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…..
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….
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!
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.
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…. 😀