Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day . . . should just be called Day-off Day

Labor Day. There is very little labor going on, however. The newspaper office is empty save for myself, and even I moseyed in around two this afternoon, wearing jeans, sneakers, and a ballcap. The phone has been silent. There are no e-mails, except for the ones inviting me to invest money in Nigeria or to purchase some confidence-boosting snakeoil.

I'm not a big fan of Labor Day. It ranks for me right at the bottom of the holiday ladder, not far behind Columbus Day.

If, like me, you ever wondered how we came up with this crazy, idle holiday, you can read about Labor Day's history at (where else) the U.S. Department of Labor's Web site.

The problem with Labor Day, of course, is that there's still work to be done; just no one's doing it. Everyone's putting it off until Tuesday, which in some industries might not be a problem, but at a weekly paper it can cause a real crunch. No one bumps back deadlines because, "Oh, sure, Monday was Labor Day, go on, take a little longer." That doesn't happen.

I think we should call the first Monday in September something else (Day-off Day, for example) and give Tuesday (the day we have to make up all the work we didn't do on Monday and then some) the name Labor Day. Or if everyone insists on continuing the 115-year-old history of Labor Day, we should christen the Tuesday following as "Two-Days of Labor Day" or "More Labor Than You Had Yesterday Day." Of course, then we'd have to take Tuesday off as well, and that would really set us back.

My disdain for the holiday aside, I hope everyone had a swell Labor Day. Now get back to work.

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