“I’m going to continue investigating and [doing] due diligence,” Biben said. But “I know I’m not going to close on anything … in the next couple of weeks.”
Jay Schwarz @dctexag 1 Oct
Federal service protip: the job tends to be secure, the pay not necessarily
Shutdown kept Defense Dept.’s Early bird in its cage
Information geeks went wanting last week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics didn’t issue its planned federal jobs report on Friday, and defense industry executives found their inboxes a little bit emptier when the Defense Department’s Early Bird — a compilation of news items on national security that goes out first thing every morning — didn’t fly.
“I don’t know how a lot of industry executives and some journalists are doing their job without the Pentagon’s clipping service,” said Loren Thompson, a defense industry consultant.
S.K. Morgan Ernest @skmorgane 2 Oct
Tracking down climate reports for a research project. Keep running into ‘closed by congress’ USFS, USGS, & NOAA websites. Sigh. #shutdown.
Reality of contractors not getting back pay begins to sting
Debra Graham works alongside federal employees at the Census Bureau’s Suitland office, where she writes documents such as user guides for agency software.
Just like government workers, Graham is furloughed, even though she’s actually an employee at Largo-based IT contractor Erimax. (Eric Franklin, the company’s president and chief executive, said the company has “been devastated,” both by sequestration and the shutdown).
While she’s out of the office, Graham is using her free time to help out her incapacitated neighbor and meeting with coworkers for bridge — which they normally play each day at the office during lunch.
But what gnaws at her is that even if federal workers are reimbursed for their time off, she knows that as a contractor, she will not be.
“There’s a lot of people like me,” Graham said. “We’re just going to be out, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
‘If nobody’s home, there’s nobody home’
At the Professional Services Council in Arlington, staff members at the industry group for government contractors were trying to help beleaguered member companies — but frankly didn’t have a lot of ways to help.
Some companies had called the organizations before the shutdown, looking for tips on preparation or advice on how to handle contracts, said Stan Soloway, PSC’s president.
But for those that waited until after the shutdown, there was little that could be done. Most, Soloway said, had received direction for their employees on Oct. 1 — instructions that in some cases contradicted Office of Management and Budget guidance.
“Once the shutdown happens, there’s very little opportunity to discuss, negotiate or otherwise fix something,” Soloway said. “If nobody’s home, there’s nobody home.”
At one bar, being disgruntled about shutdown pays off
Dupont Circle bar and restaurant Thomas Foolery welcomes a curmudgeonly crowd from 5 to 7 p.m. each evening, rewarding patrons who order in a surly tone with $1 off each drink.
“If you smile, we make you do it again. You have to actually convince the bartender that you are indeed angry,” owner Steve Davis said.
“It should be extra easy this week.”
With the shutdown sending disgruntled federal workers and contractors to the bar earlier than usual, Thomas Foolery extended its “Angry Hour” from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day the government is closed. The bar has seen its largest daytime crowds to date, as a result.
Thomas Foolery opened just three months ago with a childish gimmick — its menu includes such items as grilled cheese and ice cream sandwiches, and the restaurant is stocked with games from hopscotch to Mario Kart. For a new business, any uptick in foot traffic is welcome.
“Most people do not benefit from this” shutdown, he said. “We definitely get a small benefit from it.”
John Spears @JohnJSpears2 Oct
#furlough day 2. Alright, I’m ready to go back to work. #congress get your act together and fund the government.