, 56 tweets, 15 min read Read on Twitter
It’s #shutdownstory time!

I have over 30 yrs with the government, 22+ yrs with the US Coast Guard. My husband is retired military and a DOD employee. We’re comfortable, paying cash for our son’s community college, 4 cars, fun vacations.
The lead-up to the shutdown, my boss tells me to pull back my use/lose annual leave. No, it’s okay! The govt won’t shut down!

Yeah, joke’s on me.

Week 1 feels normal since I was on leave. However, we tell our son that his Christmas present is his community college tuition.
Week 2: Feelings of dread start kicking in. My 16 year-old New Beetle is rear ended. I tell my hair guru no cut today, just color. Pay $350 for college text books (used & rentals).
I start cancelling subscriptions:

$10 Sephora Play box
$9 Starz
$15 HBO
$14 Netflix
Oh yeah, we have season passes to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Husband calls, cancelling the monthly debit.

$12 * 3 passes, $36 a month.
We suck at meal planning so we dine out a lot. That’s been cut to the quick. I have meals planned out for all next week.

I took my Planet Fitness membership down to the basic $10 a month. I was a black card member at $20 a month.
Next items to get cancelled:

We have a $25 a month car wash membership for our Audi that we bought used in August. That’ll get cancelled around the 20th.

We’ll cancel Sling TV, $35 a month.
Took a hard look at our credit debt. We’re not crazy spenders but I hate carrying a monthly balance. I’ll dip into savings to pay that off as the bills come due.

We couponing and shopping at Aldi & Lidl instead of Harris Teeter.
We’re lucky DOD is funded. Husband still has his pay and retirement pay. My check is more for fun shit like dining out, movies, pedicures (I loathe doing my own toes, shut up), going to the local tap room, etc.
Hell, we were brainstorming a road trip to Montreal. That’s on the back burner.

Home improvements? No new flooring and paint in the kitchen any time soon.

My Beetle? Still waiting for the @USAA_help adjuster to return my call.
I check my work email to see what @USCG or @DHSgov have to say. Absolute silence.

We have no clue what’s going on. I rely on CNN and the WaPo app. I listen to @MaddowBlog podcast. I glance at Faux News at the gym (and call them motherfuckers in my head).
I feel helpless, adrift. We plunging headlong into week 3 of this shitshow. I try to maintain some sanity by rewatching The Marvellous Mrs Maisel while on the treadmill. I’m getting a handle on that fucking pile of laundry.
I feel like I’m about to cry at the drop of a hat.
The mission of the #uscg continues without its civilian workforce. Its active members are in danger of missing their January 15 pay check. My work is piling up but I cannot do a damn thing about it. I cannot answer emails or phone calls relating to work issues.
My wonderful boss and I have bitched about this via text. I’ve warned him, “You can’t work!” because he knows the shit is piling up. I’m sure our active duty members are grrr’d because they get our “we’re furloughed” out of office message.
So there’s my essay. I’ll update this thread as this administration holds 800,000 hostage or in servitude.

*head desk*
#TrumpsShutdown day 17. Had a Coastie call, asking for assistance. I had to tell her, “I can’t talk to you about work-related issues.” This is stupid.

So here I sit, in a Hello Kitty bathrobe watching CNN.
#trumpshutdown day 17: had to deny another Coastie assistance. Gosh, what does the #USCG do? Drug and migrant interdiction.
So I had to tell several Coasties that I could not help them during this stupid #TrumpShutdown2019. “I’m sorry, if this is about work I can’t help you.” Even with my out-of-office message I’m sure they’ll think I’m ignoring emails. I can’t answer them!
#TrumpShutDown day 19: here I sit, watching more CNN and waiting to return to work. Going to check on vet discount to save $ on cell bill, squeeze another $50 into tight budget. *sigh*
#ShutdownStory Day 20: Work emails of DHS deputy sec’y and USCG admiral. Nothing new. And I’m sure you read about the tone-deaf CG Support memo about selling shit at a garage sale to help pay the rent...in JANUARY?
Yeah, turn your hobby into cash. Sure. My hobby is watching stupid amounts of TV and reading semi-smutty urban fantasy novels.

That memo along with the OPM templates asking landlords to forgive rent by doing odd jobs was absolutely bonkers.
I’m gonna Pollyanna this bitch: we aren’t hurting. Sure, the money left from spouse’s check is just enough for gas/food. We’ll be fine.

I think about getting a part-time job but by the time Bed Bath & Beyond could train me I’d get the call to come back to work. Waste of time.
I’m getting in lots of walking at the gym. My laundry is under control (almost). I think I’ll clean out my make-up table, oh boy!
Another positive: our son got his first job and started yesterday. That’ll take some strain off our account. Plus this cute AF baby/kid is 19 today...what?
Here’s a couple more recent pix from this summer. He’s a good kid.
#ShutdownStory day 21: son completed 2nd day at his new job. Legs are sore from 20+ miles walking on treadmill (best week since trng for my last half marathon, ha!). Watching #Brooklyn99 again...
I should be reviewing orders, cleaning up databases, having team mtgs with my guys, answering emails and calls.

