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Federal Eye
Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 04/06/2011

Government shutdown: What the workers are saying

We’ve been asking federal employees to share their thoughts and what they’re learning about the likelihood of a government shutdown. Here are some of the strongest responses we’ve received. You can still share your feedback here, or in the comments section below:

Worker at a local Dept. of Interior law enforcement agency:

Not knowing whether or not we are “essential” or “non-essential” [bothers them the most]. We will continue to operate as close to business as usual, but there may be a risk to public and employee safety resulting if we are deemed “essential, but with minimum staffing requirements.”

Former military contractor now working at the Pentagon:

I think we are all expecting Congress to pull the rabbit out of the hat at the 11th hour, but this is beyond stupid. None of us know how long any furlough might last, and in the meantime we as the pawns in this game are stuck dealing with the fallout from the decisions we don’t make.

A lot of us just joined the government within the past year, having converted from contractors, and most of us are not happy with the situation as it exists.

Employee at the Centers for Disease Control:

I think most folks are so busy they’ve had the good fortune of not paying attention too much to this very real threat. Strangely, we have gotten directives from the top which basically tell line staff not to worry about it or really plan for it until it happens. No kidding: we’re not supposed to talk to our contractors about it, and are not encouraged even to speak with people we supervise about contingency planning, etc. Weird.

D.C. Court worker:

What’s driving me and most of my colleagues crazy is the lack of information. No one is saying anything to us. Some say it’s not going to happen and some say prepare for the worst. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to go without pay. Some of us will have to report to work during a shut down, which will prevent us from seeking other avenues to get a paycheck during the shut down.

Department of the Treasury employee:

Being married to another federal employee is making the threat of a shutdown particularly worrisome. We have placed long-time plans of selling our townhome - in hopes of purchasing a single family home for our growing family - on indefinite hold. Instead of planning for our future, our real concern is scrambling to ensure we have enough savings to meet our current mortgage payments and child care costs should our paychecks stop. I love serving this country by working for an agency with an important mission that I believe in, but it’s getting tiresome being pawns in this political chess game.

Labor Department worker:

Everyone is on edge. No one is telling us anything. We don’t know if we shut down will we get paid for the days we’re shut down or not.

FAA employee:

There are so many false alarms that most people don’t even discuss it anymore. We’re all sick of the games.

Customs and Border Protection worker:

I am out in the field, I am not in the DC area so our information is very limited. At this time our agency has not said anything concerning the possible shutdown. There have not been any communications, but the day is not over yet. The last time this happened I was a Customs Inspector and was considered essential, but we also had a Treasury budget separate from the rest of the government so we were paid without any problems. Right now I feel like I am in limbo not knowing what is going on and it is frustrating.

Leave YOUR thoughts in the comments section below.

RELATED: Federal Eye’s government shutdown coverage

RELATED: Full government shutdown/budget coverage

By  |  11:25 AM ET, 04/06/2011

Categories:  Government Shutdown

 
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