In the early hours of today.....our little crew stood by the water cooler at work (in the bowels of the Pentagon) and dreamed of next week. Forced onto furlough....we were dreaming of Nationals games next week.....trips to Atlantic City casinos.....and maybe even a trip to New York City. Heck, why waste time....sitting at home....watching TV? So on through the day.....we dreamed this mighty fantasy of just having fun.
Around 4PM, the bubble burst.
My boss called me. They had decided that I was "essential" to operations. It is a proud honor, to know from such a small group of folks....that I had been chosen to stand and work. Dashed were my dreams of gambling in Atlantic City and afternoon baseball games across the river. Gone were the dreams of drinking beer on the streets of DC, and watching afternoon movies at the local mall.
Its sad in a way. At least I know I will be paid my regular check....at some point. No one is sure about the folks sent home on Monday. You can hope that congress will see the light and keep this short....and pay those folks their pay. As for my activities during this period? Well....it'll next to impossible to function with the vast majority of folks gone and sitting at home. I really don't know how valuable I'll end up being and I'll probably be standing there and just laughing over the real meaning of "essential".
The positive here? Between all these military folks and these few civilian workers selected as "essential"....we'll fight three wars and be damn proud of it.