Christiansen, who has worked at Bookmans for 30 years, said she is preparing to be unemployed until May just in case. Christiansen’s husband also works for Bookmans and thus is not able to work.
And with two adult children they are supporting, one of whom is in college, that’s a long time to go without a paycheck.
“I mean I’m afraid, I’m scared,” Christiansen said. “I know it sounds lame, but I’m just trying not to think about it and just seeing what happens because that’s the only thing I can do. Otherwise, I panic.”
Still, Christiansen said they should be able to pay next month’s mortgage and she is fairly confident they will be able to get through the crisis — although it might leave them with no savings and potentially asking her dad if he can lend them something.
“We’re used to living frugally and we buy the things we need when they’re on sale. Also, I’m from Utah where keeping a supply of food is the norm and I’ve never been able to break that, so I have cans of beans and peanut butter,” Christiansen said. “We don’t have credit card debt because I’m afraid of that, but we might have to start having some credit card debt.”
Ramirez, a junior theater major at Northern Arizona University, said she is hoping to get a temporary job until Bookmans can reopen, potentially at a grocery store.