Federal Employees Go Back to Work ... on a Huge 'Mess'
Assuming they got the news at all
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Oct 17, 2013 11:38 AM CDT
Joe Biden greets Environmental Protection Agency workers as they return to work after 16 days of a government shutdown at the William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building, Oct. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Federal employees are officially back on the job this morning—assuming they got the news. The bill reopening the government was signed late last night, and agencies couldn't exactly email their employees to let them know, because it was actually illegal for workers to check their email during the shutdown. Some departments have set up hotlines or phone trees to notify employees, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Hopefully it'll come through the grape vine," one TSA analyst tells CNN.

Not everyone can return immediately, either; some, for instance, need to make new day care arrangements. And when they do get back in the office, they'll be weeks behind schedule, and face horrific email and voicemail backlogs. "It's going to be a mess," a former Executive Branch human resources manager tells Politico. "It's not just like flipping a switch," a geologist whose research was interrupted agreed in an NPR piece. "There's a lot of cogs in the machine." On the bright side, if you returned to work at the EPA this morning, Joe Biden brought you muffins, ABC reports.

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Oct 18, 2013 8:39 AM CDT
I have insurance and I would hate to think I am so selfish I do not want others to have insurance as well. In fact, I cannot even imagine the kind of person that thinks that even though I have read many of your comments. Have you never had nor seen anyone in your life or family who got really sick or had a really sick child? Do you really think bad things happen to only bad people? Are you really happy with a system in which getting sick is a roll of the dice and no insurance to help you recover is okay? You know, I feel bad that people in third world countries have situations as they do. I care as a human being. I cannot imagine not caring about my neighbors right here in this country. I would love to hear how the ones who think this came to these conclusions since I firmly believe people who have been blessed, want blessings for others. What kind of life has led you to this hate for our countrymen who only want to be able to afford to go to the doctor and get our medicine to get well when sick. Do you really think it is okay to be more concerned that my insurance will be cancelled? By rights of this law, I will be able to buy insurance and I no longer have to worry the insurance will not pay once i have a claim. Many who thought they had insurance in this country and paid for years was duped this way. This is no longer legal. The insurance policies that are cancelled are the ones that do not provide the guarantees of coverage provided in the healthcare law like...your insurance cannot be cancelled if you get sick. Your will not run out of benefits half way through treatment. If you lose your job because you are sick, you can still be insured. Your insurance cannot decide to not pay because of a small hidden clause. Insurance cannot save lives if someone is terminal, but at least some meds can be given to help fight the pain while you die. Do you really not care about your fellow citizens? Many of you are Christians. How do you justify these beliefs and feelings? Please answer in fact, not hate and emotion if possible, since I truly do not understand. You are destroying my belief in humans and Christians too.
Oct 17, 2013 2:26 PM CDT
Is that really Biden or the wax museum replica. It's hard to tell the difference.
Oct 17, 2013 2:22 PM CDT
It looks like employees will be cleaning up after Republicans just like Democrats have to do.