The Furloughed Files: Making the best of a bad situation

August 8, 2013

Biking it in New Jersey

In order to save some of my lost money, I have given up driving to work. Instead, I ride my bicycle 33 miles each way to work this summer. It saves me about 20 percent of what I am losing with the furlough, but it is helping me keep my head above water.

An automobile is a really good way to save money if you don’t use it.

Andrew Rola

U.S. Air Force

Point Pleasant, N.J.

Superheroes flying at 80 percent

We have all tried to weather the furlough storm with as much good humor as we can muster. We have created Furlough Man, a cape-wearing super hero. He is 80 percent as fast as a speeding bullet, a little less powerful than a locomotive, and only able to leap over medium-sized buildings with a couple of bounds. He is only available Monday through Thursday from 0700 until 1530 hours.

Donald Sammon

White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

Las Cruces, N.M.

Independence days

The agency-wide furlough on July 5 had an unexpected result.

Lots of people bailed for the whole week. The federal holiday (4th of July) was Thursday and with the furlough day on Friday, people took leave on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That was nine days out of the office for only 24 hours of leave.

Of course, those that were still here had to work just that much harder and wish that we had taken those days off too!

Jeff Jones

IRS

Rockville, Md.

Making it work

My husband is furloughed right now. We have reworked our budget and we’ve found ways to cut our budget to afford to live. We have cut out our discretionary spending completely for now. We have asked our daughter, she is 15 and works, to contribute to her sports equipment and school supplies this year (We have two grown daughters and both serve this great country in the military — and we’re proud of them!). We are able to make ends meet and we are grateful.

Even during this furlough and all of the things that seem wrong in our country, I believe we live in a great country full of opportunity. We have the right to criticize our government freely. We have a right to elect our government body and not worry about having those votes overturned by a ruling power that doesn’t like the people’s choice. We have religious freedoms not afforded other places.

Our family plans to continue to work on paying down some of our debt so we are in a better position should this happen again.

But, I also look at our situation and know not everyone can make the cuts we have and make it through this unscathed. We all have different expenses and different incomes. I pray for those that are struggling. . . .

I just pray that people wouldn’t be quite so nasty and narrow-minded in this world to decide to lump every federal worker in the same category.

Angie Smith

Defense Logistics Agency

Harrisburg, Pa.

Want to tell us your story about being furloughed? Post your Furloughed File (250 words) on the Federal Eye at www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye or e-mail us at federalworker@washpost.com.

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