullshit ever, but at least i'd get the 3 month holiday in China that i could never enjoy under normal circumstances.
In reality i suspect i will just get the reduction to a 3 or 4 day work week, but even still, finally! All those companies i worked at where people did reduced hours, i never worked there during the tough times. I never got that chance.
Since Occupy Wall St, every single performance review at every single job i tell my manager that i do not want a raise, and that every raise just pushes me closer to quitting. I use company feedback sessions to ask for a part time option, or for the opportunity to take sabbaticals/unpaid leave. No company would ever give it. Small company, big company, they're all the same. Growth is all that matters, because capitalism.
But now i got a company that's backed into a corner, and i just got the dream opportunity.