Daily Archives: August 31, 2012

Labor Day

Labor Day weekend is here – the traditional end to summer, even though summer doesn’t officially end until the 22nd of September this year. It used to be that this marked the return to school, and in Virginia it still does; the tourist sites need all those minimum wage high school students to work through the holiday. However, in many areas, the schools have been in full session for two or three weeks.

Oh, and for you sports fans I hear it’s the start of the NFL and college football seasons.

It became a federal holiday after striking workers were killed by federal agents and troops. I guess it was Grover Cleveland’s way of throwing labor a bone. “Sorry about killing those folks. Here’s a holiday. Are we square now?” Think Han Solo tossing the coin to the bartender and saying, “Sorry about the mess.”

WPA Mural
Cincinnati, OH

Having a couple of business administration degrees, I have spent most of my time working in management. The big secret is that it’s management’s job to remove the obstacles that prevent labor from producing products or services. Management doesn’t produce anything of value – it’s labor that does that. If management is not supporting production by labor then it engages in the illusion of production. Meetings are held, reports generated and great thoughts thunk – none of which is for the benefit of the customer. That’s why there isn’t a “Management Day” three day weekend.

So, here’s to labor. I hope everyone enjoys the holiday. Labor earned it (as did good managers.) Celebrate the summer, – not just the end, and toast the working men and women of this country.

Oh, and say a little prayer that by next Labor Day more of us will celebrate as members of the workforce.