Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

October 17, 2013

After shutdown, government moves back to business

(Continued)

WASHINGTON D.C. —

At the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., email servers were slowly grinding back into gear.
Fire protection engineer Dan Madrzykowski had been in the office for about half an hour, and about 800 emails had popped into his inbox, but that covered only back to Oct. 13. Still, Madrzykowski said he was pleased to be back at work. “Nothing good was coming from keeping the government closed,” he said.
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’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 Atlanta, tears welled in Denise Traicoff’s eyes as she talked about the work she missed doing for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traicoff works with officials in other countries to improve disease investigation and health programs, and has been focusing on polio. The shutdown meant such communications were stopped and colleagues in other countries abandoned.
“I’m mostly really frustrated,” she said, walking into the CDC Thursday morning.
In Pottsville, Pa., several people waited outside the Social Security office ahead of its 9 a.m. opening. James Ulrich, an unemployed 19-year-old needed a replacement for his lost Social Security card to apply for jobs. He was told a replacement card would take another two weeks to arrive.
 
“I don’t have a really good outlook on the government,” Ulrich said.
 
In Cincinnati, Renee Yankey, a federal alcohol and tobacco tax specialist, was sleep-deprived after staying up late to watch news of the shutdown-ending deal, but otherwise glad to be back at work with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
 
“I can tell that the alcohol industry missed us,” said Yankey, a federal employee for 25 years. “The first thing I hear is ‘I’m so glad I got a person on the phone!’”

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