Virus jobs crisis: 'I have moments where I cry'
LISMORE'S Jade Hanlon joined hundreds of thousands of Australians on the unemployment queue this week.
It has been a devastating week for Ms Hanlon, who is the supervisor of the Henry Rous Tavern in Ballina.
The industrious 28-year-old is at a loss without a job for the foreseeable future.
"Australians are hard workers, we pride ourselves in what we do," Ms Hanlon said.
"For all the girls I work with, this job is our lives.
"I have girls calling me, they're worried they're going to lose their houses, it's heartbreaking watching all them and my boss suffer."
The Centrelink outage has been frustrating. For three days she has been attempting to lodge a claim. She waited in a physical queue for hours on Monday and has been trying to access the website every hour since Tuesday to lodge forms. She finally had success on Thursday at 6am.
With no savings, like many in the hospitality industry who live week to week, she said she will be relying on her parents until welfare payments start flowing into her bank account.
Her plans to move out have been halted, along with plans to buy a new car in September.
On Wednesday, in what could be her final shift for some time, she inscribed messages on the windows of the tavern.
"We will reopen, we just don't know when," Ms Hanlon said.
"People have stopped and chatted while I've been writing on the windows, they can't wait for us to reopen, they miss us already."
She said the government-implemented shutdown would have an impact on their regular customers.
Between 10 and 15 men meet at there each day, and in some cases it's their only social interaction.
Staff have taken down their phone numbers to ensure they have what they need in upcoming months.
Ms Hanlon is looking forward to expanding her family's vegie patch in her abundance of spare time.
"I have my moments where I cry, but each day I am getting up, finding something to do, and remembering it's not forever."