Federal workers back to work after 16-day shutdown

Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM.

Workers began filing in well before dawn at the U.S. Geological Survey's campus in Reston, about 20 miles outside Washington.

"Feels kind of strange," said Kathleen Faison of Ashburn, a training specialist at the survey, as she headed into the office. "I kind of wish they would have kept us out until Monday."

Patrice Roberts, who works for the Department of Homeland Security, said she wasn't prepared for the emotional lows of the past 16 days.

"It was very difficult, not just financially but emotionally. It's just frustrating having that kind of control over your life and just having it taken away from me," said Roberts, who is expecting another shutdown in January. "I'll be better prepared next time."

In Pottsville, Pa., several people waited outside the Social Security office ahead of its 9 a.m. opening. Among them was James Ulrich, an unemployed 19-year-old who needed — but had been unable to get due to the shutdown — a replacement for his lost Social Security card. Without the card, he's been unable to apply for jobs.

"Pretty frustrating, because I know I can work," said Ulrich, who added that he needs a job while he studies for his GED. Ulrich was told Thursday that a replacement card would take another two weeks to arrive, so, in all, his job search will be delayed more than a month.

"I don't have a really good outlook on the government," he said.



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