Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day


Another holiday? No trash pickup. No mail. No congress. Seems like there are a lot of these holidays. Yet for me everyday is a holiday. Everyday is Christmas.
Looking at the reason for this particular holiday is to celebrating the working public and it makes me wonder. With so many people out of work and so many more working for less and the graduating population facing unimaginable debt and few opportunities, should this be a holiday?
Now as I recall, earning a living meant finding a job where someone else paid you to do whatever the company or organization required. If you were skilled enough or educated enough or had some kind of inroads, you could make a decent living.
A job to some was a trade. Working in a factory or manufacturing or construction with limited expectations and minimal pay. Then unions were formed to increase the pay, demand better working conditions and limit the intimidations of the bosses.
To others working became a career. Starting out in a subordinate position, constantly networking and training and working up the corporate ladder. A goal of a position or a title provided by quality educational documentation and personal charisma could become leaders in their field and wealthy.
I’ll leave all the facts to the historians and sociologist, but I understand everyone needs to have a way to provide shelter, food, and clothing for themselves. I sort of appreciate a holiday to appreciate those of us who have built bridges and highways after the war, fabricated appliances and vehicles, carried lunch pails and clocked in and out of work. Limited skills but part of a team like the war effort. Having a trade was a respectable occupation, like being a farmer or a fireman or a fisherman.
Some occupations required more educational or technical knowledge. Number crunchers needed to know math, journalist needed to know English, and doctors needed a lot of years of practice. I’m not sure what managers need?
I read of the lack of truckers due to the aging boomers or all those who are working part-time or on consignment without benefits and wonder what the next generation will do to provide for themselves and their families. I’m not going to get into the government assistance since I am on the dole but just for a few more years.
Maybe the technology of cell phones and tablets will provide enough manufacturing jobs for those unskilled? Maybe the fracking of oil and gas will provide opportunities? Maybe another burger or chicken chain will open offering a limited skilled job wearing a uniform? Speaking of uniforms, maybe we need to support another war?
So let us celebrate all the working class. While you are cooking your hot dogs and hamburgers and drinking your beer with family waiting for the fireworks, there is another bunch who understand their job is 24/7 and are selling groceries, fighting fires, selling back-to-school supplies, and cleaning up our accidents and trash.
Happy Labor Day.

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