Somewhere down the line Labor Day became a milestone date on the calendar. For some, it’s the last hurrah of Summer while for others it’s the first break in the still-very-young school year. For most of us, though, Labor Day is just another day off of work where we cn laze around, BBQ, watch TV and generally do as we please. But what about the people who don’t get a day off? What about the people who will go into work on Monday?
Labor Day is meant to be it’s a celebration of the American labor force and its contributions to this country. I can’t help but realize, however, that many of us who are lucky enough to have the long weekend don’t often think of Labor Day in these terms. Instead, we take it for granted.
We walk into stores, gyms, airports, and sporting events without giving a second thought that there are people who are there to work. We pass them by, politely, and continue on our journey almost never taking the time to properly thank them. I think it’s high time we started doing just that:
IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY
Humans are pretty impressive in that they will, without fail, find a reason to drink.
Got a promotion at work? Drink.
Got fired? Drink.
Favorite team won the championship? “This round’s on me!”
Favorite team loses in the championship? “Give me a whiskey and leave the bottle.”
There is no shortage of reasons to drink, which is why bars are basically perennially open. What the never-ending welcoming glow of your neighborhood bar means, though, is that there is always someone working. So while you and your friends go out for a drink on this long weekend, the people helping make that celebration happen are working. Give them a little something to know that you appreciate that.
It’s accepted practice in America to tip your bartender, but maybe this weekend tip them a little extra. Maybe just give them a genuine thank you. Show them that you’re grateful for what they’re doing. It’s not much but it goes a long way.
The same can be said for anyone in the service industry. Long weekends tend to be some of the busiest for the service industry, it’s the least we could do to let them know we appreciate them.
IN THE STORES
BBQ and Labor Day are basically synonymous, but even if you’re not the grilling type, chances are you’re making a trip to a store for some, you know, provisions and things. Like the bars and restaurants of the world, these stores aren’t closing on Labor Day, which means someone is going to be there helping you check out.
We all have some level of superficial interaction with the cashiers at the store, but how many of us take the time to appreciate the job they’re doing? It’s not that we don’t appreciate it, it’s just that we run through the same motions every time we enter a store: we pick something out, hand it to the employee behind the counter, pay, and leave. That’s the extent of the interaction, and that’s ok. What’s not ok is that we’ve started taking Labor Day for granted and because of that we’re missing our chance to thank the people who deserve to be thanked.
The point of this post is not to make anyone feel guilty about not working on Labor Day. That’s silly. I simply want us all to take a moment and appreciate those around us whose job it is to help us enjoy our day off and let them know that it isn’t going unnoticed.
Until next time – thank you so very much.