Comments on: A Ticking Clock http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/ The Intersection of Design & Motherhood Fri, 14 Nov 2014 17:31:23 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 By: bdaiss http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-770155 bdaiss Wed, 30 Oct 2013 03:29:24 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-770155 I know I’m incredibly late to the party, but wanted to leave a comment. As someone working for a private company in the National Parks, my hearts go out to those employed by the government. Many are my friends and others, in some ways, my co-workers. HOWEVER. They are the “face” of this shutdown and people have gone out of their way to support them. What people don’t see are all those who rely on our parks and the government but aren’t employed by them that are affected. There are many in the tourism business who not only lost their current job, but also lost their NEXT job. So many of our seasonals live paycheck to paycheck. When the shutdown hit, we had to let them go…but to where? Their next job was also shut down and many now didn’t even have gas money to get there. We have done all we can to support them with food and housing, but our company alone lost roughly a million dollars a day due to the shut down. No one will pay our employees their lost wages, ever. There are likely hundreds of small businesses who lost the last 3 weeks of their season and may now have to shutter their doors forever. It is a sad state of affairs and I hope the American people respond in the next election.

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By: mamalang http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-765087 mamalang Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:11:19 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-765087 As a military wife, your last two sentences struck a chord. I have often felt the same way, and I know that the military receive far more support than your husband probably does. Thank you for supporting him in making our world a better place.

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By: mamalang http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-765079 mamalang Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:02:26 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-765079 My husband is Active Guard, so he had to go to work, but was told not to expect to get paid. Luckily we have a great bank the agreed to provide no cost loans to those not being paid, and in the end his pay did show up. I know that when we were first married, we counted on those drill paychecks for expenses, and losing one would have destroyed us financially. I hope that they get your husbands pay processed quickly and that they reschedule those missed drill dates for you.

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By: nole http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-763899 nole Sun, 20 Oct 2013 05:07:53 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-763899 My husband and I live in DC, just a few short blocks away from the Capitol building. My husband is a federal employee for the Department of Defense and was furloughed for the first week, then declared essential for the second and third weeks of the shutdown. We’re told that he’ll receive back pay for the week that he was furloughed and that his paychecks moving forward should be completely normal. It was still a very demoralizing and stressful few weeks.

I think it’s worth mentioning that the situation has been pretty bad since October 2012 when the sequester went into effect. Understaffed agencies have been placed under hiring freezes and are unable to fill vacant positions. Existing employees were already being furloughed under the sequester, and there are additional furloughs expected next year. Many talented federal employees have no hope of being promoted in the next 3-5 years. Some agencies are even talking about laying off employees in the near future. Museums on the National Mall have been forced to close some of their exhibits and/or reduce their hours. One of our favorite DC spots, the National Arboretum, is now closed entirely Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. And that was all way before the shutdown.

Between the sequester and the shutdown, this has been an incredibly demoralizing time for federal employees (and their families). I worked for the federal government for eight years before leaving to pursue my blog full time in 2010 (yay!), often working 12-hour days and doing work normally assigned to a much more senior officer. I loved what I did, but I ultimately left because I didn’t see a future for myself at my agency and I felt that my hard work wasn’t valued by my leadership. It’s hard to send my husband to work each morning knowing that he’s now facing the exact same situation, but with the additional stress of being used as a pawn by Congress whenever they feel like playing political brinksmanship. It’s disgraceful and a disservice to the talented people that serve their country, and it’s all just really stressful and really sad.

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By: Sara http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-763553 Sara Sat, 19 Oct 2013 14:38:09 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-763553 I hate to complain, but since you asked… :) About six months ago, my family made reservations to spend a week in a cottage near a national park. We had already paid in full and were unable to get a refund, so we went on the trip as planned, hoping for the best. Ugh. We just got back, and the park was closed the entire time we were there. We all tried to put on brave faces and “make the best of it,” but it was disappointing and really frustrating to finally be there after so much anticipation and not be able to do or see any of the things we had planned. I’m pretty bitter about it since we are on a tight budget and we spent a lot of money and traveled a long way to see that park and weren’t able to enjoy it.

Thanks for indulging my pity party. I know there were many larger-scale problems than my bad vacation story, (and even more upsetting vacation stories – my coworker saw a couple on the news who had traveled from Germany to see the Joshua Tree and were unable to!) but it felt kind of good to vent. :)

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By: Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761918 Design Mom Fri, 18 Oct 2013 06:06:47 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761918 Oh man. How frustrating. Having unexpected time off and not being able to enjoy it for a second. Such a bummer.

I hope the catch up is incredibly speedy!

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By: Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761917 Design Mom Fri, 18 Oct 2013 06:05:28 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761917 Crossing my fingers for a speedy closing, Beth!

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By: Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761915 Design Mom Fri, 18 Oct 2013 06:05:02 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761915 Oh man. I’m so glad he’s back to work today. Living with that kind of stress for 6 months is brutal.

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By: Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761913 Design Mom Fri, 18 Oct 2013 06:03:48 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761913 Go for it! I hope you have a great time. I love watching the instagram streams from his events. So beautiful!

