Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fukenfurloren

Remember when Volkswagen would advertise with those nonsensical German sounding words like "farfegnugen"? That's what "fukenfurloren" is: a nonsensical German sounding word. If it were a real word, it would translate to "F**king Furlough".

Hundreds of thousands of government workers are being "furloughed" right now. It's a bullshit political ploy by the power elites running the government to look like they're being tough on budget cuts. In reality, it will do nothing but inconvenience (or harm) people caught in the crossfire between a bunch of unaccountable elites who are not undergoing any inconvenience for this.

Government workers are being furloughed for 20% of the time last week and the next ten, for a total of eleven. Each agency or service can allocate these however they want. I'm being furloughed one day each week. Others are taking two days at a time, since it's 20% of a two week pay period.

My furlough day is Friday, which I'm happy about. Many government workers aren't allowed to have a cool day. They lose 20% of their pay and productive time, and get stuck with Thursday.

A problem many government workers are running into is, the 20% of their pay that is being taken away is the 20% they live on. That's the case for me. I automated my finances, so each paycheck, 1/26th of all my obligations for the year is automatically put in another account, which my bills are paid out of. Then I give my ex-wife her cut. Until the house sells, I still have to pay utilities and insurance. My paycheck still supports two households.

I'm not trying to whine about it. I'm doing the only thing I can: buy everything I will need for the next three months while I still have money. The divorce maxed out my credit card and wiped out my savings, so there's not a lot to work with. But I think with the exception of some perishables like cheese, I could remain in my "basement command post" for the next three months and survive. I'll get sick of rice, Ramen, mac & cheese, Hormel, Sun Chips, etc. But I could survive.

Talk about the perfect storm: a divorce AND a 20% reduction in pay. I won't even be able to see my children again until October, because mathematically, I can't afford the gas and tolls to drive to New Jersey to see them. In the immortal words of Beavis: "This sucks!"

Another part of my furlough survival plan is to get free food. Yesterday there was some kind of tech expo at work. I showed up, talked to vendors, and got some swag. There was also a provided lunch, so I ate that, and left the food in my desk for another meal.

My furlough eating out plan will consist of going to Costco for lunch on weekends. You can get a pretty good meal from the free samples. I've done that a few times, although I spit the laundry detergent out. That stuff was nasty!

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