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Labor Day


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I'm beginning to notice (or actually, have noticed for quite some time now) that same pattern in American life, in which the nuclear-family suburban salary earner cannot see the hard-working minimum-wage "lower-class" struggler like myself. We are invisible to them and do not exist, except in circumstances when they feel the need to yell at someone, since we do not have feelings.

 

For an example, the middle-class salaryman will probably spend Labor Day off with his family. He'll go out to see a movie and then have lunch or dinner with them in a crowded restaurant with overworked staff and bitch at the waitress about how long the food is taking. Then he'll stop at the local discount store to pick up some soda and a video game and again bitch about the long lines at the checkout counter before finally stopping for gas on the way home.

 

This salaryman, at his job, sits at his desk from nine to five, taking breaks and a lunch hour at his favorite restaurant, joking around with his work buddies before cruising home in his nice car.

 

But the kids at the movie theater, the restaurant, the discount store, and the gas station, can work ten-hour shifts always on their feet, being rushed and yelled at, given shorter break and lunch periods, and all for a pittance compared to what the salaryman makes. The lesser workers go home completely exhausted after graveyard shifts and then sleep a few hours to get up the next morning for another day of work, and if they haven't gotten enough sleep and call in sick, they've got a good chance of losing their jobs altogether.

 

And for these people, the actual LABORERS, not those who type away on computers all day but those who toil in vast consumerist empires to cater to the capricious whims of pissy bosses and stuck-up suburbanites, who actually engage in serious labor at work each day, there is no Labor Day. Ironically.

 

Not to say that workers in the office line of work have it easy - offices are depressing beyond what many non-office workers can bear. But compared to the physical effort put forth by the little workers of the world, you can understand my bitterness. At least you guys are allowed to talk to other people at work and not have cameras watching your every move to make sure you are, in fact, working at every available second of the day and not slacking off by, say, having a water bottle underneath the cash register or going to the bathroom more than once a day.

 

My Labor Day will probably be spent in another nine-hour shift at the Sprawl-Mart, for seven generous (really) bucks an hour to go home fifty some-odd bucks richer (after taxes) and with very swollen feet after being ordered around and pushed by the local office workers who are off on Labor Day.

 

America sucks sometimes.

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This is not intended in judgement in any shape or form, just human concern. You are a smart girl, why do you continue to work in retail? Are you in school?

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School costs money. And rather unfortunately, I'm not a compromising person - I don't want a shitty degree from a free college just to be able to feed myself. In fact a lot of those degrees won't pay me any more money than I'm making now.

 

My mother keeps talking about college, but honestly neither of us have done anything about it. My mother because God only knows, me because I haven't a clue what to do or how.

 

Also I'm a beauty-school dropout, and my father obstinately refuses to send me to any school because of that fact. (Of course I didn't want to go to beauty school, but was forced into it.)

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I'll be in the trenches as well (in 11 years I had only one Labor Day off :shrug: ).

 

Let the salaryman have his little holiday eating his steak and drinking his margaritas. At least we get double time for working Labor Day.

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I am off on Labor Day..but only because there is no school that day.

 

I, too, spend my 8+ hours "on"..we get no breaks, take about 10 minutes for "lunch"..and if someone comes in (a parent), I am then cut short of those 10 minutes. Yes, they can get away with it because of the nature of the job.

 

I feel for you though..and if I happen to be out and about on that day, will think of you and consider your words, and try to be kinder to those who are laboring, on Labor Day...

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Sage.

 

Exchange a few words and go back in time a few decades, and you could be writing as Emma Goldman, or Upton Sinclair, or Samuel Gompers. No dispute at all with your feelings. There are always the haves either looking down on, or forgetting about, the have nots. Ever seen Jacob Riis' "How the Other Half Lives"?

 

Yep, America sucks sometimes. But so does everybody else, ofttimes even worse.

 

Sorry if I seem like too much of a curmudgeon, but that's just what I do.

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I admit to being an office worker, but I'm so low on the scale that my job worth is nil. I can be let go at any time without a second thought no matter how I work my ass off for unreasonable demands, get yelled at by the higher ups, and threatened from above for stuff THEY screwed up. My job is supposed to be 9-5, but "Mandatory overtime" becomes the house word because corperate America is too damned cheap to hire adequate staffing. Oh, we get holidays, but we're frequently asked to come in anyway. See above about the staffing. I also don't get paid much more than you do.

