I really didn’t need all this fuss to let me know that my job is “non-essential,” you know.
Since Congress couldn’t come to an agreement on a new government spending plan by the deadline last night, we have a partial government shutdown and that includes NASA and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where I work as a contractor in television production for the public affairs office. Since we’re talking about the federal government, that means there’s bureaucratic silliness involved—we had to come to work this morning in order to be told we had four hours to complete an orderly shutdown and go home. Ah, just enough time for me to change my voice mail greeting and turn off the TV!
When this happened in 1995 the contractor company for which I worked found something for us all to do, and we didn’t miss a day’s pay. This time around, I am told, we are not on furlough—only the civil servants are—and we can work, but we cannot work in the government offices or use government equipment; we are also allowed to use vacation hours to avoid missing a paycheck. I have more than a month’s worth of vacation available, so I’m reasonably confident. Of course, if reason were to be trusted we wouldn’t have a partial government shutdown now, would we? This conveys the feeling of some of the people at work this morning:
The rest of us are a little less stressed. I’m headed for lunch and then for the golf course…I could use some time off.