Shutdown shockwaves

The record 35-day government shutdown ended in late January. But not for everyone.

Many, if not most people, whether forced to work or forced to stay home, have finally gotten backpay. But the uneven nature of some payments meant deductions for some employees that short-changed them of badly needed take home money to pay back bills and buy food.

The lesson learned by many people was to have some kind of rainy day fund for extended emergencies. Although most people knew it was a good idea, in the abstract, the reality of a month-plus without income made an impact on people nationwide.

Politicians who allowed, or wanted, the shutdown to happen, suffered no financial losses. Folks in Congress and the White House got paid as per usual. People who predicted there would never again be a shutdown as long as the 21-day ego fight Clinton v. Gingrich that lasted through January 6, 1996. They outdid the Carter v. Congress 18-day shutdown from 1979. The fact is that they do happen more frequently than in the past, and they last longer. It’s not climate change!

Advertisement

Many insiders say that because of the 2020 elections, there won’t be another shutdown around October, the start of the new fiscal year. But the experts are wrong as often as they are right.

While you are hopefully recovered from the ordeal, here’s a sad report from a fed in Long Island, New York who may never recover:

“I don’t know if my story matters anymore since the government has reopened & I’m sure there’s so many others who’s situation is probably worse than mine. But I figured I’d share mine with you anyway.

I am a federal employee from Long Island, NY. I have been working for the federal government for 18 years. The extreme financial hardship the shutdown created washed over into just about every aspect of my life. I was in the process of moving, looking for an apartment to rent. There really is no such thing as “affordable housing” on Long Island as all the news media outlets claim to be built on Long Island. I was married but my husband walked out after 27 years with a 1 week notice & I wound up having to do a short sale on the house we had since I couldn’t afford it & all the major repairs it needed on my own. My youngest son has several health issues & 2 BR apartments are not cheap on Long Island. Anywhere. I found an apartment on a move-in special deal that I had to give up when the rent increased by more than $200 a month after the lease expired. While I was looking & trying to put money aside for a new apartment, the shutdown happened & I literally wound up homeless. My son was able to stay with a friend of his temporarily. I stayed in my car. I couldn’t rent an apartment because now I had no pay stubs to show income due to the shutdown.

The weather got colder & I wound up feeling hopeless since there didn’t seem to be any end in sight for the government shutdown. I got some money together & drove in the middle of a storm in January to my stepmother’s house in central Virginia. I had to use some of the money I had saved up to pay my bills (car payment, phone, car insurance, storage unit where all my belongings are stored…), as well as medical expenses for my son & myself. Right before the government shutdown ended I wound up with a lump on my right hand that grew rapidly & I had to have surgery to have it removed. I had complications that made the healing take much longer than it was supposed to unfortunately. I am right handed. I dipped even further into the money I had saved for a deposit on an apartment.
I couldn’t return to NY as I was still recovering from the surgery & having physical therapy.
Now with even less money for a deposit to put on an apartment for myself & my son, I requested a job transfer to the IRS call site located not far from where I am in Virginia. I applied for positions that were announced in that location on USA JOBS. Out of 6 applications on announcements that closed on February 4th and 5th only 2 were even looked at to date.

Now I am faced with a choice; Either I return to NY & go back to my job on Long Island with no place to stay or live upon my return or I have to give up my job willingly or management will consider me as abandoning my position. I don’t know why I should be surprised. There’s thousands of homeless veterans across the country. I shouldn’t expect the Federal Government will care about 1 homeless employee. They know why I haven’t been able to return. They are fully aware of my situation but I was told that “management is running out of patience” so I have to make a decision. 18 years of my life. I’m watching it fall apart right in front of me because of a government shutdown and getting a job transfer is about as easy as nailing jello to a tree. I still have money saved I have not touched. Not enough to put down on apartment since just about every place on Long Island requires 3 months rent up front. But eventually I will have to start to dip into that as well unless I figure out something or get hired for other jobs I have submitted my resume out for private sector jobs. Although my last name is on my email address I prefer not to give my name. I hope you understand.

Thank you in advance for your time if you read this.”

Wow!

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Alazar Moges

The letter Q does not appear in the name of any state or territory. The letter X appears in two state names, Texas and New Mexico. The letters J and Z only appear in one respectfully, New Jersey and Arizona. But Q is the only letter that does not appear at all. While W and X are the only two letters in the entire alphabet that don’t begin the name of a country. Your first thought might be, what about Wales? However, Wales is part of a “sovereign state,” and thus is not recognized as its own nation.

Sources:  Reader’s Digest

Copyright © 2019 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.