Special welcome to US Coast Guard employees!

[www.washingtonpost.com]

From the article:

"To get by without pay, consider holding a garage sale, babysitting, dog-walking or serving as a 'mystery shopper.'"

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We all know that mystery shopping pays almost as much as being a helicopter pilot and the skills are pretty much the same. *eyeroll*

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
I read the same article. I guess you could divide that 5 Guys hamburger into four pieces for your family while waiting 6 weeks to get reimbursed. Sounds like a viable plan.
Slow pay is better than no pay. If families are on the edge, every dollar counts - even if it takes 60 days to arrive....

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@MFJohnston wrote:

Slow pay is better than no pay. If families are on the edge, every dollar counts - even if it takes 60 days to arrive....

In every shutdown in the past, federal employees are always eventually paid, even if they were furloughed and didn’t actually work during the time of the shutdown. So the problem they now face is cash flow and I don’t see mystery shopping helping them with that. Spending money at 5 Guys and waiting a month or more for reimbursement is not a good option for them. Also I hope the scammers don’t seek them out.
App work would help a little bit, and most pay within a few days. Traditional MSing would not help. some merchandising companies pay every week, so maybe that's a viable alternative?
Most of the Coasties I know personally live in base housing. So their garage sales would be for their neighbors, who also have no money.
I agree that immediate cash flow is a problem and know that many will be getting paid "eventually." However, those that are furloughed will simply not paid for the time they don't work. Money later is better than money never. For those that will get a pay check - just late... Many will be doing whatever they can to get through until that back pay comes in. In many cases that might mean taking out loans - in which case they will have to pay interest. If they do not have other options now, mystery shopping can provide money later in addition to their back pay, which can help to offset (or overcome) extra expenses incurred during this time.

Yes, immediate cash is better. But cash later is better than nothing.


@kenasch wrote:

@MFJohnston wrote:

Slow pay is better than no pay. If families are on the edge, every dollar counts - even if it takes 60 days to arrive....

In every shutdown in the past, federal employees are always eventually paid, even if they were furloughed and didn’t actually work during the time of the shutdown. So the problem they now face is cash flow and I don’t see mystery shopping helping them with that. Spending money at 5 Guys and waiting a month or more for reimbursement is not a good option for them. Also I hope the scammers don’t seek them out.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I agree that immediate pay would be better. Finding babysitting gigs is so easy, it's incredible. I can't believe how many people drop their kids off to strangers

On the other hand, if you have overdraft fees and late charges, MSing could be a good thing to do during the days of not reporting to a regular job (if you can pick up enough with no cash outlay) while not getting a paycheck simply because it WILL be extra money coming in EVENTUALLY, to help with any fees that might be incurred (??)
@MFJohnston wrote:

I agree that immediate cash flow is a problem and know that many will be getting paid "eventually." However, those that are furloughed will simply not paid for the time they don't work
@MFJohnston wrote:



As I said above, in past government shutdowns all furloughed workers have been paid, even for the time they didn’t work. It takes congressional action but I don’t think this time it will be any different. Too many votes at stake.
Are they paid so little that they can have zero dollars or cents in savings?

In a perfect world, they could get immediate pay. It might help some (not all!) of them to have a little something to do now, even if it is a little mystery shop that has a deferred gratification in the form of a payment several weeks from now.

Aaaannnnnywayyyyy... Crisp Salute!

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber
@chris34114 wrote:

[www.washingtonpost.com]

From the article:

"To get by without pay, consider holding a garage sale, babysitting, dog-walking or serving as a 'mystery shopper.'"

Or maybe planned for it since it happened 22 times since 1976. Non Federal workers have to plan for periods of unemployment by having at least 3 months expenses in savings--why are these employees different? This issue of the border wall is important and the snark is offensive to people like me who have had a family member murdered by an illegal.
I am sorry for your experience and your loss.

