Hope OKeeffe

December 1995. My agency was targeted for major cuts, and 89 coworkers, roughly half the staff, were laid off just before the shutdown. Staying at home, waiting for the phone to ring was not remotely a vacation, but more like a deathbed watch. The shutdown ended -- and the snow hit. We finally went back to work, and half the conversations in the halls were along the lines of "I never expected to see you still here."

This time around, I don't expect to be paid in the end, but I do know that my agency and my job will still be here when it's over. But, I'll survive whatever comes.