'I Miss Serving the Public': Furloughed Worker With Disabilities Eager to Get Back on Job - NBC4 Washington

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'I Miss Serving the Public': Furloughed Worker With Disabilities Eager to Get Back on Job

"Please, lawmakers: Please settle this thing soon so everybody can get back to work"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Federal Worker With Disabilities Eager for Shutdown's End

    A Northern Virginia man who has worked in the Environmental Protection Agency mail room for nearly 30 years is feeling the pain of the government shutdown. News4's David Culver has the story. 

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019)

    Fred Pickett, a mail clerk at the Environmental Protection Agency for 27 years, is one of many workers with disabilities who remain furloughed during the government shutdown, and he’s been feeling the effects.

    “I miss serving the public, I miss my daily routine,” Pickett, wearing a suit despite not being on the job, told News4. 

    Pickett, of Annandale, Virginia, works with ServiceSource, a company that helps place people with disabilities into jobs. Now, he and other ServiceSource workers are having to find new ways to make ends meet.

    “I’ve kind of been having to cut a few corners here and there, so it’s been pretty tough,” Pickett said.

    'I Cry Every Day': Federal Workers Line Up for Free Food

    [NATL-DC] 'I Cry Every Day': Federal Workers Line Up for Free Groceries

    If you need proof that the government shutdown is affecting people, take a look at these lines. Scores of furloughed federal workers stood in the cold Friday in Capitol Heights, Maryland, to get free groceries. "I think I cry every day," one woman told News4's Tracee Wilkins.

    (Published Friday, Jan. 18, 2019)

    ServiceSource is helping furloughed workers through a food drive it's calling Cans for Contractors. 

    But the help is no substitute for being back on the job.

    “Many [workers] have been with us for years and, just like Fred, they’re nervous, they’re anxious, they want to go back to work,” ServiceSource  Executive Vice President Mark Hall said. 

    Pickett said that without his job, he feels restless and worried.

    “That’s also part of my independence, going to work, earning a paycheck and paying my bills,” he said. “I miss my coworkers, and also, of course, I miss my paycheck.”

    Pickett urged elected officials to solve the shutdown as soon as possible. 

    "Please, lawmakers: Please settle this thing soon so everybody can get back to work," he said. 

    Go here to learn how you can donate to Cans for Contractors.

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