LOS PARADOXICALES, CALIFORNIA — On one of her recent lunch breaks during her shift at a local supermarket, 38 year old Kelly Killian told our reporter that she “isn’t sure” if non-essential workers deserve a living wage during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. As a grocery store employee, Killian has been deemed an “essential worker” by the state, and is authorized to continue working, even while most of the state’s populace is under a “stay at home” order. Each day that she works her shift, Kelly knows she puts herself at risk of being unwittingly exposed to the novel coronavirus, but she also takes great pride in helping to keep her community fed, but she says after years of hearing people who work at jobs that have been labeled as “non-essential” during this crisis say people like her don’t deserve a living wage, she’s “unsure” if they deserve one when she’s the one putting herself at risk for their food supply.
“Hey, if you’re a doctor, a nurse, a cop, a firefighter, a mail carrier, or something else also essential, my hats off to you, and I think we all should get some kind of hazard pay,” Kelly said while eating her lunch. “I’m just saying that if your job isn’t essential enough for you to have to keep working during a pandemic,but mine is, maybe I should get a cut of your wages until this whole thing blows over.”
Kelly said she doesn’t believe non-essential workers “should be cut off completely.” She thinks they should “maybe be willing to go on welfare” and take other forms of assistance instead. After all, she argues, they’re not working right now. so if they run out of money and their employer doesn’t pay them for the time they’re on lockdown, why should “hard workers” like herself foot their bills?
“I’m not saying this is the case all the time, but clearly if they’re not working, and I’m still working every day, don’t I work harder than they do? Doesn’t that mean, by their logic, that since they’re not working that they deserve no wages,” Kelly asked. “I’m not heartless, I’m not cruel. I’m just saying I’m essential. They’re literally not. Which is ironic because before all this, they sure did like to act as if their 9 to 5 job in a corporate office was much more important than my job making sure they and their kids can still eat food. So, now the tables have turned, and I have to wonder why they think they’re entitled to a living wage right now.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.