Readers responded robustly to the Post’s call-out last week asking federal workers to make a pitch for why they are “essential” or “nonessential” during a potential shutdown.
Those controversial terms, which are unofficial, indicate whether employees would be required to work during a possible closure. The official term is “excepted” these days.
One supervisor with the Corporation for National and Community Service on-call at all hours to help AmeriCorps workers with emergencies said: “I am essential because I am the person responsible for answering the ‘3 a.m. phone call.'”
On the other hand, a NASA scientist wrote: “My work is essential in the long term in that it enables future missions and fundamental research … However, while the schedule between now and launch is aggressive, there is a margin. Waiting will definitely waste taxpayer dollars, but no lives will be lost.”
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