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It's been a tough 10 days for federal workers. Furloughed employees are frustrated with the lack of work and pay, and it's enough to anger even the most patient worker. They shouldn't get too mad; there are plenty of great ways to get out that frustration. But some are better than others for getting even with Congress.

Drunk dial Congress:

Furloughed workers can get whiskeyed up and turn some of those frustrations onto their congressional oppressors with the trollish new website, Drunk Dial Congress. Enter your phone number and the website calls a random Congressional office, and dialers can then unleash their anger at unsuspecting staff. The site offers its own verbal suggestions, too, such as "You had one job to do and you failed!" or "Why don't you make yourself useful and at least mow the lawn?" It's a great way to let your frustrations out against a member of Congress — or some poor unpaid intern stuck manning the phones.

Will this actually annoy Congress: Possibly. Some senators have been reduced to answering their own phones.



happy hour drinks shutdown furloughWhat better way to cool hot heads than with a cold beer, and a cheap one at that? D.C. area restaurants and bars have been trying to turn the shutdown into a drinking holiday with a series of Happy Hour specials. The Washington Post compiled some of the best deals, like this from Kangaroo Boxing Club: "Take 10 percent off your tab with a federal ID. The discount will grow 5 percent every week the shutdown lasts." Other specials claimed to charge members of Congress twice as much as regular prices for some fun schadenfreude.  For those 21 and up, the shutdown is a fine excuse for a day of drinking. 

Will this actually annoy Congress: No.

(Photo: mwittdavis via Instagram)

Shopping spree:

Shopping can be a de-stressor, and federal workers took to customizing items on Zazzle that are appropriate for the circumstances. For those that feel that the sequester or the shutdown F-d them — that stands for Furloughed, obviously — the shirt below could come in hand for just over $25. Others in need of a new mug for the occasion can select the "Non-essential Employee of the Month." A warm cup of coffee after sleeping in and a new t-shirt can certainly help morale.

shutdown mug furlough

Will this actually annoy Congress: Probably not. For a member of Congress to notice this, you'll have to walk near the Capitol without a jacket while conspicuously sipping coffee from this mug.

(Photos via Zazzle)

Grow a furlough beard:

Several government non-essentials have taken to growing a beard for as long as the furloughs last. Call it the "#Furloughbeard" hashtag, the Shaveless Shutdown, or, as The Washington Post calls it, "that scourge of the furlough spouse." Social media is full of examples of these attempts, such as by Instagram user Justintherman at right, who left the message "Paying respect to the original #shutdownbeard -Abe Lincoln. #furloughbeard." Nothing says dissatisfaction quite like facial follicles.

Plus, if the shutdown continues, those prickly facial hairs might become long enough to give someone a scratch. Maybe this isn't the least dangerous way to go.

Will this actually annoy Congress: No.

(Photo: justintherman via Instagram)


With the National Park Service and federal policemen underserved, skateboarders have flocked to D.C. monuments for conflict free skating, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week. One of those boarders, Darren Harper, posted the macro image at right to his Instagram and tallied over 120 likes for it. Police and other furloughed security previously enforced No Skateboarding rules with fines and board confiscation. But with fewer policemen available and priorities elsewhere during the shutdown, skaters have happily ridden on the smooth concrete monuments.

For the time being, furloughed federal workers can easily join the crews. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. 

Will this actually annoy Congress: Possibly, if lawmakers see you skating as they are driven past the monuments.

(Photo: Darren Harper via Instagram)

Sexual healing:

The furlough is a great if unexpected opportunity for quality relationship time. But for those frustrated both professionally and sexually, is offering one of their products for free to federal workers. "Do you have a little too much time on your hands and nothing to do? Is the recent government shutdown to blame?," the website asks. If so, see the deal to the right, as the site is giving away 200 free versions every day as long as the shutdown lasts. BuzzFeed notes that the site is offering free erotic fiction for perusal, too. This one isn't for everyone. But it's a great way to defuse tensions and frustrations.

Will this actually annoy Congress: No.

Over two-thirds of people consider the shutdown to be a "major problem," and that frustration can easily be seen in federal workers. But with a little alcohol, drunk dialing, shopping, and some other fun activities, furloughed government employees can survive the shutdown.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.