Special Report: Shutdown

I figured I’d interrupt my regularly scheduled posts for this one. The one slated for tomorrow will still be posted on time.

Those in the US have been hearing about how the government will ‘shutdown’ if a budget isn’t agreed upon. Now today that shutdown happened.

On the upside in a last minute bill the active duty military will still be paid. On the downside things are still being ‘slimmed down’ as the media is calling it.

I wanted to share what happened this morning when it went into effect; from an active duty spouse’s POV.

25 people were standing outside my commissary this morning at 8:30am for the ‘early bird’ access. Why? Government shutdown. Stateside commissaries will be open today in an attempt to sale off their perishables but will then start to systematically shutdown.

Commissaries are where most military buy their goods since it’s cheaper than other stores in general; yes including wally world. The US miliary does not get paid a lot folks. But that’s a rant for another day.

I had already planned to go today with a friend to teach her how to do extreme couponing. We just happened to have bad luck on the day we picked. When we got there we encountered a line just to get in.

The personnel said they didn’t know when their doors would close. By the time 9:20am rolled around (20mins after it officially opened) there was a 10 minute line to get to a cashier.

By the time 1pm rolled around, and I drove past it, the parking lot was full and people had resorted to parking along an adjoining street. A lady at the MWR Arts and Craft Center said it took her 30 minutes to go through the line and that there was no beef or pork left.

My friend and I had to call the CYS to see if our kids would have gymnastics today. According to them as of yesterday morning no, but as of last night yes; until further notice.

These are just the things that have affected me personally.

I have a friend who’s husband hasn’t been able to apply for contract jobs because the funds are pending. My husband has friends who are current contractors and didn’t know their status until this morning. I still have no idea if my son’s therapy appointment will be honored if this continues. Does the mental heath clinic count as essential personnel? My friend had to call to verify her appointment concerning wrongful billing by a medical facility.

If you think it’s just the military that’s effected don’t be fooled. People are being turned away from state and government jobs all over the country. Will they get retroactive pay? Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

While the media is calling this a ‘slimdown’ the fact remains that once it effects you or a loved one it’ll feel very much like a negative thing. No spin can convince you that the two day drive you took to your favorite national park only to find it closed was merely a ‘slimdown’. If you’re one of the unlucky to have to go home today and not get paid, a cheerful turn of phrase isn’t going to stop your worrying about if you have enough money to pay bills this month.

The truly sad part? This whole thing could have been avoided if our government was more willing to compromise. You know that thing where neither party gets everything they want but still gets a bit of something?

Have you been some of the unlucky today that got effected by the slimdown?

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About Marcia Young

I’m the wife of an active duty Army NCO and the mother of one, home schooled, special needs child. I have won several people’s choice awards for my fanfiction under the moniker MLMonty. All of my current published works can be found via Smashwords and other retailers under my nom de plume Marcia Young. I am currently open to finding a new literary agent and publisher.
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3 Responses to Special Report: Shutdown

  1. Me says:

    Our commissary closed at 7pm (via the grapevine). I was not nuts enough to go there on payday -and- shutdown day despite how tiny of a base it is.

    Retires at my meeting off post wanted to know what was hit on the base. When I said the Commissary was closed, their jaws collectively hit the floor. Being that this base mostly has single troops on it with restrictions (no going off base for some), that limits them to the gas station, Class Six (minus the booze), and PX for non-DFAC food…oh and the Subway/cruddy BK.

  2. Me says:

    Retirees…stupid autocorrect!

  3. Marcia Young says:

    What makes this particularly hard for commissary employees on my base is the fact that they just had a mandatory no pay time off. For a month all commissaries that were closed on Mondays were forced to shut down on Tuesdays as well to assist the government in saving money. Now following on the heels of that they are out of work until this is over. Some of the employees like the baggers only get tips; no paychecks, unlike waitresses who have to be paid x amount in lieu of low tips. I know one bagger who suffers from arthritis so bad he can’t get a job anywhere else. Being a bagger lets him sit when he needs to and move when he needs to. A lot of baggers here are retires needing extra cash or young parents.

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