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By: Lena http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761809 Lena Fri, 18 Oct 2013 04:58:03 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761809 My husband is a federal employee – a scientist with a Ph.D. from the highest ranking university in his field. He and his colleagues work very hard. They aren’t motivated primarily by money – they could make significantly more in the private sector. But they love being scientists and like to feel like they are contributing to a greater good by serving their country.
Furlough was horrible. Normally we would feel a little comfort with our nest egg, but we are in the middle of a massive renovation (we bought a home that needed a total overhaul) and we are living tighter than usual as a result.
One of the worst parts of this whole fiasco is hearing that furlough was some kind of a vacation. HA! FURLOUGH IS NOT A VACATION! There were no guarantees along the way that he would be paid. No one was handling his workload while he was gone, and he wasn’t able to plan for the shutdown properly to assure that the highest priorities would be handled in advance of his departure. And going forward, his (and our family’s) quality of life will really suffer the consequences. My husband has tight deadlines and must report to Congress on his findings. Congress won’t be changing those deadlines, despite the lost time! So although my husband and his colleagues were not legally allowed to work, they started back today in a total frenzy to make up for all that lost time (and more) by working obscene hours to catch up. Meanwhile, his international contacts and academic contacts are all put out by the lack of federal scientific work and will require some additional attention. It’s a disaster.
If we wanted a real vacation, he would have taken the time off when it was appropriate with his current workload. But instead, the time was just one of stress, and a disconcerted sense that despite all he does to make life better for everyone in our nation (and world) and securing our long term food supply, the people elected to serve us weren’t doing their jobs.
My husband has had multiple offers to work for other countries. Spain, Iceland, Australia, etc. to help secure their nations long-term food supply. But he loves his country too much to become an ex-pat ( we love to travel, but want to remain here in the states to raise our family). I think he loves his country far more than his country loves him. It’s a depressing realization. :(

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By: Beth http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761758 Beth Fri, 18 Oct 2013 04:07:56 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761758 I am not a federal employee, but the house I am in the process of selling was bought through a USDA. Program. We have been waiting for the sale to process since July and because of the shutdown, our lawyer is worried that we may have to start from scratch. Hopefully our buyers won’t decide that the sale is taking too long!

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By: Kiki http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761580 Kiki Fri, 18 Oct 2013 01:39:09 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761580 My husband is an essential federal employee, and for the last six months there’s been the constant threat of a 10% furlough or losing half the staff (due to sequestration) and then came the shutdown. It’s quite disheartening (and stressful) to have such gloom and doom when he LOVES his job. He’s seriously considering looking for other work. We’ve been married for about eight years and have somewhat of a cushion, but ours would deflate pretty quickly if we truly needed it! I guess we have another 3 months to save money until the next shutdown!

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By: Chelsea http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761361 Chelsea Thu, 17 Oct 2013 22:10:45 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761361 I think I just found my next half marathon to run – your brother’s company looks AWESOME! Just what I’ve been looking for and such a great idea. Thanks!

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By: Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761334 Design Mom Thu, 17 Oct 2013 21:39:19 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761334 Having to go without a paycheck is rough at anytime, Rebekah. I feel for you. But I think trying to compare a struggling small business with a furloughed employee doesn’t work.

Your company may be struggling, but plenty of small businesses are thriving. When the government shuts down, it’s not some employees that are affected, it’s all employees. And the companies surrounding government entities? Like hotels and restaurants at the borders of national parks? They’re directly affected too.

With a small business it’s different. Yes, the economy may be affecting the bottom line, but it could also be the nature of the product being sold, or trends in the culture. In contrast, when a furloughed government employee’s paycheck is affected, it’s 100% because of the government shutdown, it has nothing to do with a customer base.

I hope we can all find some sympathy for government employees — they are not entrepreneurs and don’t have the built in expectation of uncertainty that an entrepreneur has. (I’m an entrepreneur myself and know the uncertainty of paychecks very well.) And I hope we can have sympathy for struggling small businesses as well.

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By: Rebekah http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761303 Rebekah Thu, 17 Oct 2013 21:11:42 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761303 I am not a government employee, so the government shut-down doesn’t affect me at all. BUT I am a small business owner, and the same thing the government employees are feeling has been happening to small businesses everywhere for the past several years because of our poor economy. I have gone 2 months without a paycheck, while paying my employees checks & health insurance for all of us.

I can’t dredge up much sympathy for government employees at this point. For me, this situation is filled with irony.

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By: Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761278 Design Mom Thu, 17 Oct 2013 20:16:42 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761278 “Hoping for better days ahead.”

Well said!

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By: Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761275 Design Mom Thu, 17 Oct 2013 20:07:40 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761275 I’m a big National Parks fan too! I loved growing up near so many.

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By: Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761274 Design Mom Thu, 17 Oct 2013 20:03:36 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761274 Oh man. Again, I would never have thought about a researcher in a science field being affected. This has been so far-reaching!

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By: Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761272 Design Mom Thu, 17 Oct 2013 20:01:23 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761272 Hey, Friends. I’ve had to erase two comments and a response — all 3 were quite rant-y about a specific political party.

I was very careful when I wrote the post to remain a-political because I know political discussions are not what readers are looking for when they come to Design Mom.

I want people to be able to share their experiences with the shutdown — as I know it has had far and wide impact. But if this post got your goat, I suggest you move on to the next one. I will continue to erase any comments that try to start fights. So please don’t bother leaving them.

Thank you!

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By: Caitlin http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/a-ticking-clock/comment-page-1/#comment-761210 Caitlin Thu, 17 Oct 2013 17:33:37 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=41917#comment-761210 VacationRaces looks AMAZING! I can’t wait to run ALL THE RACES! Seriously…I love national parks (I carry the little passport around to get stamps) and I run a marathon or a half every month!

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