Despair not. Businesses in and around Washington DC are showing their solidarity by offering furloughed employees free or discounted food, drinks and activities to keep their spirits high during the shutdown.
From free cupcakes to $2 beer specials and free museum admissions to free pole-dancing classes, ABC News has compiled a list of some of the unexpected perks of being a "non-essential" government employee.Here's just a small taste:
Government workers will not go hungry -- or without a sugar fix -- thanks to the largess of several area establishments.
Jose Andres Sandwiches Internationally renowned chef Jose Andres is offering free sandwiches every afternoon during the shutdown to government employees. Bring your government ID into one of his three DC eateries -- Zaytinya, Oyamel or Jaleo -- from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the shutdown and receive a complimentary sandwich.
Z-Burger The burger chain is offering free burgers, with a valid government ID, to workers during peak lunch and dinner hours, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at four of its DC-area locations: Arlington, Tenleytown, Southwest and Columbia Heights. This offer extends until the end of the government shutdown.
Pork Barrel BBQ Pork Barrel BBQ is also offering free food for the duration of the shutdown to all government employees -- well, every government employee except for members of Congress. The BBQ joint is serving up free pulled pork sandwiches all day, limit one per day, in Alexandria, Va. ....."
Looking for a way to burn those calories from all the free shutdown food and drinks? Some local D.C. studios are offering free classes for furloughed workers.
Polerized Fitness Studio Polerized Fitness Studio, based outside of Old Town Alexandria, is offering a free pole-dancing class this week for furloughed employees with government ID. Don't work for the government and still want to learn a few new tricks? Free intro classes are offered for first-time clients.
Potomac Pilates Would you rather unwind? Potomac Pilates is offering two free classes to furloughed federal employees. Those looking to claim must create an account on potomacpilates.net and email firstname.lastname@example.org with your government job title and department for verification purposes.