Friday, March 20, 2020

4565 I'm Non-Essential. How About You?

Non-essential fictional person Caspar Milquetoast, the brainchild of cartoonist H.T. Webster (1885-1952) New York Herald Tribune Archive

In the face of this pandemic, non-essential people are ordered or asked to…

--Self Isolate.
--Stay home from work.
--Stay off the roads.
--Stay off trains and boats and planes.
--Refrain from hoarding “essentials” like toilet paper and flour, hand sanitizer and broccoli.
--Avoid large gatherings (“large” is undefined.)
--Avoid human reproduction.

All these things for all these people.

The term “non-essential” first was used in modern times to tell us who should or should not try to come to work in a weather emergency.

“All non-essential government employees should stay home.” -- every governor or mayor when an area is struck by flood, fire, tornado, pandemic, epidemic, oil spill, water shortage or major highway smackup.  This raises the question why do governments have non-essential employees?
Same with private business though with free enterprise variations. 

“All MBAs and other middle managers should stay home.”  When the disaster ends you can all come back and continue “earning” your paychecks by manufacturing work for yourselves and everyone else, developing gawky and complicated “systems” for doing such things as counting web clicks or “streamlining” industrial processes with nonsensical equations and formulas.

Who are the non-essential workers at the airport?  Bartenders? Baggage handlers? Ticket clerks? Homeland Security inspectors? Pilots?  The clerks at the overpriced trinket counters?

Do police departments have non-essential personnel?  Or non-essential bomb sniffing or drug sniffing dogs?  One group that certainly doesn’t qualify is the DWI patrol.  Revenue is revenue. And we must be able to continue paying our municipal workers -- even the non-essential ones.

Those of us who are retired or semi-retired?  We’re pretty much surplus humanity, anyway.  

You don’t feel non-essential, do you?  Most of us either don’t or won’t admit it. 

-“If I can’t find an open golf course, I’ll go crazy.” -- OJ Simpson, to whom we answer how would you tell?

--The World’s Best Commuter Railroad, the LIRR has offered its suffering masses refunds for the unused parts of their monthly tickets which range in cost from about $140 to about $500, depending on the length of travel.  When you add in the “processing fee, commuters are getting pennies on the dollar. Rockefeller was wrong when he called the LIRR the country’s foremost commuter line, but it IS among the most expensive and the least reliable.

--Wessays HQ has temporarily acquired a guard dog named “Shorty.” She is a Great Dane standing about 5’11” on her hind feet and has a basso profundo bark. We lost on the bidding for an Irish Wolfhound and a Sicilian Mastiff.  But still, no one knocks on the door twice.

Note to readers:  All non-essential personnel at the Wessays Secret Mountain Laboratory and the staff of this post have been granted extra vacation time or are working from home. Every word has been individually autoclaved and is certified virus free.  Your computer may vary and denies any responsibility for the condition of your PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Any questions?  Write to
© WJR 2020

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