- Posted October 16, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Shutdown over: What next?
Furlough – Day 15 – How Has the Furlough Affected Me?
Money: I am lucky. My family does not live hand to mouth and we have a nest egg that carries us through tight times. Thus with at least a small paycheck last pay period and not having had the zero paycheck hit (which is coming), we have yet to feel the sting of a reduced income. That being said, the number of friends and family who have reached out to me and mine regarding support has been wonderful. Everyone asks how we are doing, etc.
Stress and Strain: I am stressed. I am frustrated, angry, tired, scared, and most of all disappointed. I feel it. I am tired from the stress of being on furlough when I want to work. I am angry at the government who has furloughed me. I am tired from all these emotions. I am scared things will get worst. I am disappointed in a system and elected officials who have failed me. If I don’t get a bunch of new wrinkles and some serious gray hairs after all this it will be a miracle.
Morale: I have said many times I love being a federal employee. However, for the first time ever I question if federal service is right for me. To be year in and year out wondering if we are going to get shutdown (it seems like the threat comes almost every year now) you get tired. It is exhausting and demoralizing to constantly be in a state of agitation about your job, its status, if you will get paid, etc. I have friends who probably will leave federal service after this. It is sad, but I don’t blame them.
Time: Each day I play the game of, “keep your mind busy”. I could have ended up like some of my friends, in a snuggy on the couch watching reruns and trying to forget about the world. I could also have ended up sitting by the computer or television doing nothing but fixating on news stories. However, I have chosen to do as little of the former as possible and focus on service work and home projects. I still have my vegetation sessions and my CNN moments, but I feel like I have been able to accomplish a lot of things on furlough.
Disconnected & Disoriented: I feel disconnected with my site, my job, my peers, and most of all my routine. I feel disconnected from what is happening nationally and regionally related to my agency. I feel like I have been sent to some island away from the action and am uncertain what awaits me when I return to the mainland.
Overall I have made the most of my time off thus far and although I am extremely frustrated I continue to remain positive in many ways. I am a lot luckier than many. This furlough has been more of an annoyance than a hardship. That being said, if it lasts much longer I will fall into the latter category.