True Stories From Day One of the Government Shutdown

True Stories From Day One of the Government Shutdown

Earlier today, we asked how the government shutdown has affected you. More than 600 comments later, we've heard from government workers, students, concerned family members, non-profit employees and dozens of others. Here's what they said.

From commenter Tedsallis:

My wife works for the DOL. She is an "essential worker" which means she has to go to work, but she will not be paid. Maybe they give back pay once this mess is over with or maybe not. She's the breadwinner, I'm stay at home Dad. We have a five year old. So we're hopeful that it resolves quickly. It annoys me that so much media coverage goes to dumb shit like PandaCams when hundreds of thousands of workers are now basically slaves.

From commenter KumquatRodeo:

My wife and son are both furloughed. The timing sucks because we're still reeling from the financial impact of the flooding here a couple of weeks ago.

My work is impacted mainly from a logistics point of view. Meetings moved, trips canceled, etc. It will cost my organization millions in lost time/productivity. I can only imagine the financial drain overall nationally. What a waste of money.

Secondary impacts I saw due to sequestration are likely to be compounded too. (For all the comments that sequestration was no big deal, the commenters may not live in an area that focuses on education, research, or military activity, and therefore did not see the number of small businesses it drove out, or the lives it disrupted.

From commenter Subdivisions :

I am a STEM Ph.D. candidate approximately 1 month from finishing my dissertation, and am attempting to find a job. Approximately 1/2 of the jobs I could potentially be hired to do are government-related or dependent on govt. funding (e.g., contractors, public universities, govt. agencies). None of those places are going to hire someone new if their funding is in doubt or if they are on furlough. I just finished my student loan exit counseling yesterday, and I am now officially freaked out. Thanks, Republicans! :-(

From commenter spete:

I'm with the VA, and my campus is a ghost town today. "Mission-critical" staff like my team are expected to work throughout the shutdown, but all nonessential staff have been sent home. If they're full government employees they may be getting paid through the furlough, if they're contractors then they are expected to spend their time off. If they don't have enough leave to cover however long this clusterfuck lasts then they'll be taking leave without pay.

Anything involving patient care is also considered mission critical, but all the little things that keep the system running are not. That backlog of paperwork and patient information is only getting bigger while no one is allowed to work on it.

From commenter lalalalalalisa:

I do work associated with the DC Courts. They are at 1/2 capacity generally, except for the criminal division, probation, and child services...Am expecting delays in payments, court dates etc. Am especially concerned about all the Federal Prison workers not being paid and still having to work

From commenter raiju:

My husband is in the National Guard, but not active duty. He is expected to work without pay this morning, then go home until this is over. Unless they need him again, at which point he'll be expected to work without pay again.

He has a government issued travel credit card that he used two weeks ago to go to Texas to do his job and help bring back the unit that just returned from Afghanistan. Since the office that handles payments to that card is shut down, we will be expected to pay it off in full if this shutdown goes on for longer than a week.

From commenter themudlark:

I work in academia, where many research projects are federally funded. I'm sure this will be a nightmare eventually. I'm also a student, and am mildly miffed that the census data research I had planned to do later on today will have to be cancelled, as the census.gov site was cut off after midnight. My sympathies to those who have greater burdens to bear in this mess.

I don't know why politicians should have the ability to shut down government. Ever. It makes no sense.

From commenter GirlArch1:

I'm an archaeologist. My company does a lot of work for the federal government, and we had several big fed contracts which were supposed to start this week, but are now on indefinite hold. I think my company will be ok, but we really needed to start billing to these or we're going to have to furlough some of our own workers.

From commenter spiderarms:

I work for a nonprofit that helps refugees and the homeless. A large part of our funding comes from the federal government. We have a "rainy day" fund that can keep us running for 3 months. I don't think the shutdown will last longer than that, but if it does, I'll be out of a job along with my 89 coworkers. And the people we help will lose their homes and have less, if anything, to eat. Republicans can suck it!

From commenter A. Nonie Meus:

This is hardly a catastrophe but it's still stressing me out. I work for an arts organization that has consistently received grants from the NEA. This year, in fact, we changed our approach in our proposal and I am pretty confident we will get a larger grant. Normally we would be finding out about the grant just about now. The last time there was a crazy budget impasse, which I think was in 2011, we didn't find out about our grant until April, 6 months late, which totally screwed with our budget.

We won't go under if we don't get this grant, but like most nonprofits we live hand to mouth, and the absence of, say, a $15K grant (or an increase from $15K to $30 or $40K) has a big impact on us.

For other ways the shutdown has already affected people, or to leave your own experiences, read the post below.

[Image via AP]

How Is the Government Shutdown Affecting You?

As you've probably heard, this morning the federal government shut down for the first time in 17 years. We're interested in how the… Read…

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Original post by Taylor Berman on Gawker

How Is the Government Shutdown Affecting You?

How Is the Government Shutdown Affecting You?

As you've probably heard, this morning the federal government shut down for the first time in 17 years. We're interested in how the shutdown has affected or will affect you.

A tipster sent us this photo of an empty Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington D.C. this morning. Have you found your commute a little easier (or harder)? Has your job been furloughed? Are you now required to show up to work without knowing when your next paycheck will arrive? Are your travel or vacation plans altered now that all federal parks and museums, including the Grand Canyon and the Smithsonian, are closed?

Tell us in the comments below. And if you'd like to discuss the shutdown in general, please visit our post from this morning.

[Photo by Rashad Johnson]

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