Labor of Un-love 2

sew sewThere’s a lot to be excited about this weekend.

Besides the college football season kicking off, which my husband has been counting down for, it’s the first of the “ber” months when fall officially begins (my favorite!), it’s a holiday weekend and gas prices are as low as they’ve been for this holiday in eleven years.

However, I don’t think anyone is going to put the money they save on gas into their 401Ks right away.

I’m celebrating this weekend by wearing all the white attire in my wardrobe since in high society Labor Day is considered the last day it’s fashionable to wear the fairest of the fair fabrics. It’s also frowned upon to wear anything in seersucker, which is a major blow to my style.

It’s always lovely to start September with a day off, though it does seem a bit indulgent to have a holiday when we still have residual sand between our toes from summer. But the American way is “Any reason to party!” and in this case we party in honor of labor.

HarryI don’t really know much about labor unions or how they work since the extent of my education of it comes from the movie New in Town and I was too distracted by Harry Connick Jr.’s hotness to properly discern his role as a Union Representative. However, I do have the title of “factory worker” on my resume so I know a little about that side of the table.

Before my senior year of high school I got a summer job working on a sewing assembly line in a factory that produced athletic uniforms. I basically sewed the same seam all day, every day, eight hours, five days a week.

It was tedious.
It was boring.

My back hurt from hunching over all day.
My behind ached from sitting all day.
My ears rang from listening to the buzz of machines all day.

Conditions weren’t bad, but they were far from pampering. The dreary warehouse was dimly lit and management was stingy with the A/C settings. I could only imagine that drafty old building during winter. I was glad I wouldn’t be around to find out. Each day we got two strict ten-minute breaks and a thirty-minute lunch. We were in an isolated industrial section of town so there was nowhere to go and be back in time, so it was brown baggin’ in the break room every day.

It was just a summer gig for me, but there were people who’d been doing it for decades. As a clueless kid from a white-collar home, I could hardly imagine. As an only-slightly-less-clueless adult, I can hardly imagine the conditions endured by workers of generations past, or the horrific conditions endured by workers in countries with no regulations to protect them.

I’m grateful I got a small sample of the industrial labor environment early in life so I could learn an appreciation for trying and tedious work, because it would hardly be the last of it in my life.

Yeah, you’ll see me wearing white long after Labor Day because, while I’m no longer a factory worker, I’m hardly in the society set.

I don’t even know what seersucker is.

2 thoughts on “Labor of Un-love

  1. Reply Raeghn Sep 5,2015 11:17 pm

    What is seersucker and really, I can’t wear white anymore?

    • Reply Kari Rich Sep 11,2015 6:37 pm

      Of course we can wear white because we don’t live at Downton Abbey or associate with the Vanderbilts. And because who cares? 😉 And I found out (Google) seersucker is “a thin, puckered, all-cotton fabric, commonly striped or chequered, used to make clothing for spring and summer wear.” Apparently well-dressed society men wear suits, shorts and shirts made of this fabric in the spring and summer, but NEVER after Labor Day.

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