LONDONDERRY, New Hampshire (WBZ-AM) -- Aaron Beeson can't say it enough--a furlough is not a vacation.
Beeson is an IRS employee in New Hampshire who is currently furloughed during the government shutdown. Friday, December 21 was his last day in the office.
At any moment, he tells WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal, he could be called back in to work, so he needs to be near his office at all times. He can't collect unemployment or search for another job. He's been sitting by the phone, waiting.
"You can't go for a long drive," he explained. "You can't decide, hey, I want to go visit family down south, or across the country. You can't do anything like that because at any given notice, they could call you back."
And even if the government isn't open, the IRS can still call him back and order him to work for promisory notes--that is, the promise of being paid after the government is re-opened. Tax season is upon us, after all, and the agency may call him back out of the necessity to process returns.
In the meantime, he's collecting no income at all, and he's waiting to hear from his local bank on whether or not he can get a small personal loan. Federal employees usually get back pay eventually, but that doesn't help Beeson now.
"Try explaining to the car or the mortgage payment or the doctor's office, hey, at some point down the road, I don't know when, but I have a lot of money coming in," Beeson said. "It sounds like a bad e-mail scam."
Beeson is concerned, but this isn't his first shutdown.
"We survived the 2013 shutdown which was 17 days, and that was a long and difficult few days, because we didn't know what was going on," he said.
To kill time, Beeson's been cleaning his house and hanging out with friends who are off this time of year. They're picking up the tab.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports