Notwithstanding the documentation partially exempting him from the COVID-19 lockdown and authorizing him to leave his house to travel to the grocery store where he has been employed for nearly two years, Harry White of Queens, New York, admitted to not being a truly essential worker.
“I do my job and all, but they could get by without me,” said 26-year-old White. “They did for a long time. There’s people who deserve essential worker status much more than me."
Not only is he not an essential worker, said White, he’s not even the hardest worker at the market where he stocks shelves. “I’m steady, but I’m not that fast. And I sometimes slack off a little after lunch," he said. "Plus, stocking isn’t exactly rocket science. The cashiers can do it in a pinch. But I can’t do their job because I haven’t trained on how to use the register.”
While White’s disclosure has caused some to call into question the regulatory procedures behind the designation of certain workers as “essential”, White himself isn’t aiming to buck any systems or to question the governor’s discretion in any way; he’s simply following his mother’s advice to stay humble. “We may not have a lot of freedom right now, but one thing the government can't take is my integrity," he said. "I'll never pretend to be something I'm not."