 

I do admit though, if I have to be a slave, I'd rather be a slave off my feet. Considering I've been in retail and customer service most of my life, it's a valuble perk in my eyes.

 

Here's to us peons. May your shifts go quickly and your customers be considerate. Cheers.

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America has always ignored its class problem.

Uncle Sam: "Who us? Have class/labor problems? No way! Why, the lower classes (if they are industrious) are busy climbing the ladder to a better life, and the middle class have more opportunities than ever! Of course we protect the upper classes, but that's so because everyone can then have a shot at obtaining wealth and happiness! Destroy the wealthy class, and you destroy your own chances at moving ahead! Don't let those socialists/pinkos/secular humanists/pagans/atheists/anti-Americans/terrorists tell you otherwise!" Phooey.

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Well I do believe that people should be allowed to get as rich as they want.......within reason, of course.

 

After all, what's the point of living if you can't dream and do big? And yet what's the point of living if you purchase toilet paper made out of antique silk because you don't have anything better to do?

 

I guess I'm somewhat of a socialist.

 

I admit to being an office worker, but I'm so low on the scale that my job worth is nil. I can be let go at any time without a second thought no matter how I work my ass off for unreasonable demands, get yelled at by the higher ups, and threatened from above for stuff THEY screwed up. My job is supposed to be 9-5, but "Mandatory overtime" becomes the house word because corperate America is too damned cheap to hire adequate staffing. Oh, we get holidays, but we're frequently asked to come in anyway. See above about the staffing. I also don't get paid much more than you do.

 

I do admit though, if I have to be a slave, I'd rather be a slave off my feet. Considering I've been in retail and customer service most of my life, it's a valuble perk in my eyes.

 

Here's to us peons. May your shifts go quickly and your customers be considerate. Cheers.

 

I think it was Discovery Times Channel who recently did a program about Chinese laborers working in factories. These ones in particular were forced to work well under minimum wage and also forced to work overtime every day. Relationships were pretty much nil, and if a girl got pregnant she ran the risk of a forced abortion and more often was fired and sent home. And yet while watching this program I was sitting there thinking, "Hey, at least THEIR company gives them housing to live in." And free food every day, too. Not that I'm jealous of them in the least! I'd much rather be employed out here at Sprawl-Mart wearing a retarded blue vest every day than work in China, believe me.

 

I feel for you. I could never, ever, ever in a million years work in an office job. I would feel as though I had no identity or face - pretty much like I do now, but I think an office enviroment would kill my willpower faster. Cubicles........the word quite literally makes me shudder.

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Well, if you're not willing to do the work (because it saps your "willpower" for some reason, despite how "cushy" the job is)...

 

There are assholes everywhere, no mater what job you work. Kind of have to suck that one up as a part of life.

 

A class-problem. Yeah, there is some there, more from people treating others like they're disposable. At the same time, I have seen someone work their hide up from what would be termed a lower class. It wasn't easy, and people have to be willing to fight, but it is quite possible.

 

Then again, I can understand your need to bitch about Labor Day. It really is a joke.

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Why do Americans celebrate Labor Day in September, anyway? May 1 is the real Labor Day, but I suppose that is considered too socialistic to observe. God/Goddess/Whatever forbid that American workers feel any solidarity with workers from other countries.

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I work an office job.

 

Unfortunately, I'm the omega wolf in the pack. Last in line for a raise, last in line for benefits, last in line for time off... I can't even take time off for fucking Christmas - I have to squeeze nine hours of road travel in on the Saturday before, and then either leave on Christmas night (which I don't really want to do) or leave the day after so I can get home in time to get soemthign to eat before getting hauled off to work again. I almost couldn't get two personal days in September - two goddamned months away! - because all of the first shifters (I'm 2nd shift) want to take that entire week off. It took my shift manager stepping in on my behalf before I got those two measly, five-hour days off.

 

Labor Day? What fucking Labor Day? I'm sure as hell not going to get that day off, unless they decide to close the office, which they don't always do. And if I do get it off, I still won't have any money with which to do anything. Honestly? I'm jealous of your $7 and hour, Sage. I don't even get that.

 

Though at least I'm not still working at that goddamned gas station, where I was slaving for twenty hours a week to make what I get in fifteen at the newspaper, and having to do ten times as much running around, with no sitting down, no time to eat, barely enough time to take a piss, and no breaks at all...

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