Happy Labor Day!

stocker squirrel

On the first Monday every September, we celebrate the most ironic holiday on the American calendar.  It is a day every year where we honor those who work for a living by…. taking the day off.  Uhhhh… errr…..

Riddle me this…

Of course, that’s just the privileged few who observe the holiday this way.  Many of those lucky ones work in a sector of society that gives the middle finger to the convenience of the 24/7/365 world we actually live in.  The bank isn’t going to cash your check today.  If you call your doctor’s office, you’ll get a friendly recording.  And God forbid you visit any institution associated with the government today.  They have a list of several hundred federal holidays they observe, and they’re absolutely not going to be available for you!

Yeah, don’t visit any of these same places at night either….

You’ll go mad trying to get your license renewed at 3 AM….

And I’m not being unnecessarily unfair either, because a good chunk of these same people who would never fathom working outside of normal business hours or give up any of their precious holidays would get extremely upset if they couldn’t stop off at the store for charcoal and beer on Labor Day.  The number of customers who pull up in the lot of my store while we’re on our lunch hour at 2 AM and get bent out of shape when they find out we’re not open all night simply amazes me.

And maybe part of that expectation stems from the fact that because so many things in society operate on the same narrow schedule of “normal business hours”, that after years of having to run a hundred errands on their lunch breaks because they won’t be able to do them anytime they’re not working, the 9-5’ers out there are fed up and want a little more convenience…… as long as someone else is putting in the odd hours!

Open up, City Hall! We know you’re in there!

The above, though, it merely a digression from the real reason I made this post today (and those things tend to happen when you always write off the cuff like I do).  What I want to point out is that while you celebrate your holiday, if you are so fortunate, don’t forget to also honor those who will actually be laboring on Labor Day.  Of course, this includes those in the emergency professions…. police, firefighters, those in the medical field, and of course our veterans.

And while those people never get the recognition they truly deserve, they do at least get a share of the spotlight.  But there are many millions of others out there, mainly in the service professions, who get swept under the rug and trampled over at those BIG HOLIDAY SALES!  When you get the munchies at 11:00 and want to stop by the Taco Bell drive thru for Fourth Meal, it wouldn’t be possible without a handful of dedicated people who gave up their late night so you could go to bed with a burrito in your bowels.  When you get up at the asscrack of dawn on the Friday after Thanksgiving to save $200 on a TV that will blow out on you in 6 months, be sure to thank the humble staff of the retail outlet who won’t get to cash in on all these holiday saving because they’re busy making the sales event happen for you.  And let’s also tip our hats today to the hotel workers, night watchmen, sports event staff, taxi drivers, bartenders, and all of the other happy or unhappy grunts out there who don’t get to enjoy having the holidays off, but for whom you are ultimately very thankful that they do make that sacrifice.

Here’s to you, Paperboy!

Enjoy the holiday without me!  I worked last night, and go in again tonight.  I need my sleep.  And don’t cry for me, I’ll be sure to enjoy my three day weekend this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday…. 😀


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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13 Responses to Happy Labor Day!

  1. Reblogged this on Evil Squirrel's Nest and commented:

    This is the first time I’ve actually reblogged one of my own posts… but I wrote this before anyone was following me and thought it deserved an audience since it’s a view you rarely see… some thoughts on Labor Day from someone who frequently works holidays, and thinks that’s perfectly OK. While I linked to it in my MMM post today, most people (me included) often skip over links in blog posts. While the last paragraph doesn’t hold true this year (that’s OK, I have a four day weekend next week!), the message is still true to me today…

  2. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I was going to write about how Labor Day also is about safe workplaces, and ending child labor, and the 40-hour workweek (ok, maybe not so much on that one) but then I realized it sounded like what I do for a living…and who wants to read that?

    I’m glad you shared this one again!

    • I think even the most mundane jobs can be interesting in the right context! I’m sure I could even make what I do sound fun and exciting (though I’m sure nobody would still want to do it!)

      Thank you for reading! And happy labor on Labor Day! 🙂

      • NotAPunkRocker says:

        Ha, thanks! I am actually a gov’mint employee, but we are open today. I do get more time off at Christmas though, so it balances out…if I get to December that is 😉

      • There you go! I’m loaded down with PTO (take that all you Mecca bashers!) so I still get plenty of long weekends and vacations…. just not during the holidays! You gotta make your own celebration!

  3. I agree with you, it’s ironic. Like the first of may in our country, they call it Fête du Travail and are lazy for the whole day :o)

  4. I haven’t celebrated a single holiday in 23 years now… I surely don’t miss it. But I agree – thought must be given to those who slave away and miss out on holiday sales just so the stores can stay open and YOU can save, save, save! (Or not.) And any time we get a 3-day weekend is good in my books! 🙂 I hope your weekend is/was a safe one that involved at least SOME rest time…and 4th meal burritos!

  5. Both Garry and I worked a lot of holidays. You get extra pay and the work is (usually) lighter than usual. A lot of people like holiday work because they need the money and people who lobby that no one should work on Holy Days should mind their own business. Geez. Thanks. These days, I don’t work at all and that is the best of all.

    • And there’s where the rest of the working world differs from Mecca. At my job, not only is holiday work almost always busier than normal days (particularly Thanksgiving!), but holiday pay is universal. You get it (an amount that comes out to the average number of hours you work per day for the past however many months) whether you work the holiday or not. I’ve collected pay for 16 Thanksgivings now, but have only actually worked four of them! 🙂

      I think that permanent holiday is a swell idea, assuming I ever manage to save up enough money to actually partake in that!

  6. 1jaded1 says:

    It is ironic. I once asked my boss if company could make it a floater, or why we had it and was met with the “you have three heads” look.

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