Furloughed NASA employee's dream job turning into a nightmare from government shutdown

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-19 12:01:43-05

CLEVELAND — A dream job quickly turning into a nightmare for one furloughed NASA Glenn Research Center employee.

"They have that big sign that says research and development for the benefit of all. And my first day driving in there really made me feel like this is it, this is home,” The worker said. “That job security is what drew me to it"

But now he’s sitting at home waiting for the shutdown to end to get back to work.

"I really don’t have a ton of savings built up, I just have a month or two set aside so if this lasts another week or two I’m going to be in deep water." The worker said. “I'm going to have to be talking to my landlord, talking to my creditors and telling them this is where I'm at and pretty much being at their mercy"

The worker, who didn’t want to be identified, said at first he didn’t think the shutdown would last very long because previous shutdowns he experienced only last a couple of days.

Government employees who do similar work to their counterparts in the private sector make a lot less for the same work. Some studies suggest an upwards of 30% pay disparity.

Disruptions like the government shutdown may make it even more difficult for government agencies to fend off the private sector for the best and brightest in the work force.

“I know a lot of people who came to Ohio, who came to Cleveland to work at NASA, and now they're being told to go find other jobs and get out of the public sector because of this. So this is becoming very damaging.” The worker said. "I was hoping not to but that’s kind of what I have to do now. I'm looking at other places I was interested in before I got hired at NASA."