Federal employees prepare for life without BlackBerrys

Federal employees prepare for life without BlackBerrys
In case you haven't heard, it's looking increasingly likely that the federal government will shut down as of Monday. Their current budget will expire on Friday at midnight, and President Obama has yet to eek a solution out of Congress. A shutdown would mean the temporary dismissal of so-called non-essential personnel. And even essential personnel will go to work, but not be paid until a budget is approved.

And beyond the financial concerns of federal employees, there are more practical concerns at play. For example, furloughed workers would be forced to relinquish their BlackBerrys and laptops to their supervisors, as any activity on those devices would constitute unapproved work.

One administration official explained that "If an employee is furloughed, it is illegal - a criminal violation - for them to work." But many employees, like the rest of us, have become dependent on mobile email, whether as a necessity or simple compulsion. There was a similar government shutdown in the 1990s, but mobile email wasn't yet a factor.

Granted, many employees have another personal device that they can use to access their email, so they can forward their work emails. But it's still unknown whether their work email will even be functioning. Mary Kahn, who works in Medicaid administration, said that she's considering "a 12-step BlackBerry withdrawal program".

A Senate aide confessed that some supervisors might not take the mandate too seriously. Employees could be allowed to keep their devices, but urged to not respond to emails. The aide said that "No one knows if you read it," so they might just have to fight the urge to respond. Sorry, civil servants. We hope you can enjoy this tech-less vacation.

source: Wall Street Journal

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10 Comments

1. bisyballer unregistered

iphone sucks even with a shutdown! long live android, the world's #1 OS!!!

2. attrep unregistered

You give a terrible name to android fans. Please stop making me feel embarrassed to be an android fan

3. nuadar unregistered

well many apple fans do the same but yeah..lets show we arent same fanatics... love this statement..."If an employee is furloughed, it is illegal - a criminal violation - for them to work."

4. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Wow! really? just because its Canadian? x)

5. tragichero

Posts: 163; Member since: Jan 07, 2011

we can thank republicans in the house for a shutdown. dems have given in to 78% of their recent demands. they didnt have to.... but the republicans have been holding the govenment hostage and dems have done more than enough to prevent a shutdown. if a shutdown goes down just know its not because "President Obama has yet to eek a solution". obama and harry reid have compromised more than enough. they have already agreed to cut as much as john boehners original budgit.... but the republicans know they can ask more and more untill the government shutsdown because thats the tea party agenda.

6. Rick unregistered

@tragichero Really? U mean the budget that should have been passed last october when the dens had control of the House and Senate? And the democrats are whining about 60 billion when we are facing a 1.5 trillion deficit this year alone? Of course its the republicans fault (rolls eyes)

8. tragichero

Posts: 163; Member since: Jan 07, 2011

we are talking about making cuts to 4% of the governement.... thats it. like i said democrats had already agreed to the conssessions so if it did shut down which it didnt it would have been the republicans faults. this lack of compromise for so long had nothing to do with the budgit but actually defunding planned parenthood. thats what they had been arguing about. the cuts were agreed upon it was just whether to cut off planned parenthood. republicans say its because tax payers are paying for abortions when actually since a law passed in the 70's no federal funds are to be used for abortion. so republicans actually wanted to cut health care for over a million woman a year. nothing to do with the budgit. of course we now know democrats were not willing to do that and compromise was made either way because republicans knew that planned parenthood is an issue they cant win with over 50% of our population. if this was about decreasing our debt then we could of taxed the richest 1% of people by just 3% and would have increased more revenue and decreased the debt by a substantial amount more than these cuts. im not against cuts but i am against where the republicans want to cut. they want to cut social programs and institutions that benefit and support the poor and enviorment. thats ridiculous.... they are giving tax breaks to the rich on the backs of the poor and middle class. did you know GE the worlds largest corporation didnt pay any taxes last year or this year. as a matter of fact they recieved billions back in rebates. so while we buy their products they also recieve are tax dollars. if the tea party is for the tax payer how could they be for that? if the tea party is for job creation how come they support this budgit that kills 700,000 jobs a year? if republicans are for cuts how come there wasnt any defense cuts. i know cuts to defense are scary but there are alot things that can be done in terms of defense that can save us alot of money. like bringing home troops in korea and gemany. last time i checked the wars there have been over. how about the 70 billion we spent on f22 jets that we never have used and wont. its very simple. the republicans dont want to cut the budget. they want people who are already rich to get richer therefore they need replace that revenue with budget cuts and destroy crucial programs so they can be privatized.... which the rich can make more money once again.

9. tragichero

Posts: 163; Member since: Jan 07, 2011

the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. thats what happends when the republicans get what they want..... and they got over what they had originally said they wanted. back again to planned parenthood because after reading what i wrote in a crazy frenzy i wanted to be clear. no federal funding goes to abortion. the federal funding to planned parenthood is in pregnancy prevention, education, paps, cancer check, etc. so while only about 3% of what planned parenthood does is abortion which pays for itself.... what we are defunding will actually cause more abortions. therefore if you are against abortion you should be up in arms about the defunding of planned parenthood.

7. chris d unregistered

Who cares if government shuts down. It's already costing us a fortune and on top of it, I bet the world will still spin, the sun will still give its light and the universe will still exist after the government shut down. I wish it would shut down permanently. There is so much waste and inefficiency it's beyond absurd. . Not to mention, WHO IN GOVERNMENT is actually there for the furtherance of Liberty, Freedom and Respect. Every time you look, government wants more and more. The people who work for government are WAYYYY over paid and have tooooo many personal financial safety nets all thanks to people who pay taxes to the master! GOOD RIDDENS!!!

10. tragichero

Posts: 163; Member since: Jan 07, 2011

do you even know the effects to the american people in a government shut down. how about public workers whos paychecks are subsidized by the government... not getting paid. how about low income families that are awaiting there tax returns to put food on table and pay their rent. how about the enviorment.... not getting that sewage waste in the water cleaned nope. what if you want to leave the country to avoid another recession because the economy will be greatly effected... not leaving without a passport! you are clearly unaware or have no consideration for anyone but yourself

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