COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Virginia Johnson has worked for the US Department Of Agriculture for more than 20 years.
On Monday Johnson and her co-workers were preparing for the federal government shutdown and by Tuesday morning they were given furlough packages.
"It was devastating they all have families and it hurts all of them. It was really emotional Tuesday morning everybody doing everything the government told us to do," said Johnson.
The Johnston woman's family is feeling the impact just days into the shutdown.
Her husband is already working four jobs and without her income her son is picking up extra shifts to help his family while also attending college.
"Just so he can provide the gas for him to go to college instead of it coming out of our money and he should not have to worry about that. He should be studying school, getting good grades and not have to worry about picking up two or three extra days during the week because his mom is sitting home being furloughed," adds Johnson
It's not just federal employees being impacted Johnson points out with the USDA closed, the shutdown trickles down to farmers and their providers.
"They're not getting their money which they rely on, their money to be able to pay their bills and when they go into contract with the government they feel like they're going to get paid once a year and right now they're not," said Johnson.
Johnson remembers how tough times were 17 years ago when the government shut down for 22 days.
She says work piled up and it took time to work through the backlog.
All this while lawmakers are still getting paid to stay home.
"They're continuing to get paid, they can pay their bills, they can send they're kids to college, we're not," concludes Johnson
The federal government estimates 800-thousand of it's two million workers could face furlough during the shutdown.