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.
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.