I could add that consideration to my list of reasons for wanting the wall to be funded and built. Above all,l I believe that it is a mistake for this nation to offer what it does not have to give. There is ongoing and severe demand for scarce resources. Adding to the numbers will not improve the generation or distribution of scarce resources. At least for the foreseeable future, this nation should acknowledge that it does not have enough funds, food, shelter, medicine, and other basic resources for citizens and others. As time passes and more and more things change, it might be possible for this nation to be a place where people can come and find an actual basis for their hope of a fresh start and a different life. Today, those conditions are impossible because of vast unmet needs of citizens and others. Today, this nation is not expansive as it was for many years in the past. In those years, there was plenty of rough and tumble and humble opportunity for anyone who was willing to try here. Now, this country is struggling to meet its own citizens' needs.

@tstewart3 wrote:

@chris34114 wrote:

[www.washingtonpost.com]

From the article:

"To get by without pay, consider holding a garage sale, babysitting, dog-walking or serving as a 'mystery shopper.'"

Or maybe planned for it since it happened 22 times since 1976. Non Federal workers have to plan for periods of unemployment by having at least 3 months expenses in savings--why are these employees different? This issue of the border wall is important and the snark is offensive to people like me who have had a family member murdered by an illegal.

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber
@tstewart3 wrote:

Or maybe planned for it since it happened 22 times since 1976. Non Federal workers have to plan for periods of unemployment by having at least 3 months expenses in savings--why are these employees different?
Exactly. These are not minimum wage part-time employees. Too much whining .... I am a government employee. My co-workers are always crying poor. It’s pathetic.

@tstewart3 wrote:

This issue of the border wall is important and the snark is offensive to people like me who have had a family member murdered by an illegal.

I’m sorry for your loss. It’s totally out of hand in CA. Sanctuary State etc.
I am hoping the silver lining in this is that at least some of the employees who cannot make their upcoming bill payments will learn the hard way to have at least a few months cushion in the bank. Yes, I am sure there are some government employees working at low wages and supporting a family on that amount with little chance to save but many are paid well above minimum wage in their state and need to learn this lesson.
I do not see the benefit to the government of this shutdown. It is causing all sorts of issues in parks, approval of credentials for job seekers, every day people needing to use the services of some of the agencies shut down. In the end the govt will probably pay everyone...so the plus to the government is they get the interest on the paycheck money for a few weeks and hopefully not months but that money will easily be spent in cleaning up the messes in the parks and elsewhere that this shutdown has caused including possibly future overtime to do just that. Whether you are for or against the wall this seems a wasteful and harmful way of forcing the issue.
Political speech over.
I live in a DC suburb. Not only are the federal employees affected, but the agency contractors, supporting businesses (food trucks, office supply, restaurants), national parks and transportation are affected as well.

I'm a contractor. My shopping is minimal.

@ceasesmith wrote:

Most of the Coasties I know personally live in base housing. So their garage sales would be for their neighbors, who also have no money.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
@tstewart3 wrote:

Non Federal workers have to plan for periods of unemployment by having at least 3 months expenses in savings--why are these employees different?
I am sorry for your loss, stewart. You're right about planning for unemployment, whether it's expected or not. Everyone who is able ought to have some sort of stockpile, even if it's rice and beans. We never know what the future holds.

My neighbors have TEN YEARS' worth in their garage -- yes, ten years. It looks like the back room of a grocery store. I have a long way to go for that, but we're working on it.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
@iShop123 wrote:

@tstewart3 wrote:

Non Federal workers have to plan for periods of unemployment by having at least 3 months expenses in savings--why are these employees different?
I am sorry for your loss, stewart. You're right about planning for unemployment, whether it's expected or not. Everyone who is able ought to have some sort of stockpile, even if it's rice and beans. We never know what the future holds.

My neighbors have TEN YEARS' worth in their garage -- yes, ten years. It looks like the back room of a grocery store. I have a long way to go for that, but we're working on it.

That's a FIFO nightmare.

I have about 3 months worth for a family of four, just because I have a huge walk-in pantry.
@tstewart3 wrote:

This issue of the border wall is important and the snark is offensive to people like me who have had a family member murdered by an illegal.

