Remembering My First Furlough

The U.S. Government is shut down. Again.

I lived through the furlough of 2013. First during sequestration, I had every Friday off. That sounds nice, but my intern paycheck took a serious hit. With tightened belts and Summer turning to Fall, we hoped our elected leaders would do their jobs and pass a budget or a continuing resolution to keep the doors open and lights on.

In the end, I was one of the 800K federal workers furloughed on October 1st, 2013. After reporting to work to sign paperwork, I had a chance encounter with an older vet that brightened my spirits I described in an old blog post.

furlough_2013

I thought I’d continue blogging through the shutdown but I frankly didn’t handle it well.  Even though I had a job I’d be returning to, all the anxiety, frustration, and feelings of helplessness of being laid off in the 1990s roared back with a vengeance.

The 2013 furlough lasted 16 days and according to Standard & Poor’s, cost the U.S. economy $24 billion. There are no winners in the budget game of political football, and the American tax payers are the inevitable losers after the fumbled Hail Mary.