I was a Ward Clerk Supervisor at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis during the '95 shutdown. A lot of folks I knew in the daily clinics were sent home but anyone who worked on the wards with inpatients, or in critical environmental services areas had to show up every day and night for work. We knew that eventually we would get paid. We also knew that the veterans we saw every day in the beds, the ICUs and coming and going to and from surgeries needed us to be there. So no one slacked off. A lot of us were veterans ourselves and we could easily see ourselves in a bed one day. It is called civil 'service' for a reason.
And if our congressmen/women understood that, and had to work for no pay, they would re-think their tactics and focus better on the real objective.