Happy Labor (Free) Day!

courtesy/cute-calendar.com

courtesy/cute-calendar.com

I always found it a bit contradictory that Labor Day is so named but the sole purpose is to NOT labor on that day and, in fact, is designed to enjoy and celebrate. I have no issue with taking a day off mind you, just find it peculiar that most, not all, get the day off but it’s about laboring.

I suppose titles aren’t everything. It’s a bit of an interesting Labor Day given recent events – with fast food workers striking to earn higher wages and there’s been a constant talk of raising the minimum wages for years if not longer. I was just talking with my mom last night about how employees earn such little respect from customers and managers/bosses to boot. There doesn’t seem to be a way to win.

That said, it does make it nice there’s a day set aside to try and show a little gratitude for the hard working men and women across the country for what they do. I think many don’t look at it that way, though. For most, I think it’s just another day off (for those who are lucky enough to actually get the day off).

I would like to take the moment to thank folks though for their efforts. I have done plenty of different types of customer service work in my time – fast food, restaurant, retail, call center and *gasp* door-to-door sales. I still absolutely believe that call center work is the hardest. You don’t do much except sit at a desk with a head set on your head all day long for 40 hours a week talking to stranger after stranger. That’s the problem you see. Since you’re nothing but a disembodied voice to that other disembodied voice, they don’t have to respect you and trust me, they don’t.

Any respect for that other person goes right out the window because quite frankly, the person on the phone doesn’t have to look at you and you’re clearly the jack ass for working there so everything must be your fault. I worked at a call center for DISH Network for about a year and absolutely hated the phone! It was so dreadful. I finally gave it up because I just couldn’t reason being yelled at for total stupidity over television. I got tired of having to try and keep customers because they were pissed they didn’t have service working to keep the kids entertained. How about you try actually interacting with your children, or show them the beauty of what a book is? What a concept! There were plenty of other issues also but I’ll spare you. Trust me… it just wasn’t worth it anymore.

Customer service is so very difficult. Customers come into the store cranky and then take it out on employees. I know these days customer service isn’t what it used to be. Employees are becoming slackers and don’t seem to care as much about what they do, but part of that may be because of all the abuse they’ve taken through the years. As I said, it’s not always just from customers either. Anyone who’s worked retail can talk about how managers and higher-ups will make certain demands and then make new demands that contradict the previous ones. You’re expected to do it all and with little pay and possibly even less respect. It just makes me shake my head.

So I guess I just want to take the opportunity to thank all the hard working folks out there in all manners of occupation!  This goes out to anyone who is working today but all those folks who have to endure any level of crap from everyone else. Without you all, life would be that much more difficult for the rest of us. Appreciation may not always be shown, but it’s there. If you’re working today, hell, even if you’re not working today, please take the time to kick off your shoes, drink a beer (or other alcoholic beverage – for those who are legal) and relax (if you’re not legal – please find another fabulous beverage to enjoy). You’ve earned it!

On that note, I shall leave you all with a little tune I like from Huey Lewis and the News – “Working for a Living.” Have a great day all!

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