For Daris Boggs, Friday was supposed to be payday. It wasn't.
"I'm just wondering if I will have enough groceries for next week," Boggs said. "Am I going to have enough money to feed my cat?"
Boggs is a furloughed IRS worker, one of some 800,000 federal workers not receiving paychecks as the partial government shutdown enters its fourth week.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
"It feels like my government is abandoning me, my president is abandoning me," he said. "It is a feeling of hopelessness right now, because you are sitting there wondering how you are going to get by."
Boggs and two dozen of his co-workers gathered Friday night inside a medical building conference room to meet with Rep. Lori Trahan, trying to plot a course forward.
"I'm so stressed, emotionally. I love my job. I want to go back to work. This shutdown is not only impacting me, it's impacting my family, because they see the stress and anxiety I'm going through knowing that I'm going to have to fault on my credit card payments because I will not be able to make," Mary Maldonado said. "I'm one of those who works paycheck to paycheck. I don't know where my rent is going to come from Feb. 1."
Many at Friday night's meeting said they're just eager to get back to work.
"They shouldn't be holding us hostage like this, and holding us over, and not knowing when you are going back to work, when you are going to get a paycheck. That's not right, that's not America," Maldonado said. "That is not what I signed up for."