Monday, September 7th, is Labor Day here in America. It has a long and illustrious history. On the United States Department of Labor (DOL) website, they give context for Labor Day as “a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
Pretty powerful stuff, right? And all of us here at Sleep Club feel a deep need to highlight all who are out there in the trenches providing a service to the masses during what is arguably one of the most challenging times in our country’s existence.
How we celebrate Labor Day is similar to many of our other commemorative American holidays. Barbecues, fireworks, parades and speeches. It is always honored on the 1st Monday of September and signifies a shift in seasonal fashion choices (“no white after Labor Day”), the unofficial end of summer — although September can be one of the hottest months of the year in some parts of the country, whew! — and the real roll-up your sleeves, no more playing around, deep in it back to school work.
This year is wholly unique. Not only are gatherings modified but the “labor” in “Labor Day” has been run through the mill. Many workers have been tasked with forging ahead in the face of extraordinary obstacles and even physical danger. Some had their financial livelihood put on pause while the companies they worked for figured out a way to get back to or keep in business and are just now returning after a long furlough. Still others are finding themselves on the receiving end of staff cuts, laid off and searching, wondering, “What’s next? How do I move forward?” And there are those who have had to take a pay cut, take any job they can to keep things going, working crazy hours, learning new skills, and sometimes even being told, “Don’t forget how lucky you are to have a job.”
We are a nation of stress right now. Not only are we facing a pandemic whose end we can’t see quite yet, but our country is in the midst of a social and racial upheaval as well as an intense Presidential race that is only two months away. It seems fitting that we take this time to pay tribute to the amazing men and women who have been and continue to be on the frontlines to serve, provide for and support the different communities in their times of need.
This Labor Day, we have three simple, straightforward thoughts on how you can show how much the hard work being done by every employee plugging away regardless of the issues at hand means to all of us.
We know how irritating it can be navigating any business right now. There is a whole new way of doing things and it has taken us out of our comfort zone. Think of this — each person on the other end of where you are who is there to serve, help and give you answers is navigating this new world as well. Of course they need to leave their personal at home and put on their professional face to address your needs but this is a time when every single human on the planet is being affected in one way or another. As pissed as you may be that the grocery store doesn’t have the toilet paper you like, that you can order from but can’t go into your favorite restaurant, that the EDD hasn’t figured out your claim yet — whatever it is, there is a person at the other end of that issue doing their best to help you. Be kind. Show them the respect that you expect them to show you and it’s pretty much guaranteed that even if you caught someone on a bad day, they’ll soften and help you in the way you need or at least point you in the right direction.
You may hate standing in line outside of your favorite store to get in because they need to keep the number of people down to a manageable level. Or maybe it’s being on hold FOREVER. It could be some workers are moving into roles they didn’t have before or there are new processes that need to be implemented that require you, the consumer, to give them some leeway. Whatever the hold up is, whatever situation arises that requires you to take a moment — take that moment. Deep breaths. The person who will ultimately help you definitely knows it is a burden and inconvenience to have to wait, stop, hold on, all of it. For sure. It is not their fault and that they are there taking the time to be there for you is huge. Give them a break and just keep breathing.
Be supportive and appreciative
Whether you are working the front lines, having face-to-face interactions every day several times a day or working remotely from your home and realizing that doing so makes you available to your bosses and co-workers pretty much 24-hours-a-day, you deserve a “Thank you” and you need to pass that on to others. Let’s be honest — that’s something that needs to happen no matter what’s going on in the world. Whoever you are out there toeing the line in whatever way you are doing it, you need to know you are supported in your work, you are appreciated, you are cared for at all times. These days, however, it feels more imperative, and has a weight to it that makes recognition — whether verbal, financial, or physical — more vital than ever. So, be supportive and appreciative of all those who are out there working to keep the clocks running, the world turning, and our communities from falling apart. Frequent local businesses so they stay alive. Get food delivered to folks on the job so they eat better. And do things for yourself to relieve some of the stress from your own day-to-day gigs — meditate, eat well, exercise, get a good night’s sleep.
Take care of you, too.
Celebrate labor every day
Labor Day is one day out of the year and there is such an opportunity to honor all of those who work their butts off everyday, including yourself. We are finding our way out here and it’s not easy but it isn’t hopeless, it isn’t impossible. People are working hard to keep us moving forward and this first Monday in September, remember them, celebrate their contribution, celebrate your own. And let that be the start of every single day of honoring how hard we all work.
Keep it going. Because every person out there cranking needs to feel a big, “Thank you.”
So, from all of us to all of you including our own See Club crew, "Thank you."