Feeling ANXIOUS: Federal workers’ reaction to looming shutdown

April 6, 2011

The Federal Eye Blog asked federal workers to describe the mood in their department or agency in one word. Many responded with the “anxious.”

From a Treasury Dept. 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.”

From a Social Security Administration employee:

“Our ever-increasing workload, our lack of sufficient resources, our outdated technology, our management’s inability to develop long-term plans, and our devotion to public service all remain as day to day challenges. The continuing abuse from politicians and others as we strive to do our jobs to the best standard has a wearing effect on morale. The lack of specific information as to contingency plans makes people more anxious about their future in general and frustrated because such ordinary parts of life as child and family care arrangements, paying bills, medical appointments remain unresolved.”

From a contractor with the Food and Drug administration:

“I work in a laboratory. We have been working pretty much as usual, except that we cannot start any medium-length experiments, because we can’t count on being able to continue to work for the next few weeks. It is truly wasteful — we are not making as much progress as we otherwise would.”

Now we want to know: Is your agency telling you anything about its contingency plans if a shutdown were to occur? Tell us.

And share your response to these frustrated federal workers in the comments below.

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