The shutdown has begun, share your story


Agencies began implementing their shutdown plans today and many federal employees have been told they will not report to work until Congress passes a continuing resolution or appropriations bill.

For those of you who are still working, how does it impact what you do? Your work?

For those of you who were sent home, what does this mean for you?

Feel free to comment on the blog post or email


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  1. My daughter, who has waited FIVE WEEKS to come home from Navy boot camp due to a medical condition, is now stuck there indefinitely. Downsizing troops + government shutdown = overcrowded separations unit.

    Not a good place for young people who wanted to serve our country, but were not able. The good news for us anxious parents is that all those recruits are still on the payroll. The bad news for us as taxpayers is that all those recruits are still on the payroll! Send them home — it’s where they need to be.

  2. I was sent home, and understand why I was classified as non-exempt. I work in the HR division of CBP. But can someone explain why ALL Customs & Border Patrol agents who work at HQs (no border or port of entry to enforce here) who work with me in a cube/ office farm, were exempt?

  3. For the moment, we are working, but that will change as this shut down drags out. We expect to be told to stay home on or around the 14th of October.

    I will be going job hunting as soon as that happens since I think this shutdown could well last through all of next year and into Jan 2015, ending only with the seating of a new congress.

    Once that occurs, I will take one day off from my new job, resign (despite being very close to retirement), collect my unused vacation pay and go back to my new job.

  4. My wife and I have been blessed to be able to raise our children in a stable, Christian home where she homeschools and makes the home while I work in a career field that puts my education and love of the outdoors to work, and the pay is enough to allow us to be a one-income family (not much left over, but we have what we need). With the shutdown however we are now having to weigh out options, and unfortunately we don’t get to see all of the variables. For instance, there is no projection for how long the shut down will last, so I can’t weigh how much of a financial burden we need to make up for, nor could I honestly tell a potential employer how long I can commit to an entry level position in a new field. The mortgage will still have to be paid, and we have to eat, so I can come up with a figure to make ends meet. But how do a tell an employer that I have no idea how long I can commit? Looking around in my field of experience there are not a whole lot of competitive options. Most of my work is regulatory and the details cannot be shared in a portfolio showcasing my projects, so an employer would have to just take my word for it that I know what I’m doing…it’s just a frustrating position to be in when you’re told to go home and wait for a phone call.

    I’ve got enough time in with the agency that resigning is not a wise option. For now we will see how the week goes, but if the issue isn’t resolved soon I’ll have no choice but to go job hunting.

  5. I was sent home. Work for CBP/ Office of Air & Marine. It’ s going to be a tough haul. My family & I have hunkered down for the remainder of the year. filed for unemployment on Oct 1st. won’t be a lot, however, still better than nothing. will start the job hunt beginning of next week. hard to tell employers though your plan long term. Congress has put me in a difficult position.
    I’m of the opinion, they are using this as opportunity to shed a few thousand civilian federal jobs fully expect congress to drag this out long term. They still have the debt ceiling fight * what better way to deal with it, than shut down the gov’t. As far as political parties – both sides, in MHO, do not represent the American people any longer. They have lost touch with reality.

  6. Yesterday I had to pass out furlough notices to most of our employees. Many were worried and concerned because no one knows how long this will last. How will they pay their mortgage? How will they feed their families? For now I’m here but just like “grumpy”, I too will be sent home if this fiasco goes past Oct 14th. Yesterday my 14 yr old son told me, “Mom, this isn’t the kind of government our forefathers had in mind. It’s supposed to be “for the people”, not the Republicans, Democrats, or Tea Party.” If a 14 yr old can see this, why can’t our Congress??

    I have 25 yrs of federal service and I’ve never been as worried as I am now. When I called my creditors to see if there is any assistance due to the shutdown, they all said “what shutdown?”. I have to maintain my financial responsibility so that I don’t lose my security clearance. Would Congress please tell me how I’m supposed to do that when they’re holding my pay hostage??!!

  7. Keep checking the all the Fed Articles for updates. Good luck to all of US. I hope Jmarshall’s Daughter can return home soon from where she is located.

    The Pay Our Military Act passed the House early Sunday on a 423-0 vote. But there is mixed support for the pay protection bill because it keeps only some people from missing a payday in a shutdown.

    The pay bill is designed to cover uniformed services members and Defense Department and Homeland Security Department civilians and contractors work in support of troops. It does not extend to any other federal agencies or to anyone else dependent on government income.

