As of this writing, the government shutdown is in it’s unofficial 12th day and its official 9th day. I say 9th because we – I’m a non-essential, furloughed government employee – have been out of work for 9 business days, but the news keeps reporting the entire time, including weekends.
It looks like the beating that the politicos (read: Republicans) have taken in the polls have gotten them to start negotiating a little bit more than they have in the past few days. This bodes well. All I really care about is getting back the money I’ve lost through no fault of my own.
That has nothing to do with the price of china in Zimbabwe. The most interesting part of the government shutdown is that it really resembles what happens when a blizzard dumps feet and feet of snow on the ground, effectively grinding a city to a halt. There are many, many parallels. Such as? I’m glad you asked.
1. Much like with a blizzard, most furloughed employees are just staying in the house.
Blizzards keep you in the house by default, government shutdowns keep you in the house out of necessity. Shutdowns mean that you are not guaranteed any money for the time that you’re out. At this point, we’re talking the equivalent of a full paycheck. That’s going to hurt no matter who you are. Hopefully you’ve got savings, but still…most people live paycheck to paycheck. Point is, they both keep your ass in the house.
This has two byproducts…
2. Folks houses get extremely clean during these times.
When trapped in a house, you begin to notice what isn’t “as clean” as it could or should be. People like myself go into Mr. Clean mode. My house is pretty immaculate at this point just from cleaning over and over. I’m already an OCD neat freak, now its just ridiculous. I’m almost to museum levels of order.
3. SHUTDOWN BABIES
Here in DC a few years ago, we got what was dubbed, Snowpocalypse. We were trapped in doors for almost a week, if memory serves correct. Well, if you’ve got two people who are married or dating and are stuck in the house, boredom gets overtaken by friskiness and shenanigans. I’ve got no hard science for this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an increase in conception around these times.
4. Hate it or love it, you start to appreciate your job
Staying at home for a vacation rocks. It mostly rocks because you know you have to go back at some point so those moments away are precious. When you CAN’T go to work and you realize you’re basically unemployed, its a whole different ballgame. You feel like you have no purpose; no meaning in life. You yearn for something to do and trust me, it ain’t watch television. This is the same whether it be snow day or shutdown.
Caveat: There is some mighty fine television out there though. I’ve binged watched a few shows since I’ve been out to include Scandal and House of Cards. I’m planning on taking up Breaking Bad this weekend.
Those are some commonalities I’ve come up with, perhaps as a way of venting, or maybe just cataloging my forced vacation. Either way…