Feeling FRUSTRATED: 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. The number one response was “frustrated.”

From a military service worker:

“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.”

From a National Institute of Health employee:

“I am scheduled to attend an international scientific meeting as an invited participant beginning April 11. All costs (many of which have been prepaid) are covered by the meeting organizers. However, if the government “shuts down” on Friday, I will not be permitted to attend the meeting because to do so would constitute performance of my duties as a federal employee and therefore I would be in violation of the involuntary furlough. This is an embarrassment to the agency for which I work, for the meeting organizers who have already paid for my trip, and for the image of U.S. science.”

From a military service worker:

“Rumors, innuendo, since no one is allowed to talk about agency plans for a possible shutdown the rumor mill is running overboard. Good/accurate and timely information is critical to the government. The failure on the behalf of Congress to enact a budget is a failure of government, they should all be held and investigated for failure to perform work as directed.”

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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