There are literally hundreds of workers who have made our lives easier, better and more productive this past year and here are some of them by category. I will thank a number of them personally this week and next for their good work. I want them to know that their work is appreciated, that it makes a difference and that it has value to others. My hope is that they find meaning and purpose in work that they have chosen to do. Think of all the workers with whom you interact in a given year. It is really quite amazing. Here are my twelve categories, not necessarily in any order of priority:
1. Police, fire, safety and sanitation workers; city, county, state & federal employees
2. Farmers, food producers and purveyors, grocery clerks
3. Teachers, colleagues, clients and educators
4. Artists, writers, musicians, composers, actors, and producers
5. Utility engineers, technicians, mechanics, computer programmers, customer service reps
6. Highway construction engineers, workers and builders, including architects
7. Hotel and hospitality employees including cooks, & table attendants, now known as “servers.”
9. Pilots, reservation agents, flight attendants, baggage handlers, bus drivers & chauffeurs
10. Sales representatives, concomitant technical support, accountants & bankers
11. Domestic help and support; factory workers, manufacturers
12. Medical personnel including doctors, nurses, therapists, technicians and pharmacists.
This group is extensive and certainly far from exhaustive. There are well over 12,000 different careers or job descriptions available to people. I am grateful to many individuals in each of these groups and I have interacted personally with many of them repeatedly. For their service and support, their good work and for their helping to sustain us in one way or another, I remember and celebrate them this Labor Day, 2016.
The history of Labor Day often misses how and why it evolved. It’s not merely the end of summer nor a day off from work, and for many of these workers neither is it a holiday. If you want a more detailed accounting of the origins of Labor Day, have a look here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/01/labor-day-2014_n_5738262.html