As I came in the federal building, I showed my ID then saluted the photos of the President and Vice President and then saluted the Constitution up on the wall as I said to the guard, "That's some good stuff in there." (I know, you think I'm looney tunes. But that's just the way I am.)
The hallways were fairly empty as I got off the elevator and went to our suite's front door. It was locked. That was the first depressing sign. I went in and around to my office not touching the lights, the phone, or the computer. I live by the letter of the law when it suits my idealistic purposes.
There were a few others stirring in the office setting their voice mail messages, putting in their time codes for shutdown, cleaning things up. I had done all that on the way out or remotely just to prove I could do it. And you can't shut down a bureaucracy without a lot of bureaucratic hassle. There was a person who thought they might be "excepted" because they were "exempt" but it turned out there was a call in the middle of the night that they would be furloughed too as non-essential (let's just call it as it is.) I knew that our previous instructions weren't right that we could record official time this morning. They had it changed. That's why I had left mine as the minimum 15 minutes and had tried not to come in at all.
Our diligent, acting supervisor came around with the furlough notice to sign. And darn if I didn't leave my copy on my desk because I wanted to scan it in and post it here! I'll never see it for a while. I did make an extra copy and leave it in Senator Lee's office as my side-story illustrates. I went to our support person to find a big Sharpie and I signed in a flourish to rival John Hancock. Then, I visited with a few colleagues as we assisted each other in closing up.
The acting supervisor came around again and said that he had given us the wrong forms! He had the right form from DC which he printed off again for us. My first reaction (having already been stirred up into passion in Senator Lee's office) was, "I'm not signing again!" He very graciously said that we could do whatever we wanted and I apologized. I would have yelled the same at the real boss and he would have taken it just fine as we're old buddies. And I shouldn't have been so hard on our acting guy who was trying so hard and at some cost to his own well-being as he had a health issue he was concerned about and the additional stress wasn't helping. He deserves an award. So, I apologized a couple more times and signed again, with a big flourish, in an even nicer hand - although my standard signature is barely legible.
We got everything all straightened out and a few of us headed off to find some breakfast. I had to wait downtown to go to the UTA bus lost-and-found to pick up my smartphone that had slipped out of my pocket the day before. The world is still a good place. At least my bus is with all those U of U returned missionaries sitting in the back with me. Onward and upward.
My Aunt is coming by this afternoon and we plan to connect up with our cousin (her first-cuz, mine once removed) to talk about our family history projects and setting up our family organization. I told my work friends that they could probably find me during the shutdown at the LDS Family History or Church History Libraries until Congress gets its "act" together. It may be a long time in the libraries.
|A Passionately Moderate and Proud Federal Employee