During the days leading up to the glorious four day weekend, I didn’t think much about the Labor Day holiday itself. For me, it has always either been a time where I have additional time to catch up on sleep or a day where I am able to clock more hours at an increased pay-rate. Either scenario has its benefits. However, this weekend as I was loafing around my house in my hometown, I got to thinking: What is Labor Day anyway? Like any curious scholar, I took it upon myself to do a little research…in other words I consulted with Wikipedia (don’t act like that’s not your source of information too!)
As you know, Labor Day is celebrated the first Monday of each September. It is in honor of the social and economic achievements of workers. However, most of us probably think of Labor Day more for its retail sales. I will be the first to admit I like a good sale. However, as Labor Day quickly comes to an end, I challenge you to look at it from a different perspective. Consider all of the people out there who still had to work on this day. Whether working in a foodservice, nursing home, retail, or grocery store setting, I want to acknowledge the efforts of these individuals. When I was in high school, I worked at the local Subway. For the most part, it was an easy job. However, on those days where the air conditioning was out and there was a line practically out the door, I certainly did not have pleasant things to say about the establishment. But there was this one customer who always made my job worth it. Whenever she came in, she was so extremely gracious. The way she thanked me as I prepared her sandwich, you’d think I was some kind of chef from Le Cordon Bleu. Compared to the countless irritable customers who passed through the line, she was always a breath of fresh air. And the thing is, she had every right to be irritable and frustrated with life. She had two daughters with special needs and I would have almost expected her to be running short on patience. Instead, she chose to be grateful and appreciative for what she had and those around her. There is so much we can all learn from this woman. Instead of feeling privileged and as if the world owes us so much, we should realize that we don’t deserve anything. Yet, we are so blessed with all of the gifts we have been given in this life.
The next time you order at a fast food establishment or check-out at your local grocery store, I encourage you to take a moment and genuinely thank the person helping you. It doesn’t need to be over-the-top, it only needs to be sincere.
Happy Labor Day!