It’s been 16 days – with no choice and no paycheck.
Federal workers are back to the business of running the U.S. government.
Lori Bamer is a management analyst for the U.S. Attorney's Office Southern District of Ohio.
She spent the morning trying to make up for lost time.
"It's overwhelming. Today, I've spent most of the day going through email, catching up," Bamer said.
Bamer is one of 52 -- out of the office's 130 employees – who was furloughed since Oct. 1.
"Still touched base with the office, just infrequently, to see how everything was going and make sure that everything was running OK," said Bamer.
Bamer said she was forced to tap into her personal savings to pay the bills during the furlough. She said she was fortunate not to
be living paycheck to paycheck.
Under the deal reached Wednesday night, federal workers -- like Bamer -- aren't expected to receive back pay until their next paycheck on Oct. 26.
Just across from the Defense Supply Center in Whitehall, they're already making the donuts at Jolly Pirate Donuts, in anticipation.
"Yeah, I think it will be a lot better. I think most of them had to have known they were going back to work -- maybe that's why
they were coming in and spending that money," said manager Marvin Jones.
Jones said sales have been down during the partial shutdown at DSCC, but business is already picking up -- by the dozen.
"Oh, that's a good thing, yeah. Two and three dozen at a time instead of a donut or two!" he said.
It was also a packed lunch crowd at nearby Mad Greek on Thursday for the first time since the shutdown began.
For Lori Bamer, it was a working lunch today -- and might be for a while.
And she wouldn't have it any other way.
"It was very uplifting. It was a relief to finally be back. We consider our work here really important," Bamer said.
Of course, this relief is tempered by worry -- that it might happen all over again after the holidays.
Congress has approved funding only through Jan. 15.
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