Faces of the Shutdown: Fear, Frustration and Anger

PHOTO: Furloughed federal workers protest outside the U.S. Capitol.

During the first week of the government shutdown of 2013, ABC News reporters fanned out across Washington, D.C. -- the city most acutely affected by furloughs.

We spoke with people like Eliot Markman, an analyst at the Department of Agriculture who might have to take a second job during the shutdown just to pay his bills. Janelle Anderson, a biological scientist at the Department of Defense called the shutdown "frustrating" and "ridiculous." And then there's Freddi Karp, a furloughed employee at the National Institute on Aging whose message to Congress is simple: "Do your job, so I can do mine."

These are their stories:

PHOTO: Furlough Workers
ABC News
Matthew Gever

Matthew Gever
Health Care Analyst
Government Accountability Office

For Matthew Gever, the shutdown is "terrifying."

Both he and his wife are federal employees: "We've gone from two incomes to none."

"We have some money saved up so we can last for a while," he said, "but not sure how long and, because we don't know how long this is going to go on, we don't really know how to budget or how to plan for the long-term if need be."

Like so many other furloughed government workers, Gever expressed frustration because, he said, "it's ultimately the job of Congress to make sure the government functions -- that's one of the most basic duties that they have."

"They're putting petty politics in front of doing their job."

--Shushannah Walshe

PHOTO: Furlough Workers
ABC News
Raahkia Nance

Rahkia Nance
Internal Communications Manager
District of Columbia

Though Rahkia Nance said she wants to "explore the city" with her unexpected time off, she said she is both "disappointed and appalled" that "elected officials would risk damaging the economy for their own selfish reasons."

But, she added, "I'm not shocked."

"I think it's childish. I really think this whole battle is very childish, it reminds me of kids playing in the sandbox and one side says, 'My way or the highway or nobody gets to play,' and it's unfair. That's not what we elected our officials to do," said Nance, who works for the District of Columbia's Water and Sewer Authority.

Nance said she is also worried about not getting paid, noting that before the shutdown she "never really calculated how much I make in a day."

"I figured one day won't be so bad, maybe not even two days, but, watching the stalemate that's going on, I'm anticipating that this is something that's going to go on for a while, so I'm looking ahead, anticipating, how am I going to get my bills paid, what arrangements, if any, do I need to make?"

"It's kind of unnerving," Nance said.

--Shushannah Walshe

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