Government employee: "I'm relieved to be back"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) participates in a news conference on the government shutdown at the U.S. Capitol, October 9, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Most of the half million or so federal workers who were furloughed got to go back to work today.  Jason Alexander is a hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Lincoln, Neb.  He is back on the job after a couple of weeks at home.

 He says he’s glad to be back in the office, but is not looking forward to all the work that’s been piling up the past two weeks.  He says it will take him another two weeks to make up for the lost time.

Alexander says he’s relieved to be back in the office.

 “Most of us scientists at the USGS one of the questions that’s often asked when during these shutdown preparations is ‘Can I still work’. Most scientists just want work, crunch numbers and be the geeks that they are,” says Alexander.

Alexander’s wife is expecting their second child, so it gave him a sigh of relief that at they’ll have at least one income for the next three months. That is, until another possible shutdown.

“I’m just going to hope that it never happens again," says Alexander.  “Everybody gets anxious about it. We all love what we do, we just sort of put our heads down and nose to the grindstone and do our work.”

Alexander says he spent his time at home doing various home improvement projects, going on field trips with his children, and walking his dog.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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