At the time of musing about this piece, I believe we were three weeks into the current government shutdown. There are people on the various social media sites who have posted but, now that I think about it, not as much as prior to the shutdown. They are lamenting over their plights and voicing dissatisfaction with the President, espousing the notion that they’ll work it out.
Well, that is exactly what inspired me to inspire with a little history lesson for those of you currently furloughed by the recounting of the great government shutdown of 2007. Oh, now that was the granddaddy of shutdowns right there.
It got so bad that I came up with what is now an old saw that goes like this: too much drone and your marriage could go unmanned. Folks get a chuckle out of it these days, but boy howdy a lot of guys lived it as they waited what turned out to be almost ten years to get back to business.
Others have started online shutdown support groups and that is not a bad idea. I sure wish someone would have come up with an idea like that back in ought-seven. It was a bloodbath: folks had poured all of their time and money into a business that became illegal both arbitrarily and overnight. Much like now, we didn’t think it would last long, as we were told not more than sixty to ninety days. Sixty to ninety days came and went and the years dragged on. Folks started losing their cars, homes, marriages, families, and what was left of their dignity.
Romance without finance is a nuisance, as the saying goes. I received countless calls over the years of people lamenting their plights and asking me to bless or validate their plan of action to save their livelihoods. I would never tell people to break the law, but I couldn’t tell them not to do what they felt they needed to do to save their marriages, or from being separated from their children, etc. Shit gets real for people when their world is coming apart and their kids are facing the street. I became resentful as time went on, and people fiddled (collected a check) while this industry’s Rome burnt to the ground and blew away. Well, not for the lawbreakers, but the honest folks. This is where some of the noncompliance issues came from, but that is a story for another time.
Those stories were my motivation to insist that the bureaucrats, nest feathers, and used car salespeople that were doing all of this sandbagging get off the dime and do the people’s bidding. Even now I get emotional when I think back on federal employees making excuses for the dysfunction and/or their sarcastic words of encouragement. “You’ll land on your feet,” or “You’ll be able to be in business again someday,” and others even worse. All I know for sure is: people had the power to get something done and they didn’t, and to this day I find that brand of professional apathy repugnant.
On to the lemonade –
In the end, a lot of those folks have new wives, and some are probably still in touch with their old wives, setting up visitation and sending child support checks from their apartments. To those of you furloughed in the airspace integration effort, welcome to the private sector simulator! Maybe now you can understand the plight of the entrepreneur, inventor, or student when moving this process forward. For the rest of you, maybe the next time you see me at a meeting and I call out the dysfunction or speak up, you’ll know why.