Tuesday, October 1, 2013

U.S. Federal Government Shutdowns: More FAQs Than Really Necessary

Your Federal Government increasingly operates under “continuing appropriations resolutions.” These temporarily fund government programs and activities that have already been authorized. If another appropriations act is not signed into law on or before the end date—either a continuing resolution or a regular appropriation bill—Federal Government operations will shut down and Federal Government employees will be furloughed. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. No more Panda Cam.

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provide answers to key issues related to Federal Government shutdowns, furloughs, and of course, 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 air show over Washington DC and a few other cities. Oh, you’ll know. It’ll be loud and scary. Like dinner time at the Assad’s in Damascus.

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 huge and posted to the YouTube, which is located inside the Internet. You should get that if you don’t already.

But aren’t the Blue Angels Part of the Federal Government? You bet they are. But they get permission from their commanders to rock on. And so they do.

Say, What is a Furlough? Isn't that French? A furlough involves placing an employee in a temporary nonduty, nonpay status because of lack of work or funds. During a furlough, Federal Government employees are prohibited from conducting official work duties, if any. For some Federal Government employees and government contractors, the difference between nonduty and duty is negligible. 

Can I go to My Office During a Furlough? Nope. Remember: Nonduty-nonpay. You gotta go home. Chill. Out.

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

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 or your vocabulary. But if you check your Federal Government email or 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. 

Can I Work as an Exotic Dancer During a Furlough? You bet. It’s heart healthy! Your Federal Government fully supports your interest to work as an exotic dancer while on furlough. Simply provide your supervisor the address and times of your upcoming performances and you are good to go.

I am in the middle of a battle 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. Keep your head down. Boo-yah.

What about the National Zoo Panda Cam? Sadly, the National Zoo Panda Cam will go dark during a shutdown. I know, right? However, ladies can amuse themselves via Jezebel.com and there is no shortage of online entertainment for the guys, if you know what I mean. Take due notice and govern yourself accordingly.

Do Furloughed Federal Employees Get Paid? You will receive retroactive pay following the furlough in Rupees or IOUs.

What Happens to my Employee Benefits During a Furlough? They will be put in a locked box. Al Gore has the key. 

What Happens if I Die During the Furlough? If you were in a government-approved and registered religion in good standing, lived a good life, helped others, and filled out form AL-6501, you are likely to go to Heaven and/or a pleasant and/or meaningful alternative destination. Please note that your Federal Government wishes you a pleasant afterlife. Enjoy.

I am a Prisoner in a Federal Penitentiary. Can I Leave Now? No. The rules for Federal Government employees and Federal Government prisoners are slightly different. Shelter in place. We’ll get to you when we can.

How Does This Affect Obamacare? Business as usual. The Death Panels will continue to operate, but from a secret location, such as Mississauga, Canada. Medical marijuana shoppes will remain open 24/7 with happy hour from 5-6. Flu shots will be provided free-of-charge to seniors at all Nando’s Peri-Peri locations. Senator Ted Cruz will continue his marathon speech against Obamacare at Hooter’s in Fiscal Cliff, Texas and rant something about his new universal lawn-care bill. Unfortunately, Medical conditions developed during a shutdown will be considered pre-existing conditions when your Federal Government turns back on again. Sorry about that.

What About Zombies? Technically deceased, Zombies pay only sporadic attention to the news, social media, and email. They are notably disorganized. Thus, they may not fully appreciate the fact that there has been a government shutdown. Their primary focus will likely be the acquisition and consumption of brains. That’s what they do. Keep some distance. Note that Zombies are nearly always considered nonessential personnel and will thus be barred from entering Federal Government property and “working.”

How will I know that the Shutdown is Over? Oh don’t worry about that. Your Federal Government will find you and let you know when the coast is clear and that you can resume the fine and productive work that you presumably provide now. No phone calls, please. We’ll call you.