Watch CBSN Live

Voices of the shutdown: "We have some serious problems"

Lynda Bottos joined the public sector 11 years ago because she was hoping to inspire change.

"I went into government service because I really felt like I could make a difference with my experience and the different aspects and perspectives that I bring to the table," said the 46-year-old from Prince William County, Va.

But Bottos' frustration extends beyond the government shutdown.

"We've been living under a threat of furlough for over two years, and it's a constant distraction for all of us [government workers] to be able to perform at the best of our abilities when you constantly don't know if you're going to have money and be trained; when you don't know if you'll be able to get a cost of living adjustment; if you don't know whether or not your family is going to be secure and your career is going to be secure," said Bottos.

Bottos is a single mother of two children, one in college and one at elementary school. She's been off work since Oct. 1.

"My biggest concern is my children - when they need something. Right now our focus is food and gas and I've already told them, 'No, I can't get you anything for school, you're going to have to borrow stuff. I can't right now,'" said Bottos.

"My paycheck [Tuesday] will be half of what it should be ... so the next paycheck that I get will be zero. I won't get another one if they don't resolve this soon," said Bottos.

Bottos says some of her colleagues have started to look for work outside the public sector.

"I know many colleagues who during the shutdown have accepted other positions outside the government already, so when they do call people back, I know it will be slimmer than when they furloughed," said Bottos.

"Many of us are looking for alternatives," she added.

"If it goes on much longer ... I'll have to start looking for massive garage sales, selling stuff. For a week-and-a-half, we're positioned where it's scary," said Bottos.

Bottos has strong words for Washington, and those behind the shutdown.

"I'm extremely disappointed in the callous disregard for the 800,000 employees that have been strung along for years with these issues. Whether they don't realize it or whether they don't care, I don't know, but you just can't treat people this way," said Bottos.

"It leaves a very sour taste in my mouth to work for government anymore," she added.

"When the private industry becomes more stable than our government, we have some serious problems. Problems that go much deeper than just, 'Oh, we couldn't agree to a budget."