Coast Guard Tells Employees Not Being Paid To Babysit, Hold Garage Sales To Make Ends Meet During Shutdown

In a since-deleted tip-sheet on its website, the Coast Guard encouraged its employees to hold garage sales or babysit to ease their financial burdens during the government shutdown as they continue to go without pay, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The suggestions were part of a five-page memo published by the Coast Guard Support Program, an employee-assistance arm of the service often known as CG SUPRT.

The program’s “Managing your finances during a furlough” pamphlet, which applied to the roughly 8,000-strong civilian arm of the Coast Guard, suggested that service members pick up a babysitting gig, hold a garage sale and serve as a “mystery shopper.”

“While it may be uncomfortable to deal with the hard facts, it’s best to avoid the ‘hide your head in the sand’ reaction,” the sheet said. “Stay in charge of the situation by getting a clear understanding of what’s happening.”

The pamphlet was taken off of the Coast Guard’s website on Wednesday morning after the Post inquired about it.

“[The suggestions] do not reflect the Coast Guard’s current efforts to support our workforce during this lapse in appropriations,” Lt. Cmdr. Scott McBride, a Coast Guard spokesman, told the Post. “As such, this guidance has been removed.”

The Post also reports that many Coast Guard families are not receiving their housing allowances during the shutdown.