Hasn’t our area had enough? Two weeks ago I blogged about the Navy Yard shootings and listed all the awful things I could think of that have happened in the Washington, DC area. And here we go again with another terrible event. The Government Furlough.
I don’t want to get into the politics of this. I am a firm believer in the American right to whatever politics make the most sense to each of us. Because we are all individuals, what makes sense to one of us might differ from what makes sense to another. I don’t want to get into that.
I am just worrying about people. I’m worrying about the GS1s, GS2s, Gs3s, government workers who are at the low end of the pay scale. They are spread throughout the country, but the Washington, DC, area abounds with them. They just went through the Sequester which forced them to take days without pay. How much more can they take? I imagine single mothers trying to raise a family on their own, living paycheck to paycheck, but proud that they have the security of a government job. Now they must worry whether they can pay the rent, afford the next trip to the grocery, pay for the school supplies and other fees that crop up about now.
My husband was one of those furloughed when this happened seventeen years ago. Then eventually the government workers got paid and the whole episode was a big waste of time and money. Unfortunately there are no guarantees of getting paid this time.
I am worried about the woman who works in the cafeteria where my husband worked. Every Christmas he gave her money and one year she burst into tears when he did. She must have needed it very badly. She’s not a government worker; the cafeterias are run by outside contractors who, I’m guessing, pay little more than minimum wage. But with the building closed, she can’t go to work. I’m reasonably certain she will never be paid. What happens to her?
Sometimes life just seems so unfair.