Happy Labor Day
Today is Labor Day which is the last major holiday of the summer season. According to the US Department of Labor (DOL),Labor Day, the first Monday in September is a creation of the union movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.
It is meant to be a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. It is like the National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (NMLPW) for workers, except celebrated by the entire country because of the perceived importance of "the worker."
In the early years of this celebration going back to the 1880's, the form that the observance of Labor Day took was clearly outlined even in the first proposal of the holiday - a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day for many years.
My father was a union man, a shop steward, and he never tired of explaining to me how vital labor was to the prosperity and vitality of the country. "Labor is the cog that turns the wheel, the oil that lubricates the engine, " he would say.
These days most see Labor Day as simply a welcome day off from work, the culmination of a long weekend of road trips, barbeques and picnics. It also marks the initiation of certain rituals: public pools close, women are not allowed to wear white without risking social ridicule, and the planning for Thanksgiving begins.
To those of us in healthcare, including clinical laboratory science, Labor Day is just another day to work, to serve. Some are lucky to be off, but the show must go on because patients are depending on us. We take it in stride as a given; an obligation. Gratitude and kudos to all those who are working today while the rest of the country gets to play.
When one provides a vital service such as CLS, many of the rules do not apply. Is it a coincidence many CLSs proudly wear white all year round?