As a musician, Jordan Sandidge is used to moving from job to job and surviving without health insurance.
So, when the pandemic hit, he didn’t miss a beat. He ramped up to working multiple jobs in the service industry, from taking carryout orders when restaurants were shut down, to enforcing social distancing and bartending when they opened back up.
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“I was just like, ‘I can’t miss this money,’ ” said the 30-year-old singer-songwriter, who lives in Olde Towne East. “I’ve got to work,” he said. “You never knew when they were just going to be like, ‘Hey, you can’t do this at all anymore.’ ”
Seeking a more sustainable job, Sandidge eventually worked as a security guard at Target. Even though it wasn’t glamorous, he recognized he was more fortunate than others he saw around the city.
“Who always struggles when things like this are going on?” he said. “It’s poor people. I don’t think I’ve seen the amount of homeless people out asking for money in Columbus as high as it is right now.”
Sandidge gave back as much as he could, contributing money to buy gift cards for the homeless around Target, as well as school supplies for children in need.
At the end of last year, he finally landed a full-time job working from home as an information security analyst, and he has access to benefits for the first time in several years.
Looking back on his time in the service industry, including pre-pandemic, Sandidge advocates for raising the minimum wage for tipped employees.
“There are some nights where you make $30 or $40 an hour, but it’s usually on a weekend,” he said. “(Employees) might make $15, $12 or $10 the rest of the week. Being a server and having to make those calculations and balance your book while being called an employee is very interesting to me.”
Sandidge said he now has time each evening to work on recording a solo album.
“A lot of positive things have happened to me in the past few months,” he said. “I’m actually on a really nice, steep incline, which is insane.”