The US government shutdown shows no sign of ending, as Democrats and Republicans continue to disagree over funding for Trump’s border wall.
But while they argue, many government employees are being “furloughed”, meaning they’re not being paid.
And when we say “many”, we’re talking more than 420,000 employees, according to NBC.
On Wednesday, the Office of Personal Management (OPM) sent out sample letters for employees who are struggling with paying rent and bills.
Their advice? Barter with their landlord for lower rent.
Feds, here are sample letters you may use as a guide when working with your creditors during this furlough. If you… https://t.co/sKWdXQz9GV
— U.S. Office of Personnel Management (@U.S. Office of Personnel Management)
The letters basically tell employees to ask for mercy from creditors and mortgage companies.
In its suggested letter to landlords, the OPM advises employees to write this:
I will keep in touch with you to keep you informed about my income status and I would like to discuss with you the possibility of trading my services to perform maintenance (e.g. painting, carpentry work) in exchange for partial rent payments.
Many social media users were quick to point out the letters were tone-deaf to most government employees’ financial problems, especially as most do not have a “personal attorney”.
@USOPM you know most people don't have a "personal attorney", right?
that's 2018 speak for "let them eat cake"
— This was preventable (@This was preventable)
@USOPM Sadly nobody cares about the REAL financial impact on furloughed employees. Late fees and charges, higher bo… https://t.co/Zgx1iqFzw9
— Liberty - hold them accountable - Stan (@Liberty - hold them accountable - Stan)
@USOPM Who wrote this elitist crap?! How is a form letter going to work at a grocery store, gas station, daycare ce… https://t.co/i9LLJqwkN9
— 1 of the 94% who tried (@1 of the 94% who tried)
Others pointed out that the idea employees would have to barter for rent is pretty dystopian.
@USOPM Next the FDA will tweet out, “Feds, low cost nutritional food you can eat during the shutdown can be found i… https://t.co/z82eujWPCy
— Semi Pro Quarantiner (@Semi Pro Quarantiner)
One journalist said the same letters were sent out during the Obama administration shutdown so this isn’t necessarily a problem with just Trump.
I love to dunk on Trump, but OPM put out those furloughed worker tips during the Obama administration, too.