Mericans! How was your Labor Day?

Keith

Moderator
I was just reading a news story, to wit: CLICK >>>>>>>America

Which is pretty self explanatory and I must admit, I came across this phenomena myself when I lived over there. but I'm pretty surprised the attitude still prevails.

I also came across the strange phenomena of the "missing" US public holidays of which there are many, far more that the UK for example. However, many companies (and employees come to that) just plain didn't recognise them and worked through.

At the time, I put this down to a strong work ethic - (plus, many employers refused to recognise them and pressurised their workforce) something I felt we should be striving to attain here in "lazy" Britain. but now I wonder whether this is generally a good thing for the health & welfare of the general workforce?

I mention Labor Day in particular, because I felt that many saw that as a kind of Communist inspired celebration and they wanted nowt to do with it.

I realise many of you are 'employers' rather than 'employees' or are in the higher echelons of management but I would be very interested to hear your comments direct from the horses mouth so-to-speak...

The BIG question is, will the replies tally along Party lines? I rather think they will.. :)
 

Jeff Young

GT40s Supporter
I work for a US subsidiary of a Swiss/Swedish company. The culture clash on "holiday" is pretty amazing. The Swedes disappear for 3-4 weeks in August. No emails or p[hone calls. Gone. Hard working types but they respect each other's vacations. The folks at HQ in Zurich are multinational but they do share a respect for vacations. I think they checkout a BIT too much, but I get it is healthy-ish.

Americans are idiots about vaction, myself included. I've really not had a week away from work since 1998. If I take a vacation I end up working half days at least. Has had a negative effect on family and friends for sure.

The cult of money and personal responsibility is I think driving a lot of this, plus Americans just have this weird fear I think of being viewed as lazy (well, most of us). It's ingrained in us from job one. I still remember being taught the mantra my first day as a 15 year old on a work permit at McDonald's -- "if you are leaning, you aren't cleaning."
 

Terry Oxandale

Skinny Man
Supporter
2X on Jeff's comments. When I do take vacation, the work computer and work phone follow me on all my "off hours" of vacation. Even then, I dislike taking vacation because the work that had to be done while I was gone, either has to be made up before I leave, or after I return. So it really isn't vacation in the sense "time off". Instead it's simply a reshuffling of work, so that I can be gone for a longer period of time than 12-15 hours per day). Other than the family's benefit, I stick to a 1/2 day here or there to do something that I can't do on the weekend.

Employers here in the U.S. say "take the vacation...it's good for you", and then expect yet another year in which productivity is higher this year than last year. Quality of life stays in the shadow of corporate profits every time, in every aspect of life (politics, environment, safety, etc) for us "Mericans".

With the current political climate here in the States, I'm surprised we still honor Labor Day. After the next election, I would be surprised if Congress doesn't replace it with "Corporate Day", simply because corporate America is kind enough to offer the menial or lower educated worker employment, and that those workers should be celebrating it with no day off as a gesture of worker appreciation that they have a job at all.
 
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When I decided to retire in 2009, I was on a work trip in Brazil and scheduled for a quick follow on trip in SC.
My laptop was cleaned and left on a bench (gifted) at the airport in Sao Paulo, upon arrival back in the USA I rented a car for the trip to Columbia, SC. After about 80 cell phone calls, the cell phone became debris on Interstate 26. Haven't looked back since!
 

Keith

Moderator
Well done Jack! That's the spirit.. The disparity between Europe & the US is simply astonishing. Many people in the UK are getting 5 weeks vacation a year and that doesn't include the unofficial 10-14 days break at Christmas!

I sometimes wonder what would happen to the "employment" figures if it was all cut back to 21 days max.

We certainly don't have the same work ethic as Americans, but to many, it seems that "ethic" is the wrong word in the American context..
 

Larry L.

Lifetime Supporter
...My laptop was cleaned and left on a bench (gifted) at the airport in Sao Paulo...After about 80 cell phone calls, the cell phone became debris on Interstate 26. Haven't looked back since!
'Kind of a grumpy, crotchety, cranky, ORNERY ole goat, ain'tcha Jack! :D
 

Terry Oxandale

Skinny Man
Supporter
When I decided to retire in 2009, I was on a work trip in Brazil and scheduled for a quick follow on trip in SC.
My laptop was cleaned and left on a bench (gifted) at the airport in Sao Paulo, upon arrival back in the USA I rented a car for the trip to Columbia, SC. After about 80 cell phone calls, the cell phone became debris on Interstate 26. Haven't looked back since!
Now that was cool! That's the way I want to go out!
 
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Terry Oxandale

Skinny Man
Supporter
Well done Jack! That's the spirit.. The disparity between Europe & the US is simply astonishing. Many people in the UK are getting 5 weeks vacation a year and that doesn't include the unofficial 10-14 days break at Christmas!

I sometimes wonder what would happen to the "employment" figures if it was all cut back to 21 days max.
My guess is that if the UK was like the US in that respect, we wouldn't be privy to the entertaining UK wit and humor you don't see so much of over here...seriously. Our bungs are so tight right now, the only thing we find worth talking about, is gripping about the deplorable state of everything in our lives...and then shooting at it.
 

Steve

Supporter
Well, I was on call for Labor Day and got me arse kicked by several emergency rooms. Much like Jim, in my line of work, "vacation" is a myth. There was plenty of drunken rowdiness (and time off work) on Labor Day for many people for sure.

All of the comments above and the article are true to some extent. To be sure, we have plenty of lazy people in the US with no work ethic but by and large, we work hard and (we hope to) play hard too. The subset of people on this forum probably represent the more pathologically hard working Americans to be sure. I have failed miserably at "life balance" and my wife and child would agree. I keep trying though......
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
I think it should be changed to taxed day. Those of us who pay get a day off from taxes and those who don't pay get a day off from assistance in all its forms.
 
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