Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day or Labor Day-Off? - Redux

Original Post 9/5/11

So what's the bigger deal?

Labor Day…or Labor Day-Off?

I mean really...other than the day off it provides for those who do actually labor, day in and day out—freelance writers excepted—it’s one of the least popular and most misunderstood of all U.S. holidays.

In fact, if you asked just about anyone around here, back in June or July, if they were looking forward to Labor Day, the response probably melted your shoes…if you were wearing shoes.

Begun in the late 19th century to honor those tireless workers, of every creed, color and nationality that built this country into what it is today, Labor Day was a holiday of great significance and pride. 

It was also a way for the government to say, “Ooops…sorry about that…” to the unions after workers were beaten and killed during the Pullman strike in 1884.

Yes, I know. Thank you Wikipedia, that mostly accurate font of internet information.

Anyway, the point is…if there is one…and with me, usually there isn’t…Labor Day, nowadays, doesn’t get the props it deserves; even if it was the progenitor of the 3 day weekend.

I mean you would think that alone….

Aside from the 3 or 4 majors that folks get so nutty about and look forward to every year, there's also Memorial Day and 4th of July…Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day...maybe even Chiropodists Day that get waaaaay more respect….

Well, it doesn’t take a genius—needless to say—to understand why; I mean besides their own copycat 3 day weekends.

Location, location, location.

In this case, calendar location.

Memorial Day - Unofficial start of summer.

4th of July – Summer icon.

Columbus & Veterans Day – 3 day weekends in the midst of fall foliage season.

Labor day – Unofficial end of summer…school starts…work heats up…traffic slows down…new episodes of “The Apprentice” return.

Need I go on?

Switch Memorial Day with Labor Day on the calendar, and guess which one becomes the ugly step-sister?

And in this time of nearly double digit unemployment, outsourcing and general insecurity in the workplace, isn’t it a little hypocritical to say “We honor our workers for their labor.”

I mean we should…but do we?

When was the last time you looked inside a pair of pants—preferably your own---to see who made those Levi’s.

LEVI’S…that great American icon of how the west, our west, was won.

But somehow, I don’t think any of those cowboys were wearing pants made in Egypt, Mexico, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Haiti and some place called Lesotho.

Actually, to be honest—which I guess now you have to assume the rest of the time I’m not— it kind of makes me feel like an International Fashionista. But you should hear the chatter that comes out of my closet at night.

And that’s just jeans. The next time you call customer service about your computer or TV, ask Skip, Todd, Betty or Suzie Q what their favorite pizza topping is. If they say, “Lambs Brains” you know you’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

But I hear they’re actually quite mild….

I’m also betting if you take a look around your house, you probably can’t fill out a hand full of fingers with stuff that’s actually made in America.

And your schnauzer doesn’t count….

So maybe…just maybe…there’s a reason , other than location, why Labor Day’s lost its shine with the average worker bee.

Maybe…just maybe…Labor Day would regain its status as a prominent holiday, filled with civic pride, calendar placement be dammed, if we renamed it....

“Give Me Back My Job Day!

That and the 3 day weekend, of course….

1 comment:

  1. My favorite is April Fool's Day, although I think Groundhog Day is pretty cool. But no three-day weekend goes with these. A pity.


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