Today is Labor Day. A day we pay homage to all workers, past and present, responsible for all contributions made to strengthen the well-being of our country. Created by the labor movement, we celebrate the first Monday of every September as a yearly national tribute to American workers for their social and economic achievements.
Many of us enjoy a three day weekend to rest, relax and recharge. However, there are others who do not get this luxury. They labor so we can enjoy time off visiting our favorite store, restaurant or attraction. Working 40 hours a week or more and often get little thanks for what they do. Who are they?
- Retail Workers – You know…the person standing behind the counter at our favorite store. The one we throw our purchases at, and get impatient with because we are in a hurry. They stand there with a smile on their face and a sparkle in their eye. They are there, every day, probably making minimum wage and no tips, so we can shop ’til we drop. They restock shelves, re-fold clothes and pick up after us like mothers, getting little thanks in the process.
- Healthcare Workers – Long hours, stressful situations, these are the ones who have to deal with crises and crises, while maintaining their cool and remembering their training. They are there, ready to take on this challenge, because they want to make a difference in people’s lives.
- Food Service Workers – Encompassing everyone from the young kid working the drive thru at the local fast food joint to the waitress at the popular restaurant in town. They take our orders, deliver our food, and are on their feet for countless hours at a time. They run from one end of the restaurant to another, frequently stopped in mid-stream with numerous requests, and are often low-balled on tips they more than likely have to share with their co-workers.
Living and working in a destination vacation spot, I have the unique opportunity to understand what it is like be a worker dealing with the public on a daily basis. Not only am I part of the “public”, but I have worked in all of the industries described above, and a quite a few more as well. Whether we realize it or not, we all contribute to the economic and social well being of the world in which we live.
We all want to feel appreciated for what we do, but we also need to appreciate those who continue to do what they do when we are not working. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Show kindness and appreciation. Say a big “Thank You” to the gal behind the counter at the store you love to visit, or the nurse in the ER Department who is helping to stitch up the cut that you acquired while out celebrating a bit too much this holiday weekend. Give the waitress a generous tip, not only because she has spent an entire shift running back and forth in order to take care of you, but because she has some little ones at home who are counting on her to take care of them too.
Let’s not forget that all of us do something to make the lives of others easier. A simple gesture of saying “Thank You” will go a long ways to someone who is making your life a little easier, and for that matter, better!