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View Diary: Government Shutdown: What It Is, and What It Isn't (Update x1) (88 comments)

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  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    for the warm words.

    Unfortunately, I don't really have the resources to circulate it further. I don't have my own blog outside of the DailyKos account and for better or worse I don't have much of a Twitter account (I have yet to really try to learn it, that's my fault), meaning that unless this goes on via someone else this might be it.

    The best way to petition Obama would probably be one of those 'We the People' petitions, where enough of a demand would force a response.

    If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does that mean Bigfoot did it?

    by VTHokie011 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 03:25:03 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks so much for your reply (0+ / 0-)

      I've been sitting here worrying that I was coming off like a fool who was trying to tell you what to do and I don't mean it that way at all.  I am just so excited that you mentioned that there is a cost to the action itself.  So few people think of that.

      I was a tax auditor for the IRS and considered "non-essential".  I went out without pay.  I was also a union steward and we caught the service trying to make employees sign a letter saying that they accepted their unpaid status and waived future pay for the shut down.  We went around that morning showing people how to cross it out and write that they did not accept being unpaid and were only acknowledging receipt of the letter to avoid a reprimand in their employee files.  

      The managers and other employees at IRS were steaming. We got what amounted to paid time off and they did not.  Eventually Treasury had to quietly give them leave with pay to equalize the situation because they did not want to be taken to court again by the unions.

      The way they picked who was essential and who was not was capricious and lacked logic.  My husband who worked for another agency was told he had to work. and work he did.  Three weeks without pay as if he were indentured and fully owned by the government.

      We had bills to pay, we were renting and in the city we live in the rents were  high.  Fortunately for us there was a lot of publicity and our landlord let us pay that month's rent in payments attached to the next three months.  Our utilities were handled the same way because the city and state were mistreating their employees too.  Our state employees were paid in a kind of state printed scrip that no one would honor.

      I saw a post downstream that said that furlough pay is now optional.  I just want to ask,  are you sure?  The decisions for Admin for federal employees was bound in court.  AFGE is the union which brought the suit.  They are affiliated with AFL-CIO.  Maybe if there is a doubt they would know.

      It was so calculated and cruel.  You knew you were going to be furloughed but they still made you report to work at the beginning of your tour of duty, tried to force you to sign their illegal letters and then sent you home to emphasize that you were unclean and outcast.  Feh.  I spent my time writing to Gingrich and his henchmen.  I called.  The congressional staffers were as angry as I was.  They were tired of being treated as unnecessary too.  That was one of the most important facts that Gingrich was trying to get across; his opinion that we were lazy, useless and dispensable.   I think we should get together and make him several pairs of used teabags to suck.  The rest of the worthless crew could join him.

      When I went back to work, still unpaid, I made a big cardboard sign that I stuck to my cubicle which said, "Will audit for food."  The manager did not say a word.  I had just filed 12 grievances against her for the furlough letters.

      •  There's a personal stake in it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfbob

        I was an intern for the United States Geologic Survey last year.

        I graduated from college in 2011, and the job market was pretty abysmal (still is, though I think I might've finally gotten picked up in the private sector). So an internship with USGS was a pretty good idea- was good work, I got paid, and life went well.

        Unfortunately, this was when everyone was starting to panic about sequestration and how they'd 'never' actually do it. But the government has to act like it's going to happen when we say it does, and they started drawing down personnel. I was 'suspended', and they made it clear even if sequestration was delayed or cancelled the mischief it caused would mean no work for me to do until my contract had expired.

        And people wonder why I get fidgety when they say the government doesn't make jobs.

        If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does that mean Bigfoot did it?

        by VTHokie011 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:36:06 PM PST

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        •  I'm sorry you had such a bad experience (0+ / 0-)

          The government used to be a benevolent employer.  It was Reagan who began taking the civil service apart.  We went from valued workers to "deadbeats" sucking off the public trough virtually overnight.

          In your case it is especially unforgivable.  You were educated to do a specific job, you were doing it and I'm sure you were doing it well.  They could have used your talents both now and in the future.  No wonder you are hinky about government jobs.

          I hope the private sector has something better to offer you.  Good luck and I hope it gets better very soon.

          •  It wasn't their choice (0+ / 0-)

            They made it clear it wasn't really their choice. Sequestration was forcing their hand, and they liked the work I was doing.

            If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does that mean Bigfoot did it?

            by VTHokie011 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:29:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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