PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Joe Scioscia has a stack of bills piling up. Some he can afford to pay; some he cannot.
He's had to have some difficult conversations.
"I had a medical bill call me the other day, and I said, 'I'm part of the furloughed employees. I'd love to set up a payment plan but I don't know when I'll have the money. Watch the news. When they tell me I'm going to get paid, you can call me.'"
Scioscia is an officer with the Transportation Security Administration at Sky Harbor Airport and one of the 800,000 federal employees nationwide whose lives have been turned upside down because of the partial government shutdown.
A 13-year TSA veteran, Scioscia serves on the board of the American Federal Workers Association and has heard story after story of co-workers barely getting by because they're not getting paid.
"You still need the cash," Scioscia said. "You have to go to the gas station, have to get food, to buy formula, buy diapers, pay for daycare and those things are tough."
Federal workers missed their first official paycheck this weekend. That has led to a growing number of TSA officers calling in sick.
Scioscia doesn't think leaders in Washington realize the impact this shutdown is having on people.
"They say they can relate," he said. "But sitting here, I don't see how they can relate."
"One person I work with, she wasn't at work for several days last week, mainly because they were going to food banks stocking the cupboards because they don't know how long this is going to last, and she's got several children that (sic) depend upon her,” Scioscia continued.
Nobody will say for sure if the growing number of TSA officers not showing up to work will impact safety and security at Sky Harbor and other airports, but it is a concern among passengers.
Scioscia said he has no plans to change jobs, but said it would be nice to get paid for his work again.
"We wear a badge. We take an oath. So, we have to come to work," Scioscia said. "I really wish they would come to some sort of agreement in Washington, D.C."