One phrase that kept coming up during the debate prior to, and during, the most recent federal government shut down was “non essential”.
Federal employees who’s services were considered “non-essential” were furloughed for the period when Uncle Sam technically had no money with which to operate.
I can’t personally think of a term much more demeaning than that.
Not that I regard what I do as crucial to the continued success of the company I work for, but if I were told that I was “non-essential”, I think it would likely be followed by another phrase like “how long have you been working here not counting today”.
I think most of us like the thought that what we do is important to the folks who sign our paychecks.
It is worthy of note that even those federal employees considered non-essential, will be paid for all of the work time they missed.
I’m sure that’s essential to them.
That’s the way I see it.