Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Federal Government Shutdown and You: Fun FAQs for Federal Government Employees

Let’s Shut This Down. Hello. Your Federal Government® sometimes operates under a little something we like to call continuing appropriations resolutions. They temporarily fund Executive Branch programs like Planned Parenthood, NPR, NASA, and Puerto Rico. If another appropriations act is not signed into law on or before the end date, your Federal Government operations will cease, shut down, and stop. You Federal Government employees will be furloughed. It’s not pretty. Let’s blame it on the Tea Party.

To help you during this confusing time, we have developed the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about key issues related to Federal Government shutdowns, furloughs, and just a little bit about zombies.

How will I know if the Federal Government is Shut Down? Oh you’ll know. At the Precise Moment of Work Stoppage (PMOWS), the United States Navy’s Blue Angels will conduct a wicked crazy airshow directly over Washington DC. Oh, you’ll know.
What Will Happen? The Blue Angel’s routine will begin with a Fat Albert (C-130) high performance takeoff and Flat Pass, a FA-18 Diamond Take-off with a Half Squirrel Cage, an Opposing Knife-Edge Pass, several Diamond Rolls, and a Double Farvel. They will do several Sneak Passes, Vertical Breaks, Delta Rolls, and a Loop Break Cross. It will be very loud and posted to the YouTubes, which are located inside of the Internets. Charlie Foxtrot. Bravo Zulu.

But Aren’t the Blue Angels Part of the Federal Government? You bet. But they get approval from their commanders to rock on. So they do.

What is a Furlough? A furlough involves placing an employee in a temporary nonduty, nonpay status because of lack of work or funds or other nondisciplinary reasons. Work offices are closed and off limits. During a furlough, Federal Government employees are prohibited from conducting official work duties, if any. For some employees, the difference between nonduty and duty is negligible.

Can I go to my Office during a Furlough? Nope. You really don’t get this, do you? You gotta go home.

Can I Volunteer to do my Job on a Nonpay Basis During a Furlough? Nope. Not gonna happen. Stay home.

Can I Work at Home During a Furlough? You may tinker in the garden, putter around the garage, and work in the kitchen. You may work on your car, your vocabulary, or your hair. However, if you dare check a single Federal Government email or simply turn on your Government-issued Blackberry, the Federal Government will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger. And you will know that this is your Government when We lay Our vengeance upon thee.

I am a Federal Employee. Can I Work as an Exotic Dancer During the Furlough to Make Ends Meet? While on furlough, you continue to be a Government employee. Your Federal Government fully supports your desire to work as an exotic dancer to make ends meet. Simply provide your supervisor the address and performance timings and we’re good.

I am a US Senator. What Happens to Me if I Shut Down the Government? Legislative staff will not be allowed to enter their offices to work. You will likely be paid because you will likely insert text about that into the bill. However, your mistress may experience a slight delay in payment.

I am currently in the middle of a battle right outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. What should I do? Thank you for your service. Stay put for now. Download form SR-634-B, complete it online, and forward it to your commander. That will provide permission to continue fighting until the next continuing resolution. Booyah.

Do Furloughed Federal Employees Get Paid? Yes. Federal employees will likely receive retroactive pay following the furlough. But it may be in Rupees.

What Happens to my Benefits During a Furlough? They will be placed in a locked box and guarded by Scottish Rite Freemasons on 16th Street, DC.

What Happens if I Die while on Furlough? If you were a Christian, Jew, or Muslim, lived a good life, and filled out form AL-6501.B, you will go to Heaven. Likewise, Hindus, Buddhists, and Bahais will enjoy a splendid afterlife and will be good to go. Unitarians might be a little surprised.

I am a Prisoner in a Federal Penitentiary. Can I Leave Now? No. The rules for Federal Government employees and Federal Government prisoner are slightly different. Please shelter in place. Stay right there.Since the commissary is managed by a Federal Government contractor, they will be closed. Don’t like MREs? You can make alternative dining provisions. Note that concierge services will cease.

Will the Cherry Blossoms Stop Blooming? The cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin in Washington DC peaked approximately March 29 through April 1st. The blooming period will continue as normal unless an alien spacecraft hovers over the Tidal Basin and emits radioactive particle-beam grunge. And since the Army will be on furlough, good luck with that.

 Speaking of Grunge, How does this Affect Kurt Cobain? Kurt should be nominally affected given that he died in 1994. In addition, Grunge music is rarely played inside Federal Government buildings, so there’s that.

What About Zombies? Since they are technically deceased, Zombies pay only sporadic attention to the news and information sources such as telephones and email. They are typically disorganized and wander. Thus, they may not fully appreciate the fact that there has been a government shutdown. Their primary focus will likely continue to be the acquisition and consumption of brains. Give them space.

Zombies are nearly always considered nonessential personnel and will thus be barred from entering Federal Government property, even for brains.

How will I know that the Shutdown is Over? Your Federal Government© will find you and inform you that the coast is clear and that you can resume the very fine work that you currently provide to this beautiful nation. Well, we can wish, right? Carry on.


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