HeadCount's Washington, D.C. team leader is a federal government employee currently on furlough. This is the fourth installment in what we hope will be a very short series. The opinions expressed are his own.
What more can be said at this point? After two full weeks off, I have stopped watching news coverage of the events. I keep a website open in my browser with the latest updates just in case something actually happens and I have to plan to go back to work tomorrow. Yesterday I got my first half pay check. That was a bit of a blow. Supposedly we will get reimbursed in the long run, but Capital One and Chase want their money sooner rather than later. My next payday will actually bring a whopping $0. That will be “interesting.”
The Washington Post put out a short video where they interviewed young federal employees volunteering at a local soup kitchen. The furloughed employees relay the sentiment, that despite being categorized as “nonessential,” they still hold the desire to give back and this is one way to do it. For me, the major draw of public service was the overall stability of the job. I think for many folks, “making a difference” may rank at the top of the list, but that can be accomplished at a variety of places. I left the nonprofit world because of the uncertainty of future funding and insecurity. Apparently no job is safe at this point, though.
As I write this, I just saw a pop up saying a deal has been brokered in the Senate. It still has to be voted on but it would appear work is on the horizon for me. It is bittersweet, I suppose. I thoroughly enjoy hanging out with my dogs at home, but as I previously mentioned, lack of a paycheck will soon take a toll if something does not happen!
There is not a lot left to comment upon. One random thing I saw this morning that truly irked me is a blog post on the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee page. It would appear that rather than working on a deal, Senator Vitter’s staff (LA – R) wrote a Top 10 list on why the shutdown isn’t all bad. While I realize it is a joke, it pokes fun at all the furloughed employees at the EPA, of which I am one.
Regardless of what happens today, I think everyone realizes we have a problem with the way the government currently operates and the inability to compromise on anything. I want to point you to a blog post written by one of my friends. He makes some great points in stating that while the members of Congress have created this mess, we, the people, are the ones who elected them so it is our responsibility, come next November, to take fate into our own hands and show up at the polls and vote for who we want voicing our views. If you do not vote, you do not really have a right to complain. Check out his blog here.