OK, I have to chime in on all this "Essential" vs "Non-Essential" garbage I keep hearing.
I'm a retired US Navy Senior Chief (84-04) and I now work for the govt for NAVSEA in the Washington Navy Yard in the building beside where 12 of my co-workers were killed last month. I've been dedicated to our Nation and Navy since I was 19 years old, either in uniform, as a contractor or now as a govt employee and every time it was for FAR less pay than my civilian counter parts. In fact, I was offered a 90K/yr job in 1988 but I stayed in the Navy because I thought it was the right thing to do.
I've spent countless YEARS away from home and family, missed anniversaries, birthdays and most of my daughter's childhoods for pay that still qualified for welfare, all because I believed it was still the right thing to do.
"Non-Essential" is a semantic legal status, nothing more. I was classified the same way when I was uniform and even when I was active duty ashore we still had "essential" and "non-essential" personnel. Essential only means those required to provide mandatory security, emergency services (police, fire, EMT's) and those needed for COO - Continuity of Operations, meaning those in critical command or staff positions needed to make critical decisions.
My job is to ensure that our new ships being built in Mobile, Alabama are built to contract and our ships are safe for our Sailors. You know, our sons and daughters that volunteered to go into harm's way to defend us? Remember them? They don't build their own ships, folks and I still spend MONTHS away from home every year doing my job.
So sure, my job is "non-essential" in the "we're not going to pay you until we're funded" sense. But believe me, the work I'm not doing today will still be there when I get back and I'll have to get caught up on my OWN time, so please tell me again how I'm getting something for nothing?
I've been screwed over by this government more than anyone can fathom and yet I still serve even out of uniform. It cost me one marriage and half my shitty little retirement for life and now I took a 30% pay cut coming to work for the Navy so you can imagine I'm not to thrilled about someone who has no clue telling me I don't have a job or that I'm non-essential.
Believe me, the two Commanders I work for are in the office right now picking up the slack for all us "non-essential" types right now so we all get screwed over. What they don't get done will still be there waiting for me when I get back, except it'll be overdue so I'll work overtime with no compensation to get caught up. Nice. More uncompensated time away from home and family.
That's how it works so you can understand why I get pissed off when people with no clue start spouting over the semantics of a legal definition they don't understand.
God bless you and America Bless God!