Fed Life Working Without Pay
Yes, I am one of those unhappy civil servants dealing with the partial government shutdown. For the first 25 days I was furloughed. On the 26th day I had to return to duty without pay. Throughout all this I have watched my savings get vaporized. Then again, 2018 was a fairly bad year too.
I effectively do telephone reference for the agency I serve. People call and ask me all sorts of crazy questions you'd otherwise get on a public library reference desk. A key difference is that when it comes to tax matters I have power to actually take action in quite a number of cases. I've always been able to handle a very narrow set of tax law inquiries and upgrade training to handle quite a few more should be done soon. Much of that makes subject analysis in cataloging look relatively simple in contrast. You might not think of needing a master's in library science to work for the US Treasury but it is definitely a help when trying to aid people in a front-line contact role when callers have trouble articulating what help they need.
I've been keeping a running total of what the arrears look like. Accounts have been liquidated as fast as possible to pay off bills. My finances and credit may be wrecked by this if it is not resolved soon.
There have been mutinies at work as well as outbreaks of desertion. I know there were media stories of 46,000 people being called back to work. They were indeed called. Very few answered the call so there are skeleton crews working without pay trying to keep things running.
I'm not the only one at work floating their resume. The surprising part is how many of us have applied for positions at KBR, Academi, and G4S.