To my fellow federal employees,
Here we are in a land of uncertainty. The out of office message will be recited verbatim in the morning and the email will be logged out. I’ll try to remember to grab everything I may need for my classes or personal projects from the office. I’ll grab my personal effects just in case this lasts anywhere from 2 to 21 days.
For some of you this will be a blip on your financial radar- for some of our fellow coworkers this will shake them to their very financial core. I know many of you are asking questions about healthcare coverage (ironic, huh?) and details so check the OPM site (hopefully it stays up).
Just know people will fixate on a lot of silly things and forget that there are real people behind those statistics. The general public will not be aware of our personal stresses or know how to acknowledge the sacrifices you will be undertaking. There are the law enforcement rangers working on IOUs and trying to explain to the public WHY the park, campground, refuge, or trail is closed without truly having an answer they truly understand. There are meteorologists predicting weather with less support and less staff than they had yesterday. There are IT folks making sure the servers are still running to host those earthquake sensors. There are thousands upon thousands of us who will go into work tomorrow to receive and acknowledge our furlough notices for the government shutdown.
I’m too young to have been through this in the 90s. But I’m taking to heart what I hear throughout the office- we’ve made it through this before and we’ll make it through again. Let’s remember to check in on each other and grab coffee or just make a call to connect. Connect to your community- whoever they may be. And if you want to go get outside explore those state and local parks for now.
As we walk through this furlough for an unspecified amount of time, not knowing if we’ll be paid back for time we’d rather be working, not knowing if we’ll get to work on that time sensitive projects we are thrilled to be a part of, or just what day we’ll be back in the office together… just know we are all part of the fed family regardless of department or agency.
While we wait for the lack of appropriations to be resolved take care of each other. I look forward to seeing you back in the office again.