Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day 2014!

Today in America and Canada we celebrate Labor Day, on the first Monday of September, and I just wanted to say Happy Labor Day to all!

This important holiday corresponds directly to International Workers' Day, celebrated in over eighty countries around the globe on May 1, the May Day celebrations. (Unfortunately, this is confused in many people's minds as being a communist holiday. But it's no such thing.)

Here in America, Labor Unions are always getting kicked in the butt by politicians for their demands for higher wages and worker safety. But these same politicians can't wait to run off for the "weekend", or take their "paid holidays", or their accrued "vacation time", right?

- Without Labor Unions there would be no such thing as "The Weekend"!

- There would be no such thing as Holiday Pay of Vacation Pay!

- Even worse, there would be no such thing as an eight-hour workday!

- And without Labor Unions, forget about things like health insurance and 401k's!

To be sure, without the decades-long struggle of Labor Unions we would all be working sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for the rich and powerful, nonstop! History proves this over and over again, for centuries and millenniums! In fact, if slave labor was available, no wages or benefits at all would come into play, right?

In my capacity here as house manager and butler, it seems like I'm a throw back to the days when Labor Unions didn't exist. It's normal around here to work ten, twelve, sixteen hours a day, and weekends seem to be an especially busy time around here. It's normal to work two, three, or four weeks in a row without any break whatsoever. That is, until my employer goes out of town for a couple of days or weeks.

But I knew this before ever jumping into the job, right? So no whining on my part. Except to say it's worn me out, and I need to change jobs. The Unions were so right in recognizing we all need rest and refreshment, for weekends, holidays, and vacations.

Not even to mention that otherwise there would be no such thing as TGIF!

Happy Labor Day!

Andrew

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Christmas Ads in August!

Tell me it's not true! In the dog days of summer I just saw the first Christmas advertisement on TV!

It was an ad for Viking Cruises on European rivers for the upcoming holiday season. While this kinda-sorta makes sense to book early for limited space, the very word 'Christmas' gets me a little agitated in the middle of August! (It won't be hours or days before we start getting hammered with Christmas music ads right?)

The truth is, retailers are already gearing up, and any minute now we'll start seeing Christmas stuff popping up on shelves at Sam's Club, Costco, and Walmart.

By necessity, in the world of the rich preparations start early as well. In July I met with our greeting card designer and things are already underway. The front of the card will be a drawing of the house with a blanket of new snow. The inside message (handwritten by our calligrapher) will say "Greetings and best wishes during this wonderful time of year." (This kind of noncommittal greeting, of course, can be sent out to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, right? My employer even has two Hindu friends who won't be offended by this message.)

I've already booked the caterers for the annual office Christmas party, and for three obligatory cocktail events that bind this crowd of old-guard rich together. Since the divorce, however, again there's no big parties or galas planned for this year.

The new girlfriend might have some events up her sleeve. But she better well have her own caterers lined up. I'm in no mood to jump through hoops at the last minute.

Our gift list has dwindled of course, since the divorce, and easy enough to handle. But our sixteen-foot artificial tree for the entry hall flopped out last year, so I need to scramble around and find a new one.

I don't mean to intrude on your last few lazy-hazy days of summer, but why should I be the only one to suffer? Christmas is on the way, whether we like it or not!

Thanks for dropping in,
Andrew