22 Jan

Like more than three-quarters of a million of my compatriot bureaucrats, I am currently sitting in my office waiting to receive my furlough notice for signature and conducting the most disorderly “orderly shutdown of operations” one could possibly imagine.

Unlike the last one these, just a few weeks after I changed jobs over to an agency funded by appropriations rather than working capital (which means the organization is sort of self-funded, and can keep rolling for a while in these situations), things are anything but orderly. There was pretty much no guidance heading into this one (we a copy of a surprisingly political memo from the deputy secretary very late on Friday which told us nothing of consequence), so we’re all kind of flailing.

My boss didn’t actually get the invite to the staff meeting this morning where they tell people how to actually handle things this time, though without actual guidance, we’re defaulting to the way it was five years ago. Whatever.

I’ve given my folks what direction I could, changed my voicemail and email autoresponders, and started checking the building (not really my job, but I’m the only one in this one right now) for perishables in the trash and fridge.

I did find a cold Diet Coke I didn’t drink last week…furlough bonus!

Also got some pretty sad news last night; a dear relative passed away, and this shutdown business is likely going to prevent me from making the trip for the services, between the “can’t take leave, but gotta come in if they call you so don’t leave town” situation and the whole “wonder when I’m going to get paid again” business. Let’s just say it’s pretty frustrating.

In any case, the general consensus around this particular organization right now is that we’re figuring it’ll take about a week for the political theater to play out on the Washington stage (and that’s really what all this is…I’m just a little frustrated to be a non-essential prop) and the congresscritters work out a solution to this manufactured problem.

On a brighter note, though, we played some decent shows this weekend down at the pub crawl (though we saw and heard some definite issues with organization and lines for the event), I made a little money doing it, and it’s been gorgeous outside – I got some biking in yesterday afternoon after returning from NC, and will probably do the same today once this “orderly shutdown” is complete.



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