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FML's Labor Day BBQ

The first Monday of September is a holiday in some countries, and is supposed to celebrate Labor Day. So, this means you do nothing to celebrate doing something. I'm confused. 

For those of us who don't live in those countries, what's it all about?  When I celebrate something, the thing I'm supposed to be celebrating is usually present at the time. When the local wine producers had a gathering of all the local alcoholics to present their latest batch of mind-melting stuff, there was wine on the premises. And me, obviously. When Kool and the Gang sing, "Celebrate good times, come on!", good times are also present. On Secretaries Day, they certainly don't get a day off. Not everything is as fun as Secretaries Day with lots of wine and Kool and the Gang playing all night long, though. So why do we celebrate working, when it's the most annoying thing we have to endure? If we didn't need the money to by light bulbs and hummus, we could do without work, and live in peace and harmony, and sail in metaphorical boats down a quiet river of tranquility. So, why do we still do it? 

(A chilling example of non-work ethics on Labor Day. Simply scandalous behavior.)

Although, I do like to sit around all day doing nothing. I'm very lazy, but working gives all of us a sense of purpose, even if we'd all wish we were in some sort of hammock with a ice-box full of cold drinks at arm's reach. If we could do that all day, we would. But we can't. According to my sources, AKA the Internet, historically, Labor Day is supposed to celebrate the social and economic achievements of the workers. I can respect that. But come on, some of those workers are the guys who designed the Furby and aerosol cheese. Why would we celebrate anything that makes money out of the toil of people whose sole purpose in life is to taint our collective unconscious, and devolve our species until we're back to where we started, a primordial soup, fighting about bone sculptures? Oh, sorry, wrong article. I thought I was writing something for my old philosophy teacher, and got a bit carried away with the teenage hyperbole.

Today, I was bored at work, so I started browsing the Internet. While I was on my Facebook page, my boss tagged me in a status: "I've been standing behind you for ten minutes." FML

Here on FML, work is one of the main subjects of complaints, whether it's from people doing the work, or others having to put up with the effects of someone else's poor job performance. Usually, low-end jobs are the worst. You know the ones: minimum wage, minimum motivation, minimum effort all round. No one cares, no one wants to do them, everyone accuses everyone else of stealing these jobs, usually "illegals", whoever they are, and then everyone complains once they're a customer, because someone once said the stupidest sentence ever known to man, "the customer is always right". No, the customer is self-righteous crapweazle most of the time. If people could just be polite and get along, that would be nice. As Bill and Ted said, be excellent to each other. People also say that working out is good for you. But is working good for you? Probably not. But still, every morning, if we're lucky enough to have a job, we get to still on a 67 bus, listening to Nick Drake, before sitting in a cubicle, or standing in front of a deep fat fryer, or something equally depressing. Wahey, life. 

Today, while at work as a telemarketer, I called a customer on his home phone. Once I was connected, an automated voice said, "To speak with a customer, please press 1." Confused, I pressed one. I then heard loud laughter followed by, "Oh my god! What a dumbass!" before they hung up. FML

Call centers are this generation's cannon fodder. Well, maybe not that bad. There's no trench foot, yet. Working conditions vary all over the globe, so everyone has a different story to tell. And oneupmanship is a common practice amongst the working class, as in, "Who's got it worse?". I spend my days in front of a computer with a couple of cats on my lap, so I've developed a shitty posture, and lifting something heavy at work led to two herniated disks and a dependency on some yummy pain killers. So be careful, work-related accidents can happen easier than you think. What was I lifting at the time? A big blue Ikea bag full of can of Diet Coke. Yes, ridiculous, I know. But if tell that story to someone who works down the docks who blew his liver out though his arsehole trying to pick a whole boat out of the water, I'd sound ridiculous. So I keep it quiet. I just say it's from when I was a soldier in the '80s or something. l

Today, it's the fifth day in a row my work mate has worn the exact same clothing. We share the desk. I'm absolutely positive he hasn't hit the shower since last weekend. FML

That's the thing. The clients can be bad. Co-workers can be just as bad. But at least clients go away. Co-workers are here to stay. It's like a second family, so if your real family is already crap, chances are you won't like the one you'll be getting at work. I have made some fantastic, lifelong friends through work. But I've also met some of the worst people ever. I could give you tips on how to spot them during your first day at work, but that'll be for a different article. This is all about Labor Day, and celebrating the workers, not cutting them a new one.

Today, while cleaning tables at the fast food place where I work, I had to remove two human teeth from a table top. FML

You'll meet normal people, thankfully. If you didn't come across some great people while working, you'd probably become deeply depressed. You'd start out your professional career with a spring in your step and a bright outlook on life, then end up with 40 extra pounds on your twisted frame, a beard, an addiction to nail polish remover and one of those silly electronic cigarettes constantly sticking out of your snout. And that's just at the end of the first year. 

(Yet again another example of someone doing bugger all on a National Holiday)

Certain jobs lead to too much stress, and can find you in a situation where you take on too much because that's what expected these days, you're supposed to be glad to be employed, so take what you're given to do, and shut your pie hole matey, which leads to what some people who wear glasses and suits and who work in the management sector call a burn-out. This term comes from airplanes or cars or something to do with gasoline, or a barbecue, something which means that there's no metaphorical fuel left and your brain and body just shut down, you can't do anything except babble and dribble and become YouTube-commenter level incoherent and irrational. You need to slow down. If you're not trying to cure cancer or save lives or building a rocket that could fly Ann Coulter into the sun, your job isn't worth dying for. Look after yourself, you nitwit.

Today, at work, I had to utter the phrase, "Sir, please stop rubbing yourself with the peas." It's exactly how it sounds. FML

So, Labor Day. What do people do on Labor Day? I haven't a clue. The general idea of why it's a holiday may be lost on some people. I had to look it up, but now I know it's not just about getting a day off work to go and eats ribs round at Big Ed's. It's about people in the past who fought for certain things, and sometimes, with all the jokes and cultural references that go bouncing around, we forget why we do certain things. Signifiers get lost. So let's not forget this one, but still have fun because a day off work is still something to be treasured.

There will still be those of you who will be working today, either in service industries, other jobs or people who live in countries where this day doesn't exist or isn't on this date. Or people who don't care. If you're one of those people, I'm glad you made it to this last sentence, well done for hanging in until the end, and have a nice day anyway!

#1468 - Ramblings - On 09/01/2014 at 4:30am by Alan - 20 comments

Top comments

I'm doing an arts degree, so every day is a day off.

#1 - On 09/01/2014 at 11:43am by Baustigt

See in context

For us lucky ones it is a happy, paid holiday spent well by doing not a damn thing! Still in bed. Maybe I'll eat later.. but this just feels too right at the moment.

#3 - On 09/01/2014 at 1:05pm by jajajanie

See in context

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