Maybe they used their gov't purchasing cards for this, too.
Federal workers booze it up after shutdown
By S.A. Miller and Antonio Antenucci/NY Post
October 2, 2013 | 5:31am
The booze flowed from the Beltway to the Big Apple Tuesday as thousands of furloughed federal employees — like these Smithsonian workers in DC — toasted and cursed the shutdown that kept them from their jobs but gave them plenty of time to drink.
“I’m drinkin’ beer,” declared Amy Driskell, a researcher furloughed from the Smithsonian Institution.
“We worked for four hours for our ‘orderly shutdown,’ as we are required to do, and we’ve been drinking since,” said Driskell, 45, from Elephant & Castle, a DC pub offering government employees 10 percent off food and “happy hour all day.”
Across the country, the mandatory “orderly shutdown” brought federal workers into the office to turn off computers, take out the trash and empty refrigerators — before being unceremoniously cut loose.
In lower Manhattan, furloughed “non-essential” workers from the many agencies with offices near Federal Plaza — including the EPA, IRS, FBI and Immigration and Customs — found themselves standing on the sidewalk by noon.
“We are drowning our sorrows today,” said one woman with pals at Maxwell’s on Reade Street. “Hopefully, we go back to work as soon as possible.”
A drinking buddy who declined to give her name added, “I was going to have my kitchen floors done, but I had to call up and put it on hold. I can’t afford the $3,000,” she said.
“I told [the floor installers] to call their local congressman.”
Back at Elephant & Castle in DC — which is surrounded by the Smithsonian, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Commerce, Agriculture and Justice departments — furloughed worker Kenneth Macdonald pronounced himself “lucky.”
“I’ve got a wife who has a job. A lot of people don’t,” said Macdonald, who said he’s looking forward to spending more time with his new twin daughters.
Two blocks from the White House, at The Exchange Sports Saloon, Ronnie Emery, 49, drank with friends from the Interior Department.
“What the hell!” roared Emery, 49, a department liaison to Indian tribal governments. “What else can I do? Go cry?”
“I enjoyed the day off. We just have to wait until the idiots on the Hill get their s–t together,” chimed Dept. of the Interior worker Liberty Metcalf, who turns 49 Wednesday.The federal government has had full or partial shut downs 17 times since President Jimmy Carter’s administration in the late ‘70s. Each time, federal workers have received back pay when the shutdown ended
This time around, Emery, Metcalf and many others have little faith that will happen.
“It sucks,” said Driskell. “We’re not getting paid. How long will it last? We’re terrified. It’s like people are playing games and we’re the pawns.”
“I’m anticipating it won’t happen with this adversarial climate,” said Maxwell’s patron who works in HR for a Manhattan federal agency.
“The point is they are trying to save money.”
If the furloughs go on for more than two weeks, he will file for unemployment, which workers can do, depending on their state laws.
“It’s very frustrating,” he said. “I just bought a house. I’m OK for October but November may be an issue depending how long this goes on.”
Antoinette Williams, a furloughed union president
from Staten Island, is on of several New York federal workers who said they live paycheck to paycheck.
“People are under impression we are over paid, that’s not the case,” Williams, 31, said. “We have bills we have to pay, and without a check we’re in trouble.”
“This is serious, it’s not a game, but people in [Congress] think it is. They are still getting a pay check — and that’s what’s frustrating.”