As the Senate overwhelmingly passed a short-term spending package to send to the House, government workers in bars across DC watched in horror. Many of Washington’s drinking establishments have offered generous drink deals for any patron with a valid government ID. Assuming the shutdown would last at least for days, thousands of workers flocked to bars to celebrate the first weekday out of the office. The Senate’s actions, however, cast doubt on the revelry’s longevity.
Panic surrounding a possible immediate return to work manifested itself at bars in different ways. “Can they even do that? I can’t go back to the office like this,” hiccuped Personnel Management Manager Stacy Jefferson. “I’m absolutely wasted!” “I really need the House to give me, like… four or five hours,” mused Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic Miles Brown as he contemplated the empty glasses in front of him. Elsewhere, State Department employees confronting the prospect of a reopening rushed to bartenders and returned to tables with armfuls of drinks.
The furloughed workers were united, however, in optimistically anticipating new drink specials and a three-day weekend starting February 9.