Washington (CNN) - In the basement of the U.S. Capitol, where much of the building's support staff arrived for work on Thursday, the first day back at full staffing in two weeks, was a mix of exuberant welcome back hugs and deeply held bitterness toward the men and women in charge upstairs.
"Hey! Good to see you!," sang out one staffer who'd been on the job during the shutdown as a furloughed friend walked back into the building. Just a few feet away, another worker was slapping the back of a colleague. Both had been furloughed.
The joy of workers returning was mixed with deep frustration. A common refrain from staffers who work across the Capitol–from food services to administrative staff–was a sarcastic question, "how was your vacation?"
The response often was non-verbal. An eye roll. A head shake. An angry glare. Occasionally an ironic laugh.
One Capitol staffer, who was not allowed to speak to reporters on the record, confided, "people are really glad to see each other again, but we're really angry about what happened."