My Dad Can't Work Because of the Government Shutdown

My Dad Can’t Work Because of the Government Shutdown

So he had plenty of time to do this interview

The federal government has shut down again because Congress did not pass a budget. They have halted talks for the night, and will be picking up again tomorrow at noon. In light of this, I decided to call my dad, who is a federal worker, and get some of his thoughts on the most recent furlough. He works for the Department of Defense as an archivist. While he has been furloughed before, it has not happened while one party had control of the House, Senate, and Presidency.

 

My mom got involved as well on the other line, so I recorded some of her interjections. She is not a federal worker, so she’ll be driving into DC like normal.

 

Her Campus: What did you first think when you heard about the shutdown?

Mike Rhode: I first thought: here we go again. I’ve worked for the government for thirty years now, and these have become ridiculously common.

Mom: Make sure to use the phrase “kicking the can down the road.”

HC: What will you be doing with your time off?

MR: Catching up on reading, working around the house.

Mom: Walking the dog.

MR: Who’s doing this interview? The dog walker doesn’t get paid now, because it cascaded down to him. Unfortunately, I won’t be doing one of my favorite activities, which is going to the museums. They’ll all be closed, except for the paid ones, which I don’t want to go to anyway.

HC: What did you do last time the government shut down?

MR: I got called back for the last one, so mine wasn’t nearly as short. But yeah, you can just say that I sanded and painted all of our lawn furniture the time before that.

HC: Neon purple.

MR: Your mom picked it out. But you can say neon purple.

HC: How do you think this will effect your votes in upcoming elections?*

* A note before I let him start here: Virginia had most of our state elections last year, so we don’t have any major elections in 2018.

MR: Will not affect my vote in the least, because it will be a long time before I would vote for a party that is so hostile to the average person in this country.

HC: Are you worried about the financial aspects of this?

MR: Everytime in the past they have paid us retroactively, so it has never been a burden. However, with the rhetoric against federal workers, it is more of a worry this time.

 

Then we had a nice chat about woodpecker rescue and other family news. While the government shutdown probably won’t make things harder for us in the long run, it’s possible to see even from this short conversation how it’ll affect others around us. Our dog walker, a very nice man, won’t be getting paid for as long as this lasts.

 

Hopefully, the shutdown will be short and everyone will be back to work soon, with a favorable outcome for the people who need the government’s protection the most.

 

All views expressed outside of the ones attributed to my parents are my own and reflect neither the views of Her Campus nor of anyone other than myself.

Claire Rhode is a junior double majoring in creative writing and history. She is the senior editor of Chatham's Her Campus chapter and also edits for Mighty Quill Books and the Minor Bird. You can also read her work on InMotion and Fauna's blogs.

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