One of my weekly rituals is to stop by a local supermarket to pick up 'provisions' for my office fridge for the week, typically a half-gallon of milk for the nightly coffee ration, and whatever catches my eye, by which I mean is on sale. I am on a first name basis with much of the staff of the place- I never use the self-serve checkout, firmly believing in the whole 'the job you save may be your own' approach to workplace automation.
Last week, I was chatting with two of my friends at the store, and asked them if they had the 4th of July off. They told me that, not only was the store open, but it would not be closing early for the holiday. At least they were getting overtime pay, which is some small consolation.
Ordinarily, I have Tuesdays off, Mondays and Tuesdays are the days when our sites are closed to the general public, though we do accommodate school groups on these days. This year, though, because of the holiday, we are open to the public... I will be working a four-hour shift to help the Manager on Duty at one of our sites close up. I don't have to start until late afternoon, so I have time to hang out with some old friends who are having a lunchtime cookout. The job's not a bad gig, because once I lock up, I have the glorious place all to myself, and can usually catch a bit of a couple of local fireworks displays from a private vantage point at the end of the shift. I'm 'essential personnel', and I am the top dog in the department, so I feel obliged to cover these odd shifts so none of my subordinates has to do so. It's not like I'm standing at a cash register, ticking down the minutes to midnight, when I can go home.
One of my all-time favorite songs, one that I've posted about before, is 4th of July by Dave Alvin, a song about a poor working stiff, "on the lost side of town, in a dark apartment", who comes home from work to find his partner in a funk... though I like to think that it has an optimistic ending. The definitive version is by X, here's their 1986 Farm Aid performance of the song, with Mr Alvin on guitar:
This one goes out to all of the working folks, mainly low-paid women and people of color, who have to work today. I sure hope that people show them the appreciation they deserve.