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Labor Day celebrates workers doing their best

By JACK GODBEY 

It appears that another Labor Day is upon us. The day where we celebrate the American worker. 

I have often wondered why people work at the jobs they do. If you ask the typical worker, you will likely hear that they dream of doing something totally different from what they are actually doing. 

A few years ago, while I was visiting Nashville, it seemed that every bartender that I ran into had dreams of being the next Garth Brooks and cared little about being the best bartender they could be. I read a quote once by Walt Disney that said, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” It shouldn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a company or the person who scrapes roadkill off the freeway, you should do your best every day. 

I can remember years ago, my father told me that while making money is important, the most important thing is to have a good reputation and work ethic. That includes being the best at whatever you’re currently doing. 

Most people think the main idea behind working is to earn a paycheck. Yet many times once someone has spent their entire life working and they retire, they will turn around and volunteer at a job for free just to keep busy. 

We have all seen the different types of workers around us. They can be found in any work environment. 

There’s the micromanager who thinks no one can do anything correctly but them. They waste their time giving out assignments because everyone knows they’re going to redo the work once you’re done with it anyway. 

There’s the work gossip who knows everything going on and makes sure everyone else knows it as well. The lazy person who always seems to be present when someone brings in donuts but mysteriously disappears when there’s work to be done. There’s the overachiever who comes in early, stays late and volunteers to take on any project that needs done. Of course, every workplace has a brown noser who seems to do nothing, but is always in the right place to get all the credit. 

There are many awkward situations we can get into in the workplace, but there is no more of an awkward situation than sharing the bathroom with people. Some very personal sights and sounds can occur in this room and then you have to come out and pretend it wasn’t you who made the entire room smell like a sewer. No that must have been someone else. 

I recall many years ago when I was starting a job, I was nervous and upon arriving at the site I went into the restroom to freshen up. 

There was a man in the restroom who was clearly experiencing some stomach distress. I’m not sure if he had eaten some gas station sushi or discounted bologna out of the bargain bin, but there were sounds coming from that stall that sounded like someone had let the air out of a giant balloon. 

The guy came out, skipped washing his hands, and went directly out the door. A few moments later, I was introduced to my new boss and it was the same guy from the restroom. As he extended his hand for me to shake, all I could think about was how much hand sanitizer I would need to rectify this situation. 

Whatever your job is, I hope you’re the best at it. I salute you the American worker and give you a giant handshake. However, please wash your hands first.