Monday, September 5, 2011

Workers Unite!

It's Labor Day today, at least in the U.S. and Canada.  Other countries celebrate it too, but on different dates.

According to Wikipedia,  "The first big Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York.  It was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882."


Not to get too political, but I'm very surprised, given the current climate, that more people aren't jumping up and down proposing to change the name of this holiday or to get rid of it altogether.  Maybe those who are against unions don't even know that it's the reason we have a Labor Day in the first place.


Old labor and union cards
Okay!  Done with the politics!  Let's talk about work.  I think working is important for all of us, in the most basic of ideologies.  To me, it's important to have something to do, something to strive for.  It doesn't matter what the work is, either - manual, office, carpentry, cleaning, food service, hairdresser, artist - if one has something to do, it spills over into other aspects of life.


I am also of the very firm belief that a happy worker is a productive worker.  I think back to the jobs that I loved - the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Waldenbooks, most of my stint at The Reporter - and I was always early.  Work was FUN.  I had great co-workers, who turned out to be friends for life.  I did my job with relish, however menial the task (is it any surprise that I LOVED filing payroll checks?  I just liked being around the paper.).  :D


My job now is so completely different than any other job I've ever held - EVER.  Most of my work is done alone.  Many of my "co-workers" live in different cities, except for my core group of wonderful artist friends here in Fond du Lac.  I am completely in charge of my own productivity, my own schedule, my own involvement, my own work station.  I set my hours.  My pay varies WILDLY from one month to the next.  I am responsible for my accounting/bookkeeping.


And I wouldn't have it any other way.  :D  


One of the most delightful things to come out of this whole "art thing" is this blog, and all of you, my wonderful readers.  To me, the blog is a necessary tool in my big-picture arsenal; shining a light on the materials I use in my collages informs and educates you, my dear readers, about what I'm trying to say in my art.  Hopefully, it inspires others to try their hand at the type of collage work I do, or at least make people think about the items that are meant to be temporary in our culture (and how they don't have to be!).  Of course, selling art is ALWAYS a wonderful means to an end (I'd be lying if I said otherwise), but really - I just love what I do.


Here's to us, the changing workforce in North America!  Workers unite!  

2 comments:

  1. Nice post. Those colorful union cards are terrific. Every one must tell (part of) a real story of someone's life. So must history and toil and LABOR behind all of them.

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  2. Thanks Chris! And those union cards are WAY cool - one of them had specific funeral/death benefit instructions on the back: that his kids were to get everything and his wife gets ZILCH. OUCH. :D

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