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Happy Hour: Shutdown Countdown

By the power vested in my Boss by the House Committee on Administration, I have been deemed essential.  This means that if the government shuts down, I work, but I don’t get paid.  Some people think that this is better than being non-essential (no work, no pay)–at least your Boss is telling you that you matter–but I suppose that depends on your perspective. 

Since there is a small chance that none of us will be getting paid for awhile, we need to be hoarding cash like Paris Hilton collects dogs.  (With feverish compulsion, and no regard for anyone else.)  So most of our potential-shutdown furlough will be spent at home. 

Thus, I hereby give you permission to embrace the Snuggie. How you comfort yourself in these trying times is no one’s business but yours, Snuggie til your heart’s content.

I do not give you permission to wear Uggs or flip-flops to work.  It’s a shutdown, not the apocalypse.

And since we’re embracing fiscal responsibility, I will be trading in my champagne of choice (Piper Heidsick) for something in the two-buck-chuck range.  If you prefer beer, may I suggest Pabst Blue Ribbon?

Should any snotty private sector employee give you guff about your choice of liquid solace, you just tell him that this beer won the nation’s most prestigious beer award.  No need to mention that that was in 1893.  It’s blue ribbon-quality, says so on the label.

But seriously folks, I don’t know what happens at midnight.  I do know that whatever happens, we rise and fall together, “essential” or not.  Politics aside, all the Hill staffers and Fed employees are in the same boat.


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  1. Kit says:

    I too have been deemed essential, which is definitely a mixed bag, but I am glad to know that I will at least get paid sometime. Let's face it, I wouldn't know what to do with the time off except sit on the sofa (with my snuggie) and mope. My roommate, on the other hand, announced last night that she is annoyed that she is essential, as she had gleefully been planning what to do with her unexpected time off. When I asked her if she didn't care that she probably wouldn't be paid, she breezily said, “Nope!” Like you said, all about perspective.

    April 8, 2011/Reply
  2. Shannon says:

    My Snuggie is leopard print. What should I be drinking with that? I mean, besides the shame of my own downfall?

    April 8, 2011/Reply
  3. MidwestChic says:

    Good luck, Belle. We're all rooting for you.

    April 8, 2011/Reply
  4. nonessential says:

    I work for a Federal agency but have been deemed non-essential–thanks for the post though. Just seeing that pink snuggie gave me a good laugh during this serious time. And I agree–we are all in this together.

    April 8, 2011/Reply
  5. Jessica says:

    at least you're not Pia on American Idol…silver lining?

    April 8, 2011/Reply
  6. AGinDC says:

    I'm currently in the process of putting together care packages for all of my furloughed friends. I may have to add a six-pack of Pabst, or at least a bottle of Freixenet…

    April 8, 2011/Reply
  7. Belle says:


    Mai Tais, with alcohol from the bottom shelf.

    April 8, 2011/Reply
  8. lawstudentwaitingonafederaljob says:

    I sympathize. While I'm sitting here, eeking out the last few dimes from my (massive) cost of living loans and dreading the bar, I'm whining that my dream agency won't call me in for my 2nd round of interviews (I didn't get the rejection letter that a lot of other applicants got – so I can still hope!). But at least I'm still getting my $270 a week to live off of. Good luck, y'all. Here's at least one person genuinely praying for you!

    April 8, 2011/Reply