So hating entire groups of people because of the actions of one is the way we are going now? I have known more than one person who was murdered with a gun by white, male citizens. By that logic I should hate whites, men, U.S. citizens and guns.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Enough with the politics, please. Or take it to General Chat.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
Back to the mystery shopping aspect of the opening post: Are Coast Guard personnel or their family members already working as mystery shoppers in their free time? For some reason, I think that service members and/or their family members are eligible and welcome to complete shops.

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber
I had to google FIFO!
I am sure I would be fine for 3 or more months as the pantry and freezer are well stocked.

@SoCalMama wrote:

@iShop123 wrote:

@tstewart3 wrote:

Non Federal workers have to plan for periods of unemployment by having at least 3 months expenses in savings--why are these employees different?
I am sorry for your loss, stewart. You're right about planning for unemployment, whether it's expected or not. Everyone who is able ought to have some sort of stockpile, even if it's rice and beans. We never know what the future holds.

My neighbors have TEN YEARS' worth in their garage -- yes, ten years. It looks like the back room of a grocery store. I have a long way to go for that, but we're working on it.

That's a FIFO nightmare.

I have about 3 months worth for a family of four, just because I have a huge walk-in pantry.
@Shop-et-al wrote:

Back to the mystery shopping aspect of the opening post: Are Coast Guard personnel or their family members already working as mystery shoppers in their free time? For some reason, I think that service members and/or their family members are eligible and welcome to complete shops.

Some shops require base access, so....
I've deleted my political rant as this is indeed not the appropriate forum for it. But it is on topic to say that it is sad that some are so unsympathetic to hard working federal employees/contractors who haven't saved what some deem to be the appropriate sum "because government shutdowns have happened before" without knowing those employees' personal circumstances. MSC bankruptcies have happened before too -- are the shoppers who were financially impacted by them also at fault for not saving enough to offset being out their expenses and pay?
Nin, I can indeed understand how an E-2 or E-3 would have a difficult time on one income. However, there really isn't any excuse other than poor budgeting for E-4 and above. Housing and medical are paid for, food is available at a discount, and goods are not taxed at Base stores. Having been there with several children on one low income, I can confidently say that it's about choices. It usually is (not always because sometimes people suffer the consequences of others' choices.)

In addition to mystery shopping for various MSCs who shop venues on base, the BX/PX/NEX also have their own mystery shopping programs. It's not as lucrative as last-minute shops on restricted bases, and is almost all (at least in my experience) reimbursement.

ETA: typo

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2019 07:28PM by iShop123.
My dad was a Coast Guard officer...Many members of the Coast Guard cannot live on bases (including enlisted) and only receive a housing allowance - which does not always cover rent... it is very hard for spouses to develop careers of their own as moving every few years hinders it. An E-4 makes $2200/mo. That’s not a lot, especially in more expensive areas. In Seattle, the average 2-BR apartment is $2200/mo. You need to make over $5000 to qualify for it,

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@NinS wrote:

I've deleted my political rant as this is indeed not the appropriate forum for it. But it is on topic to say that it is sad that some are so unsympathetic to hard working federal employees/contractors who haven't saved what some deem to be the appropriate sum "because government shutdowns have happened before" without knowing those employees' personal circumstances. MSC bankruptcies have happened before too -- are the shoppers who were financially impacted by them also at fault for not saving enough to offset being out their expenses and pay?

Are you a Federal Employee or Government Contractor?
Everyone should have 3 months saved in an emergency fund.
Most of the people I work with don't have that saved. It's public knowledge what each and every one of us makes. I can pull up every co-worker in my division and see what they made the last 7 years.

When G3 went bankrupt, I was out around $1500, of which 1/3 was expenses. Life happens.
That's $2200 *PLUS* BAH (which, in the other services, has a differential pay attached for high cost areas), not a total of $2200. But, yes, I can see that it would be difficult to live in a place like Seattle or San Francisco. Life is about choices, though.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
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