I saw the OPM notification come through around 1:30 this morning. Didn’t make a difference to us. My husband never stopped working. He did stop getting paid to work, though. As I lay there in bed, I wondered if the government would decide to pay it’s employees for the more than two weeks of shutdown. Back in the 1990’s, they paid everyone retroactively. EVERYONE. They paid the “essential” people who continued to work during the shutdown, and they also paid the people who didn’t go to work. That doesn’t seem very fair, does it? Don’t get me wrong, I think this whole situation is a pile of dog poo and nobody deserved to be furloughed and not paid. But shouldn’t the priority be the folks who have been working, and working extra shifts, at that? If those who didn’t work get paid, isn’t that tantamount to a two-week paid vacation? Without any loss of leave? So those folks can then take another paid vacation? Those individuals were legally allowed to file for unemployment, or even get another job. My husband could do neither because he still had to go to work. So the time that could have been spent earning additional income, fixing up something around the house, or just enjoying the family, was not given to us.
Trust me, I’m not in any way complaining about the furloughed workers. Nor am I stating they shouldn’t get paid at all. What I am hoping for is a priority level when the government decides on payment and funds. If there is not enough money to pay everyone, how about we pay those who were forced to keep working?