Nation Spends Labor Day Checking Work Email

Happy Labor Day, Reader. Since 1887, a day like this has recognized the worker in this country and all that we, the working class, do for everyone else. It’s on this day that we are given the day off as a sort of ‘good job’ for not taking time off the rest of the year. (Of course, we’re really only talking about corporate workers, since obviously we need to have retail and service industry workers to help the rest of us out on our day off). However, over the last 20 years, with the ubiquity of the internet and then the last year and a half of pandemic life, the lines between time on and off the clock have grown incredibly blurred. Leading the entire nation, with their God-given time off today, to check their work email.

We asked a few of our friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to tell us why they chose to check their work email on Labor Day. Here’s what they said.

Debby Heimlich, 57. Buda, TX. Well, you see I work as a real estate agent and people really love to spend their long weekends looking at houses. I told most of them that I would be unavailable since I wanted to spend time with my family, but when you know the commission will pay for your next vacation, it’s hard to not at least check. And maybe show a house or two between movies on the couch.

Johnny Sack, 62. Brooklyn, NY. Being a boss is a full time job, no matter what the unions say. And I have all the respect in the world for unions. It’s just, if someone needs to get whacked and it just happens to fall on the first Monday in September, well, that’s just bad luck.

Aaron Armstrong, 24. Salt Lake City, UT. This is my first real corporate, 9-5 job like my dad had and uh, I’m having trouble sleeping at night because I can’t turn my brain off and I’m constantly dry heaving due to stress, so the day off sounds nice, but that’s not really an option for me at this point. What if I get fired in the 2 hours I don’t check my email? Or what if I miss a client’s email and I get fired on Tuesday? Or maybe, I’m already fired, but they are waiting until Friday to lay me off. Oh god, I need to use the rest room.

Jules Torres, 40, Chicago, IL. Just because its a paid holiday doesn’t mean work doesn’t need to be done. That’s how you stay ahead, that’s that hustle mindset you have to put yourself in. Oh, someone’s paying me not to work? I’m gonna work anyway just to prove to the corporate entity that is Goldman Sachs that I am loyal.

Grim Reaper, ∞̷̤̘͕̆͋͒̽. The Void, OH. No one truly has a day off under capitalism. Even me. Especially with COVID. Yeesh. I gotta check my email and see where they’re sending me next. Oh, yep, looks like Florida again.

Shel Dillman, 15. Portland, OR. I’m 15 and I have to work or else my Mom won’t be able to afford rent, OK? I don’t have a choice. You know, older people keep telling me this country is ‘rich’ and that I can ‘be anything.’ But that’s not true, is it? Because my life has been hard since I was 8 when my dad killed himself after getting laid off and I can’t see myself escaping this life anytime soon. And the older I get, the more I understand why he did it. And I’m 15.

Ain’t that just the way? Good thing you checked your email. That person definitely is going to read your reply before 10am on Tuesday. That was for sure a better use of your limited time on this planet. You should be proud.

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