Inside The Mind Of A Furloughed Federal Employee On Day 10 Of Shutdown | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Inside The Mind Of A Furloughed Federal Employee On Day 10 Of Shutdown

As the federal government shutdown limps into its 10th day, some furloughed workers are using the time off to consider what it means to be a government worker, and also to prepare for the unexpected.

John Healey, 39, is a senior analyst with the Government Accountability Office. He says that, as an employee of the U.S. government, being furloughed is not what one would expect.

"It was a big surprise, because we had to wait until midnight on the 30th, or the morning of the 1st to realize that we don't have to go into work that day or were prohibited from working," Healey says. "Now, each day is the same thing, I wake up wondering when we might open again."

And it's not as if he could use the time to catch up on work, even though he's not getting paid, because, as he says, "We can't access the computer systems and we can't go in the building."

As a bachelor, Healey says he's put away some savings, so for now money is not an issue. He's passing the time taking some courses online, and although he makes it clear he likes his job and expects to return, Healey is making sure his resume is in order.

"Just in case," he says. "Hopefully it won't come to that, I like working in the public sector, but it's been a challenge for everyone."

Healey admits, unlike himself, some furloughed government workers may feel disappointed, disillusioned and unsure of the future. He suspects many may be actively looking for work elsewhere. Healey suggests those who find jobs and leave the government sector will most likely be among the best and the brightest.

"The unfortunate side of this kind of turnover is that I think the federal government may be about to lose some of its most qualified workers, because they are the one who are most able to look elsewhere," Healey says. "Right now we have the risk of brain drain and the loss of institutional knowledge that goes along with that."

Of the estimated 800,000 workers furloughed, some were called back this week as government agencies begin to prioritize work needs

This story came to us through the Public Insight Network. It's a way for people to share experiences with us and a way for us to ask for input on stories we're covering. You can learn more about the Public Insight Network — and share your own shutdown stories — at WAMU.org/PIN.

NPR

In A Remarkable Feat, 'Boyhood' Makes Time Visible

Boyhood is about a boy in Texas whose parents have separated. Filmed over 12 years, audiences watch him grow up — and his worldview evolve. The cumulative power of the movie is tremendous.
NPR

Spread Of Palm Oil Production Into Africa Threatens Great Apes

Palm oil growers are setting their sights on Africa as they amp up production. More than half of the land that's been set aside for plantations in Africa overlaps with ape habitats, researchers say.
WAMU 88.5

Democrats Push To Overturn Hobby Lobby Ruling

Virginia's Tim Kaine and other Democrats are trying to overturn the ruling with legislation they say will protect female workers.
NPR

Friday Feline Fun: A Ranking Of The Most Famous Internet Cats

Forget the Forbes Celebrity 100. This is the Friskies 50 — the new definitive guide of the most influential cats on the Internet. The list is based on a measure of the cats' social media reach.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.