Well, apparently whatever hopes we had to eke out operations another week or so into the shutdown have fallen through, and, as of five o'clock tomorrow, the observatory I work for is officially closed. Millions of dollars of beautiful, powerful scientific instruments that your tax dollars paid for will be sitting idle indefinitely, while hundreds of skilled and dedicated people sit at home twiddling their thumbs instead of doing science. For absolutely no good reason. Go, America.
Exactly what this means for me, though, is still very much up in the air. It seems I am considered essential personnel, at least to some extent. There's a nightly observation we do for the US Navy that absolutely must run, come hell, high water, or government collapse. Depending on exactly when that's scheduled, it could mean a couple of hours of work a night for me, at least for next week. But it's also possible our presence might be deemed necessary for the safety and security of the building, in which case I could be doing my regular shifts, albeit with a highly reduced workload. But that has yet to be decided, so, for now, I'm just waiting for somebody to tell me when and whether to come in on Monday. And then I guess I wait to see when I get paid.