Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Fri, April 26

Marvin's Window: Labor Day just another day off?

As I look out my window and watch the campers, boats, skidoos, RVs, SUVs and motorcycles hit the road for the Labor Day Weekend, I can't help but wonder if labor is still "politically correct" in this country.

I wrote back in May that Memorial Day has become the first three day holiday of the vacation season and marks travel and vacation time.

The honoring of the veterans who lost their lives to protect our country gets lost in the first family outing of the year.

Here we are at the other end of the summer and another holiday has become the last great American travel outing of the summer season.

Labor Day, long ago in the back attic of my memory bank, was once the celebration for the "working man"--the celebration of "labor."

Today we import workers to do jobs that require "labor."

We even have trouble trying to define what the politicians mean when they talk about the "working family." I think it means something like "vote for me because I am on your side."

I ran into a story about "good jobs" that ranks 250 kinds of work on six criteria: income, stress, physical demands, potential growth, job security and work environment.

At least two of those criteria, physical demands and work environment, help push "labor" to the bottom of the job rankings.

The worst ranked were manual labor jobs in timber harvest, oilfield roustabouts and fishermen.

Can you imagine that fisherman could be ranked at the very bottom when so many folks will be leaving white collar jobs this weekend to put a boat in the water to go fishing!

People working in the timber industry get a low ranking while job holders in more desirable desk jobs head for the timber to hike, hunt and camp over the Labor Day weekend.

I must have been staring out this window too long and missed the big change in values.

Labor just is not politically correct anymore!

Besides making a guy use too many muscles in daily manual labor, the manual work environment is horrible in Arizona.

Can you imagine a job in this desert where the job site is outdoors with no air conditioning! The wind blows at times and fills the work site with sand and dust.

I see why labor is not desirable.

But, I see my white collar friends at the Wellness Center several times a week working out those muscles that get no use on the job in a daily routine.

I hope their muscles are not as sore as mine are after a daily workout!

The workout would be free if I still did some old-fashioned manual labor as part of the daily work routine.

Picking up my coffee cup and walking to the lunchroom from my desk does not qualify.

When I first arrived in Kingman, I needed the help of a plumber and an electrician.

Those jobs must not be politically correct either.

At least, it was a difficult and time consuming task to find either one with the time to come do my work.

Then I got the bill.

Those folks have the means to send their children to college without government help!

All over the country employers have difficulty hiring roofers, framers, electricians, masons, plumbers-all construction trades- because the work environment is outdoors and work requires real manual labor.

The best job on the list was for financial planners.

I bet they manage the money of those electricians and plumbers!

What has happened to a society that judges school success by the number of students going on to college and ignores the value of work that uses muscles, even when the pay is excellent?

Maybe I need a rewind button on this window so I can turn back the clock and take another look at a time when labor carried more respect and was considered dignified.

On the other hand, I maybe I should be thankful that we have a lot of technology and equipment to do most of the "muscle jobs" today.

I really do not want to go back to chopping wood and working in the hot, windy, rainy or cold outdoor conditions.

Maybe labor was more politically correct a few years ago.

That does not mean that I liked doing it or miss it at all.

I am content looking out my window watching someone else do it.

Time to quit this "hunt and peck" computer word processing and go do my workout.

It is air conditioned and I can watch my favorite television program while I substitute exercise for labor.


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