It’s day nine of the furloughs that have forced many federal workers and contractors to go without pay. While some government employees have been called back, two recent examples show how the government shutdown continues to wind its way through workplaces public and private: the Veterans Administration shut its regional offices that process benefits, leaving 7,000 employees furloughed, and Lockheed Martin has put 2,400 people out of work for now.
Federal employees will likely eventually get their back-pay. For contractors and other private-sector workers, that’s not as clear. But everyone faces the question of what to do with all their newfound free time. Here’s a quick social-media guide to life among the furloughed, in which the idled workers explain what they’ve been doing so far:
It’s a chance to get fit.
— Sophie (@soph1186) October 9, 2013
Or tackle the to-do list.
— Kendall Buller (@SysAdmKC) October 9, 2013
A time to connect with the kids.
Wife left me w/what can only b described as the Rubik's Cube of pj's 4 the baby. Good thing I had extra time to figure it out #shutdown
— FurloughDad (@FurloughDad) October 4, 2013
And check out the beach.
Furlough continues. We are at the beach pic.twitter.com/shEGajl465
— steph Stockman (@geosteph) October 7, 2013
At least you don’t need to wear a suit.
And friends have been supportive.
In other news thank you to a very good friend who sent me a Starbucks gift card to raise my spirits during #furlough
— M.J.Y. (@sotsoy) October 9, 2013
Then there’s the #furloughbeards. They seemed like a good idea at first.
Got a pretty nice furlough beard going on here. Think I'm gonna let it grow until we go back.
— gsp (@gsp1984) October 4, 2013
But then even the beards started to get old. They were itchy.
My #furlough beard is now entering its scratchy phase.
— Matt Wilson (@mttwls) October 7, 2013
Turns out they don’t make you look youthful.
Shutdown day 8. Furlough beard has grey hairs in it. Wait I have grey hairs in my beard! What the hell is happening to me! #FurloughProblems
— Winston Roberts (@wrobers93) October 9, 2013
Some people tried to spice them up.
Day 8 Furlough Beard, not as purple as I wanted http://t.co/AOE5L6Ax9S
— J.Rho (@jrho_jrho) October 8, 2013
Others gave up on them entirely.
Goodbye furlough beard
— Ben Johnson (@benjohnson135) October 8, 2013
Well, there’s always QVC.
— Susan F. (@VooDooSue) October 9, 2013