Some think this is a vacation. Vacations are fun; this isn’t fun.
#ShutdownStories day 22: If you still have internet & Amazon Prime I suggest a movie night! All the President’s Men paired with Dick. Both Watergate, sublime then ridiculous!
#ShutdownStories day 24: do not let me bitch about not having enough time to hit the gym again. Now I have all the time in the world.
So about the Montreal trip...I told husband perhaps we need to table it. If the Fuckwit-in-Chief is willing to shut down 1/4 of govt, what makes us think he’ll fund DOD come 01 Oct?
Any backpay I *might* get will go to pay any credit debt we incur then build up the savings some more. I want to make sure we have funds in case Putin’s Puppet decides to fuck the entire govt on 01 Oct.
Pollyanna: that young man above brought home $51 in tips Saturday night. Nice! 2nd semester of community college starts today. He’s taking some pre-reqs for nursing in case he goes that route. Social Ethics, Dev Psych, and Intro to Life Sci.
#ShutdownStories day 25. The days are blurring together into one bigass boring haze. I’m cleaning, watching YouTube, going to gym, reading copious amounts of urban fantasy, sleeping. For a Saturday this is cool. For a regular day, not so much.
My job is but one facet of my life but it helps give me a sense of purpose. Now expectations are changing. Spouse thinks I should get up and make him breakfast, do this, do that...so what happens when we do finally get back to work?
I know, I know, it sounds petty. But damn it, I like the work I do supporting the Coast Guard and I want to do it! Instead I feel rudderless.
Many thanks to @AltForestServ for the visibility bump! I realise my story is one of thousands and isn’t nearly as shitty as others out there. This ain’t a picnic though. I want to go back to work helping the #USCG save lives.
#ShutdownStories Day 26. So with #PutinsPuppet telling IRS to get to work with no pay and several other agencies working with no pay, I got to wondering...when will the administrators of those agencies stand up and say, “pay our employees and we’ll work!”
Yeah yeah, I know. The depts are helmed by his lackeys (Nielsen et al). The agencies, for the most part, are also led by sub-lackeys. But damn it, they need to pull on their Big People Panties and stand up to Cheetolini.
Texted with my team today. Our poor contractor (funded thru 10/01) is slammed. Our boss is living off his savings and said the time off is becoming the norm.
I think I’m on my 6th book of the year. I fall asleep around midnight, my tablet finally timing out.

Spouse & I compare notes, “I didn’t spend any money today.”
“Me neither!”
Pollyanna: I take my car down for an estimate for body/bumper work. If they can’t match the paint should I get her painted purple?
Granted, she’s a 2003 and her nose is wicked chipped now. OMG if I could I’d get her painted hot pink linear holographic!

My Fitbit loves me. I’ve logged almost 50k steps since Sunday.

And our pantry has been overhauled and is looking quite organized.
#ShutdownStories Day 28. Damn, it’s been a month since my colonoscopy?

Had to ask my mom what day it was. I only have an inkling due to our son’s work/school schedule.
I check my work email. The orders and requests for help are piling up. Coasties are getting my furlough email. Sorry, I legally cannot answer your emails.

Nothing new from the Commandant since he sent notice that active duty members weren’t getting paid Jan 15.
So for me it’s same shit, different day. I worry about my friends, coworkers, Coasties, and other federal employees whose stories I read on Twitter and various news sources. I wish I could help them but in order to stay afloat without taking on debt, I can’t.
#shutdownstories day 30. Received the following notice via text:

LAPSE OF APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE FOR US Coast Guard Units in (location).

Civilians in receipt of furlough notifications that have expired shall not report for duty during this lapse...
Pending an appropriation supervisors shall reissue furlough notifications on the next normal business day (Jan 22).

I also heard a nasty rumor that furloughs lasting longer than 30 days are considered RIFs. Any #furloughed HR specs out there? What does this mean?
And how does this fuck up our service computation date? I’m too damn close to retirement to have this screw me over.
#FurloughedFeds Day 32. The days melt into each other. Only reason today was unique; husband got his baseline colonoscopy and the doc found/removed 3 polyps.

I began the #shutdown getting my baseline colonoscopy & we enter month 2 with another butt check-up. Poetic, yes?
Oh, and I did not see another furlough letter in my email. I’ll check with my boss tomorrow. I’ve not spoken to him or our contractor in over a month and I miss our team calls.
#furloughed Day 33. Our cat needs to go to the vet. My son has offered to help pay his vet bill with his tip money. I’ll probably take him up on the offer so we don’t rack up credit card debt.

Oh, and Lara Trump can go fuck herself.
#ShutdownStories Day 34. My boss, a retired USCG member and current GS employee, told me he will not receive his retirement check February 1. Guess he can #WorkAlong for groceries.
#ShutdownStories Day 35. So the Senate and House have sent the bill to the Toddler-in-Chief. We’ll see if he actually signs it.

Spoke to a USCG warrant officer today. Poor guy is driving Uber to bring in money.
So tonight, 1/27, I’ll go to bed at a reasonable hour with the alarm set for 6:00 AM. My whiteboard calendar is filled through February with 2/15 marked with “CR Expires.” I’ll comb through the emails, talk to my boss, & take Charlie to the vet.
Payroll dept’s been working this weekend with a promise of 1/31. That’ll replenish savings. We’re going to try to keep spending at furlough levels in case this shit goes down again next month.

5 weeks off...sigh. And with this I’m unpinning my #ShutdownStories thread.
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