September 3, 2012

Laboring on the Day

Author: Fine Ideas Furniture

I’m sure with a few keystrokes and clicks a person can learn the origin of our Labor Day holiday but at the moment I can’t tell you what it is.  Maybe it’s because our family was a little confused about how to observe or celebrate it.  You see, more often than not we labored.  And that is OK!  We recreated on other days but seldom the official one.

As I mentioned in my last blog, we just took a little holiday last weekend to be with friends we love in one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been…Lake Powell.  Three glorious days on a houseboat, in a swimming pool that is around 180 miles long and 600-900 feet deep.  And the landscaping!  Wow!  Only God could have done so well.  Hey wait a minute…he was the landscaper.  It is a seemingly endless source of shapes and lines and texture.  But here are a couple of thoughts I want to leave you with:

First:  Even though I and my Susie enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, it wasn’t long until I felt the pull of my tools, my craft, my art.  I love what I do and when I’m away from it, the longing to get back to it grows as the time passes.  In her extraordinary book, West With the Night, Beryl Markham discribes this pull so beautifully after she is away from her flying in Kenya for too long.  I can’t give you the exact quote, so I guess you’ll need to read the book.  You won’t regret it.

and Second:  Given that this is labor day, and an election year, and there is a good deal of unemployment, I’ld like to throw out a quote of my dad’s (he was a general contractor) that at first reading may seem very self serving on his part, but let it sink in and I think you will find it is or is very close to the root of the employer/employee relationship. 

Upon returning to the jobsite after running some errands, here’s what he said, “Well, did you guys make me any money today?”  Frankly, at the time his question pissed me off.  I was 19, and life then was about me, an attitude that if left unchecked, will lead to ignorance and stupidity.  But think about it, isn’t that why For Profit business’s hire people?  If you do not make money for the company you work for, then why should they employ you?  Another way of looking at it is this…If you are able to make money for the company you work for, then why would they let you go?  As impersonal as it may be, we are all either assets or liabilities to our employers and that includes the self employed incidently.

I know this may be a bit of an over simplification given the complexities of the job market and employers, but if the thinking of new college graduates looking for work were more along these lines, then there may start to be more hiring.