This Monday, many of us will be firing up a stogie, swilling martoonis, or tucking up to a fat porterhouse as a means of celebrating our hard work, good fortune, and the fruits of our labor.
If a cookout is not in our forecast, someone is going to have to stir those drinks and cook those steaks. And they ain't necessarily happy about it, either.
As Labor Day looms, many restaurant workers are staring down the barrel of just another work day, plus extra headaches, thanks to us, the 9 to 5 working man and our day of leisure.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, "Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."
And it also means an extended weekend for most people, and an extended reason to continue to imbibe beyond the typical Sunday bloody Mary hour. And according to some restaurant staff, those of us who show up ain't no picnic.
Here's how one local server experiences working on Labor Day, and holidays in general:
Letter to the editor:
Working on Labor Day in the restaurant industry is a way of life for us servers (also most holidays).
I have a weird theory about patrons who eat out on holidays: most are "family rejects." Meaning, they were not invited to family holiday celebrations — for a reason. Not the greatest people to serve, either.
On average, most holidays, patrons tip lousy. I prefer not to work on holidays, especially Labor Day. I mean, it's the last summer holiday, but most restaurants want to make money. But I feel that holidays are not the best days to be open.
I feel like most restaurants spend more on labor, and employees are unhappy being there and the clientele are not the ones you want in your place of business on that day anyway. I've served all over the U.S (San Fran, D.C., and Albuquerque) and my "family reject" theory seems to be holding its own.
Not all patrons are bad, but the majority are, every holiday.
-TT, professional server, working on Labor Day at a restaurant near you in Minneapolis