  8. Went on vacation out of country on Saturday September 28, received a call on Tuesday October 1 that I had to report back to the office, since I am an essential employee, or be placed on immediate furlough until I reported to the office. Such a nice birthday present!! A non paid vacation!! Thank you so much House Republicans

  9. What I can’t understand is, how can any entity of a non-government or government agency hold any part of the federal system hostage because they do not want to abide by law a legal mandate? Wasn’t that suppose to be appealed before the bill became law? How can this be legal? Does anyone in the judicial system have the authority to stop these renegade elected officials from over stepping their authority?

  10. My whole agency got furloughed! Everyone out in 4 hours was the order of the day. Personally, my family is well set- debt free and my spouse works outside of Government. I went through this 5 years ago in when I was self employed and joined the Government to have a ‘steady’ income. We vowed never to be caught again- and wont be affected except now I can volunteer at the kids school. I feel for my fellow workers that have 20+ years in and have never saved a nickel- but, why not?

  11. I believe it is going to get worse before better. The debt ceiling issue around the 17th will be a second bump big bump in the road. My family downsized, and prepared for the furlough(s); I can only imagine those who live from check to check are coping. Is the Government hoping to drive people away? Perhaps, but the net result of this will be the Government will lose a very good employee within the next few months.

  12. My husband is a teacher (and former Marine) at a school on the base and it impacts us 100% because it’s our only income. He gets to keep teaching but he was told that he would not be paid and they didn’t know when paychecks would resume. So…what do we tell our creditors? One of them is his Federal Student Loan payment, they have no program for such a situation as government shutdown they said, and we would still have to pay it. How should we handle this?

  13. No worries laid off employees.
    Go watch the Service Academies pay football this weekend, and think how those cadets are not only playing a game for free, they also get PAID, with free tuition and board to attend the service academy.
    Let’s keep that morale high, and fight fight fight for the football team! (oh yeah, if they get hurt, they have no medical costs out of pocket)

  14. Harry Reid just said…”But right now, you just stay home … watch TV, play chess, whatever you’re going to do, because we won’t let you work.”

    Senator Reid, do you really think that even though we are not at work that we are not taking care of government business so we don’t have to clean up the mess (again) that you gave us the last time? You obviously hang out with a different class of government employees than I do.

  15. @Robert Wolfe,
    Sour grapes perhaps? Are you aware that a good percentage of these football players will go from the gridiron to the cockpit of a fighter or deck of a destroyer, prepared to go into harm’s way on our behalf? Are you aware that this so-called “free” education, room and board comes with an obligation to serve, often times under the most arduous of conditions?
    Do you think you have or ever had what it takes to get into a service academy and actually graduate? I don’t.

  16. Joe the Engineer on

    I work for NOAA. Our ships are mostly pierside. Lots of people furloughed including ship’s crews, save for C/O and CME, and maintenance cancelled or postponed. This will all cost big bucks in the end. I see no end in sight. Let’s hope nobody needs hydrographic survey services after the next big nor’easter! We got New York, NJ and Hampton Roads operating again after Hurricane Sandy.

  17. Never set yourself up to live paycheck to paycheck. You should always have 6 months savings put away for situations like this. I must be one of the very few that live with savings. I’m amazed. Be responsible and save for the future. I’ve been layed off 3 times and never have I had to fret and stew over paying my debts. WHY? Because I planned for a day like this.

    At least those that are nonessential can apply for unemployement (and will end up owing the state once the feds pay backpay), those of us that are essential cannot. So I don’t want to hear the nonessentials complaining about how they got the shaft. They can get unemployment now…..

  18. Well I guess Congress doesn’t care about clean water, air, and securing hazardous waste – I work for EPA and they are shut, save for “facilities” people and very few others.

    It’s a double-whammy for us, because my husband hunts and can’t even fill our freezer this fall with venison because the forest is “closed.”

  19. I work on research that advises industry on food safety issues related to decreasing Salmonella in poultry. The experiments we conduct require advanced planning over time frames of six months or longer. If the shutdown drags on much longer, I won’t just lose a few weeks of work, my project for which I am responsible will be impacted for months. Over the last two years, my team and I developed technology that has the potential to save public health departments across the United states about $1.5 million per year. Send us back to work, Congress, so that we can find other ways to help the American public.

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