The thing about not having a job is that weekends and holidays, among other things (pride, self-worth, etc.), become moot. While everyone else does backflips over their two or three or four days off, you shrug and think, You wouldn’t be celebrating if you’d had a couple hundred of these in a row, or, Well, at least I have someone to drink with.
Until about a week ago, I’d been largely unemployed for over a year. I was excited to get a job not only because it would afford me some small, quasi-daily purpose—and a smaller biweekly paycheck (I’ll be working about twelve hours a week, for minimum wage)—but because, finally, weekends and holidays would matter again.
The first holiday on the docket, of course, is Labor Day. I’ve never cared much for labor, personally, as you might have gathered from the statements above. (My parents called me Maynard G. Krebs throughout my childhood and adolescence, and still do sometimes, well into my manchildhood.) Frankly I haven’t given a shit about Labor Day since 2010, when I was a teaching assistant at a small public university. Labor Day, like MLK Day, has a solid reputation among college teachers (and students) as the first holiday of its respective semester. Before the year begins, when you examine the syllabus, it’s almost annoying to miss a day so early. There’s so much you want to accomplish, so little time. But about ten minutes into the second day of class, when some kid in a backwards cap says something racist, or can’t stop giggling because—despite having read three of his essays—he didn’t realize David Sedaris was a gay man and not a straight woman, you’re circling and starring that little line on your schedule and writing FUCKKKKKKK YESSSSSSSS LABOR DAAAAAY WOOOOOOO!!!!!
When I got my twelve-hour-a-week job, I was looking forward to that level of idiotic enthusiasm over a holiday that, let’s face it, isn’t qualified to hold Halloween or Christmas’s jock strap. After a few days of grueling training in a small independent bookstore, I thought, I’m gonna be loving Labor Day.
Then, on my first day of grueling training, I looked at the store hours in the window:
My bookstore’s always closed on Mondays, and I had to work yesterday. My holiday deprivation will run at least until Thanksgiving.
Sigh. At least Trop is off, for a change.
Happy Labor Day,
Evan Allgood, Managing Editor
Evan Allgood's work has appeared in McSweeney's, The Millions, LA Review of Books, The Toast, and The Billfold. He lives in Brooklyn and contributes regularly to Paste. Follow and maybe later unfollow him on Twitter @evoooooooooooo.