WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The government is still shutdown and federal workers received their January paycheck with a balance of $0. ILM’s Air Traffic Controller president William Kirby is starting to get stressed out about the issue but keeps in mind why he loves his job.
“I just love making a difference, like helping guide people home. I know that when you talk to an airplane, I’m only talking to one or two pilots, but knowing that their could be a couple hundred people on the plane,"Kirby says.
But not getting that monthly paycheck is starting to have him worried for the future.
“When you don’t know when you’re going to get paid next, it’s frustrating. In reference to planning for bills, we just had a holiday, a mortgage, and medical bills," Kirby says.
To prepare for future finances, he’s applied for bank loans. Kirby says he also has his savings and credit cards to count on but thats only for the short term. If the shutdown goes on longer than a month, he doesn’t know what he will do. He says his colleagues are having trouble keeping their heads up with this shutdown too.
“With this particular one and how much of a stale mate it is on the issue, everyone’s morale is low because no one knows when it’s going to end," Kirby says.
But regardless of not getting paid, they still show up.
“We are required to come to work regardless. So the air traffic controllers that work 24/7, 365 days have to come in and keep doing the job and providing a safe service to the public,"Kirby says.