It’s Labor Day as we put together this week’s issue of the Sparks Tribune.
No day off for us, like a lot of workers in Sparks. After all, Burning Man attendees need gas and food as they head home on the holiday after playing in the desert, gamblers still need cards dealt and football bets placed and furniture stores need salespeople to handle all those Labor Day specials.
We’d like to give a THUMBS UP to all those workers who anonymously toil day in and day out without complaint to put food on the table and pay the rent or mortgage while trying to dodge a huge hit on their pocketbook like a major accident or illness.
We’re talking about those workers who show up on time, day after day, treat people with respect, take pride in their job and go out of their way now and then to help someone.
Like the cable TV technician who no doubt hears a lot of complaints about the way his huge company operates but nevertheless goes the extra mile to make sure your television sets are properly set up because you still have trouble operating a remote control.
Like the health insurance salesman who thoroughly researches the Affordable Care Act and then fights bureaucratic forces to help his clients who didn’t have insurance even though they paid for it through the state’s disastrous online insurance exchange.
Like the convenience-store clerk faced with a line of customers that stretches through the candy aisle and around the Slurpee machine who apologizes for your inconvenience.
And finally, like the owner of a small business who hustles to tightly pack your U-Haul moving truck with precision and care and politely asks if it’s OK to take a quick break before he loads the last few feet of space in 90-degree heat.
THUMBS DOWN to the employment future of our children and their children.
We can’t help but feel a bit pessimistic about what they may face: Significantly higher health-care costs, a bleak outlook for saving enough money for retirement—including the possible loss of Social Security benefits, a more violent culture that threatens the safety of the workplace, and a toxic political environment that has turned from problem-solving to name-calling, with the loudest and brashest name-callers rising in the polls.
Then again, room for optimism exists as it always does, thanks to ingenuity, technological advances and the possibility that real political leaders will step up.