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Labor Day of Love: Appreciating Those Making Our Lives Easier

Labor Day comes but once a year – the first Monday in September – and the arrival of summer’s last fling produces a fairly typical reaction: I deserve this. And it’s true. We work hard. But there are those among us who may be particularly under-appreciated – who perhaps deserve a special recognition for their labors. We can’t thank them all here, but we can give you a head start:

Trash collector: Hauling away the detritus of strangers is an unglamorous – and absolutely critical – profession that we tend to take for granted. Think about it: A shiny truck shows up at your home every week to remove all the waste in your life. It’s magical! We grumble about a fallen scrap on the curb or a loose lid blown into the street. But without your garbageman, your living room turns into the Star Wars compactor scene inside a month. Pro tip: Take care of your collector with a holiday gift. He’s seen all your trash, he knows your secrets, and you don’t need the neighbors calling the cops.

IT technician: Saturday Night Live tells only half the story. Sure, your friendly neighborhood information technology consultant isn’t always so, uh, friendly. But who do you think got on their bad side? It was Ted in accounting, who yells at files because he thinks it’ll make them download faster, sweats on everything and undoubtedly stole your yogurt from the break room fridge. So respect your company computer people – if only because your work PC is already barely holding it together. You can’t afford to lose that spreadsheet that’s about to flicker into oblivion.

DMV official: Now, just hold on a sec. That person behind the counter is someone’s aunt, and she certainly didn’t create the line snaking all the way to the front door (even if she isn’t exactly hustling to thin the herd). Literally no one wants to be at the DMV, so you can’t expect this poor soul – who hasn’t had a bathroom break all afternoon – to fasten on a smile and call out “Howdy!” just because you had to give up your lunch hour to renew your plates. You’re better than that.

Little League umpire: Look, you try calling balls and strikes in the baking sun for $20 a game. Screaming coaches. Livid parents. Hyperactive 9-year-olds. Just hold your tongue and tip your cap. There’s a special place in heaven for these chest-protected people that make the game official.

Mom & Dad: Yeah, you read that right, buster. They washed your gym socks, baked your favorite mac and cheese, cleaned up that scab whenever you skinned your knee – and that was just in the summer after grad school! You think that’s not a job? Don’t be stingy and stop at Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. This Labor Day, give the ‘rents a hug and thank them for all they do. 

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire


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