We are getting shut down!!!!

If you’ve been following the news lately I’m sure you’ve heard the federal government is due to shut down on Friday at midnight as the stopgap funding runs dry. If you’re not familiar with a shutdown, it basically means all “non-essential” operations of the federal government would cease immediately. 

That means most (if not all) National Parks would be closed. It would be darn near impossible to apply for a passport. And it would make visiting offices like the Social Security Administration a nightmare due to limited staffing. The last significant government shutdown occurred during the transition from 1995 to 1996, lasting 21 days total. For 21 days federal employees were furloughed and forced to stay at home.

What are my feelings on the shutdown? I guess if the government can’t afford to continue operations it should probably be forced to reduce its financial obligations. Just like any private business that can’t afford to pay its bills must make take drastic measures to reduce spending, the government should be no different.

I guess the scariest thing about a shutdown is you don’t know how long it will last. If you aren’t working, you aren’t getting paid. That could put a serious strain on federal employees that don’t have adequate savings established to cover their expenses for a few weeks.

How will the shutdown affect me? Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), my position is considered mission essential and therefore even if the government shuts down, I still have to work. I do get paid for that work though, so it’s all good.

This might make a bunch of you angry (and rightfully so), but the reason I wouldn’t mind being furloughed is that during every other shutdown in history, Congress has always authorized back payment to all the furloughed employees for the time they couldn’t work. Do you know what that means? They basically got free vacation! That’s depressing to have to keep working, when you know others are kicking back, relaxing all cool, shooting some b-ball outside of the school…and will get paid for it.

I’m thankful I have a job. Thankful my position is important enough to keep around even in the event of a shutdown (job security). And thankful that the government has to figure its stuff out before it can keep writing checks. Just like I wasn’t complaining when our salaries were frozen, I won’t complain if the government shuts down.

Do you have any opinions on the government shutdown? How long do you think it will last, do you think employees will receive back pay, etc? What cut backs (if any) have you faced at your work over the last few years (reduction in force/hours, elimination of some benefits, salary freezes)?

p.s. I’m doing my best to coerce Girl Ninja into writing a guest post during her Xmas vacation. You all should totally peer pressure her in to doing so in the comments below 🙂

19 thoughts on “We are getting shut down!!!!

  1. I feel like we’ve been under threat of imminent shutdown so many times in the last year or two that it’s not a major panic button anymore. Thinking process goes… well, they’ll probably sign the bill at 11 PM ET, and then we can go back to our regularly scheduled programming of presidential debate commentary.

    At my company, they don’t let us have a Christmas party with dinner at a restaurant anymore. Now, it’s a Christmas breakfast that we have to use Paid Time Off (holiday/sick/personal) time or make up the hours.

  2. Don’t make the assumption we will get paid. As important, we still have the work to do when we get back. I’d rather be working and serving the public. It’s unfair to them to have to wait because Congress is a bunch of children.

    I don’t think it will happen.

  3. I’m also a fed employee with a mission essential title also. I think it’s a joke how congress can’t perform their job efficiently and still get compensated for it. I’m thankful to be serving the “flying public” and if it helps to pay a bit more into my great benefit package or taking a pay freeze for the short term, so be it. On the other hand, I think singling out fed employees is the wrong way to cut a budget. There are many other wasteful departments that don’t meet the needs of the public, yet continue to be “needed”.

    Thanks for your great blog!
    Girl Ninja should write a guest post! Do it, Do it, Do it!

  4. Sorry you don’t get an unexpected vacation, but glad your job is important enough that you’re needed!

    Um, Girl Ninja, we miss you. This place has been entirely too masculine lately. From one woman to another, I think you should post regularly just to keep Ninja’s female readership from losing our minds! 😉

  5. I guess that it’s an extremely good gig to be able to get furloughed and then get your money refunded to you. I know that it’ll just mean waiting it out and wading through the red tape to get it back. Makes me wish that sort of thinking were available when it comes to teachers and their furlough days.

    There’s a ton of things about our gub’mint that I would change, because I feel that if you don’t have the funds, you shouldn’t be able to purchase it. Maybe forcing them to work under the same debt reduction principles that we work under would be eye opening and beneficial. 🙂

  6. I’ll bite…

    <>

    The Feds don’t shut down because they can’t afford to continue operations. They shut down because even though they can afford to continue operations, they can’t agree on what those operations should look like.

  7. As far as I’m concerned, “non-essential” aspects of the federal government should be shut down. Forever.

    GN, you need to write a post and you need to convince my girlfriend Tag to write a post on my site! She might give into PF blogger significant other peer pressure!

  8. I’m a non-essential here and if this furlough does come (which I doubt), I’m going to enjoy it. I’m more than happy to save the week and a half of annual leave I usually take at Christmas.

  9. I’m convinced that school children could run our government more efficiently than the current regime. Most of them still remember how to share and take turns. This is seriously ridiculous, and I’m sick of the losers we have in office from both parties. It can’t possibly be that difficult to figure out. On a happier note, 2 thumbs up on the fresh prince reference. Now that song is stuck in my head. Bring on the GN post. I’d even switch up my reading order to read it first.

  10. I’m missin’ me some GN… she’s got fans up here in Canada! I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope she succumbs to the peer pressure and posts something soon!

    I’m going to refrain from posting what I think about government spending, because I had a really bad day yesterday, but it’s much better today… and I want to keep myself in a good mood 😉

  11. I guess I haven’t been paying attention and didn’t know there was a shutdown coming. My job is considered critical and so I’m pretty much never worried about these shutdowns. That being said I do think they could lay off 30 – 50 % of the people in my office and no one would notice a difference in production (unless they laid off the people who actually do the work).

  12. Oooohhh fancy. I’m going to start thinking about all of the things I have to do during my day as ‘mission essential’. Sounds a lot better than ‘fold laundry’ or ‘pack lunches’.
    Yes, GN post more about shopping! I just lost all the baby weight and I need some tips! I’ve been wearing Coug sweats for the last 4 years:)
    And, Ninja, my early Christmas present to you is to inform you that my twin 3 year olds now know all the words to the WSU fight song:)

    • Haha. My best friend taught his 1 year old what sounds animals make. It went something like this….

      What sounds do dogs make? Ruff

      What sound does a snake make? Hiss

      What do we say to Cougars? Boooo.

      His kid is a quick learner and picked it up almost immediately.

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