Labor Day, and remembering

Jackie Vance
Jackie Vance

So we just had Labor Day, a time when most of the country gets a three-day weekend and forgets that many of those in service jobs don't have that luxury. 

What is Labor Day — and why should we care? Well, it's not a day about having babies (though there are plenty of nurses, doctors and others working to deliver those babies over that three-day weekend). By the way, to digress a little further, I was online reading social media a post by a soon-to-be-mom asking others about their birthing plans and for advice. Birthing plan? Isn't the plan to just get it out? OK, maybe I'm just getting old!

Labor Day is defined as a public holiday or day of festivities held in honor of working people. Here's how it all started (facts furnished by the Labor Department, the Library of Congress and other sources). In September 1882, the unions of New York City decided to have a parade to celebrate their members' presence in unions, and to show support for all unions. A reported 20,000 were at the parade.

However, two interesting facts: Many, if not all, had to give up a day's pay to attend and there was a lot of beer involved. I guess beer made up for the lack of pay back in 1882!

On June 28, 1894, Labor Day officially became a national holiday. President Grover Cleveland and some federal lawmakers had wanted the national holiday, especially since most states had already passed laws establishing a Labor Day holiday by that time. Sen. James Henderson Kyle of South Dakota is widely credited for introducing S. 730 to make Labor Day a federal legal holiday on the first Monday of September.

The holiday has evolved over the years, now marking the perceived end of summer. In fact, for many, Labor Day is synonymous with summer-ending backyard family barbecues. After this day, most community pools close, school is back in session, and, yes, you can go to any store and be bombarded with Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations.

I think the Monday off with pay for many is a way to honor our workforce. But how are we really honoring those who have to work on Labor Day — such as healthcare professionals, police, firefighters, food service employees, etc.? If you are a manager, administrator or a boss of some kind, did you thank your workers (beyond overtime, if you offer that)?

If you went out for a meal or to a store on Monday, did you take extra time to thank those people for working since they most likely did not get paid overtime?

I was lucky enough to be able to take the holiday and spend time with family. But to all of you who cared for those in the long-term care environment, thank you for your selfless service, bless you and please know how much you are greatly appreciated.

Just keeping it real (appreciative),

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. She has not starred in her own national television series — yet. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

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The Real Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

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