Some people, like Meri over at Meri-Goes-Round, viewed yesterday's Memorial Day holiday as an opportunity to post about what the holiday is really about. But I'm having a "she stoops to conquer" sort of moment and have to admit the thing I associate most with the day is not picnics or placing flags on gravestones. Honestly, when I think Memorial Day, I think holiday pay.
I spent three summers on the federal payroll and while working for the feds submerges you in some unique challenges and one could argue that federal agencies foster bureaucracy and incompetency, the job came with some perks. Namely, if I showed up for a regularly scheduled shifts on say, Memorial Day or Fourth of July, I got time and a half pay.
Andy rolls his eyes whenever I wax poetic about holiday pay and I know what you're thinking: "This girl claims she wants to be a freelance writer. Has she not yet accepted her fate as never having disposable income ever again?!"
To be honest, I've pretty well excepted my fate as a penniless writer. And when I really think about holiday pay, I realize it wasn't really meant as a perk. In reality, it's there to promote the idea that Memorial Day (or whatever the holiday du jour) is a special day for Americans If you aren't able to get the day off, you deserved a little extra pay to "remind" you of the holiday.
When I accepted my current job, I basically kissed summer holidays (and weddings and any other special occasion not scheduled on my days off) good-bye. Holidays roll past without me even noticing them. I've been known to ask, "oh, was it Labor Day yesterday?" Around here, life doesn't pause for holidays. We barrel through them like they don't exist.
And I suppose that's okay. But maybe it would have been nice if yesterday I'd thought less about closing out the cash register and more about my great-uncle Peter who died in WWII when his plane was shot down over France. Or about my great-uncle Frank, who was a WWII paratrooper. Or a little about my gramma.
If I'd received holiday pay, would it really have affected my mindset yesterday? Who knows? All I know is when it comes to holidays, I'm not getting them off and I'm not getting paid any more for showing up for work on them.
Welcome to summer at Of Woods and Words.