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The 1995 Federal Shutdown:
A Belated Confession

Above: CNN on then and now
===================================== Photo by PinkMoose, via Flickr

In 1995 the federal government shut down for several weeks due to a budget impasse that may be about to be repeated. While not all federal agencies were affected, FCC certainly was. Virtually all employees were ordered not to come to the office during the shutdown and guards at the then headquarters building at 1919 M St., NW enforced this.

But your blogger sometimes listens to a different drummer. At that time FCC/OET was in a separate building, 2020 M St. that was almost all private tenants and had no FCC security officer. Since no one bothered to change the lock, it was easy to get in if you had a key. I had a health club membership in the same block and came in 2-3 times/week to work out at the health club. (My wife’s agency had an appropriation at that point, so she had to work anyway.)

After working out at the health club, I sneaked into the FCC/OET office space to both ponder the stupidity of the shutdown and also to water everyone’s plants. I figured that people were stressed out enough about the shutdown - it was not clear at that point whether they would eventually get paid - and the last thing they needed was to come back and find that their beloved office plant of x years had died during the shutdown.

Yes, I violated FCC directions and possibly the law. I hope that the statute of limitations has expired. I have no regrets.

2013 Shutdown

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