August 31, 2011

Labor Day in America, do Americans work too much???

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 6:57 pm by winterbaserva

According to the History channel “Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.”

As manufacturing became the mainline of American employment, the labor unions found their voice and became exceedingly vocal in their protest against poor working conditions. They began to organize and set up strikes and rallies, as well as attempting to negotiate better hours and pay. In September of 1882, 10,000 workers marched from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, thus holding the first Labor Day parade, if you want to call it that, in U.S. History. This caught on and became known as the ‘workingmen’s holiday’, and has since that time been celebrated on the first Monday in September.

Ironically, the very right that was hardfaught and passionately disputed in the 1880’s has become in the present day work world a moot point! Granted, the working conditions here in America are extravagant compared to those days, and the pay has adjusted nicely with the times, although in many fields that is also debatable; but how many of us are working ’12-hour days and sad to say some seven-day weeks’ as the NORM?

The facts show that the good ole U.S. of A. works more hours in an average week than ANY other country in the world. No siestas like our southern neighbors, no four-6 week ‘holidays’ like our European and Australian counterparts. Have you ever met a grumpy Aussie? ME EITHER! In the business of real estate we are the worst offenders as far as I can see. Most Realtors don’t have any boundaries with their time, and when they do, they are considered by others as ‘unprofessional’ or it’s viewed as  ‘bad customer service’. Yes, I get it, we are in a ‘commission based’ career field, but if we don’t take some time to relax and enjoy the fruit of our labors, what are we working FOR? If we show some respect for ourselves, our time, and our SANITY, maybe our clients will too! So….have fun and follow my lead on taking TIME for yourself. Here are a few pics from my recent vacation!