UNITED STATES—For the first time, since I can remember the Fourth of July holiday falls during a tricky time this year. Why? It falls on a Wednesday, right in the middle of the week. So for most Americans who work the typical 9-5, Mon-Fri they likely took Monday-Wednesday off or perhaps planned to take an extended vacation from Wednesday thru Sunday off? However, there are some of us who don’t get that perk of having the holiday or any holiday for that matter off.
People ask me all the time what are you doing for the holiday, with the assumption that I have it off, but they soon discover that is not the case. I work in an industry where there are no off days, and I know I’m not the only person who juggles such. I mean I occasionally get Christmas off, but that is perhaps the only day. Why? My place of business is actually closed on that day. However, New Year’s Day, President’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Halloween, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving are all holidays I work.
Now, would I love to have some holidays off, of course, but look at it from this perspective what if doctors, police officers, paramedics, firefighters and so many others who are on call 24/7 decided to take a vacation like normal Americans do. It would not be good America, not one single bit, which raises a bigger question: why are some businesses so keen to keeping their doors open during the holidays? Well it’s simple: money! The thing that sucks about that is hard working employees aren’t able to spend time with their families. Instead they are stocking the shelves, cooking food, updating databases or some other menial task.
What’s worse? The big boss or the titans are never working any of the holidays, or as we secretly note at my company, those with the least amount of seniority tend to be stuck working. I hate to say this, but it is indeed the absolute truth. If you have seniority you’re able to request such holidays off, but if you’re starting from the bottom of the totem pole, forget it. You’ll work every holiday where the company is open for business until you rise in the ranks.
The thing that perhaps frustrates me the most is it seems working the holiday brings very little perks to the employee. With some companies if you’re lucky you receive holiday pay. That is always a bonus because its money on top of money. However, when you factor in what you have to pay out in taxes is it really worth it. Not so much. I tend to work most holidays because they are actually quite slow.
The only exception to the rule tends to be the BBQ 3 as I like to call it: Labor Day, Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Jeez, it just seems people don’t have much to do and as a result business is booming to a point where it seems never-ending if you ask me. I’m venting a bit here, so don’t take anything I say personal, I just want to educate a few people on the fact that NOT everyone gets all holidays off from work. I know so many of us would like to think that all Americans are the same, they have the same work schedule and perform the same job, but the reality of the matter is that is not true.
So while you might be indulging and enjoying having the day off, be aware that if you’re visiting this place or that place on a holiday, you’re only able to do so because someone was willing to sacrifice spending time with their family so that you were able to spend time with yours.