Does This Post Count as Labor?

Today, like many other Americans, I am being paid to avoid work, which is somehow different from a normal work day.

Supposedly, we are celebrating the achievements of hard work.

Well, it’s not my work.

Don’t get me wrong. I work, sometimes even hard. But it’s not worthy of Labor Cake.

Part of me does wish that my work meant something. I see pictures of men dangling from skeletons of sky scrapers, people who built the foundation of America. Labor Day was inspired by these people.

Photograph of a Workman on the Framework of the Empire State Building. Many structural workers are above middle-age.

I have a fridge full of soda and bowls of candy. Air conditioning caresses my face all day. 

I sit in a rolly chair because dammit, if I have to move, the last thing I want to do is get up.

I do not labor.

The highlights of my economic contributions aren’t any more inspiring…

  • Folding pizza boxes for a penny a box with my brother
    One day we folded 800 boxes and received $8. It’s pretty hard to make a 9 year old think something is pointless, but that’s one way.
  • Selling Christmas trees at a local nursery
    “Let go” because I forgot to ask some hoochie if they wanted the bottom of their tree cut off. And that was fine, because it coincided nicely with hating people.
  • Filing papers
    Take a gander at why I left this career path…
  • Facilities crew at a college stadium
    Earned the undeserved nickname “Turkey”.  Scrounged through garbage for unopened packages of candy. Not sure if it’s obvious at this point, but I love candy.
  • Carpenter
    Birthplace of my donut obsession.
  • Online tutor
    Microsoft paint is great for blog posts. It is terrible as a medium for teaching math. However, I was still dang good at it, which led to….
  • Real life tutor

Besides tutoring and carpentry, arguably the only meaningful ones in the bunch, my jobs have had the lasting impact of Febreze in a port-a-potty.

Even more disturbing, as both a tutor and a carpenter, I never had Labor Day off. Draw your own conclusions, but I’ve already used sophisticated maths to model and trend to the present day…

  • Data Analyst
    Still not contributing to society
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3 Responses to Does This Post Count as Labor?

  1. Any work we do is a contribution to society. It may not seem like it to those of us in jobs that bore us to tears; but the job wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t necessary in some way. Your contribution may not make sense to you, but it still is worthwhile.

    • Peter Monaco says:

      I know you’re right but comparative to the sacrifices and hardships of 19th/20th century laborers, my job seems pointless. I guess it might have more to do with the degree of separation from direct societal influence. Building railways is more tangible than fondling data, despite the imagery “fondling” invokes.

  2. Ah-ha! Now I have the secret of just why you are so funny! You cut your wisdom teeth on data analysis (you’re funny as a defense mechanism against what you do, sort of like that guy Chandler Bing on “Friends,” only more original. He was a data analyst too!). Tell me, did you write his schtick? (Or did you send some memorable stick figures to New York television people?). Okay, enough with this–I realize that not everyone is amused by being compared to C. Bing. But I really don’t think you need to feel bad about Labor Day disqualification–supposedly what statistics prove (and I know you probably deal with statistics) is that what American laborers are most discontented with in various professions are the mindnumbingly boring or repetitious things their jobs make them do, and these are common to a lot of different jobs. I think if you can see your work in that light, it aligns you more nearly with the workers you regard as deserving (though it may reduce you to the desperation of drawing rude stick figures in the margins of your spreadsheets!).

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