Here in the USA we are celebrating the last fling of the good ol' summertime. It is Labor Day weekend, and families are camping, playing in the park, swimming, grilling hot dogs in the backyard, visiting amusement parks and zoos and historical sites and outdoor concerts and whatever else they can find to help them extend summer's sun and play just a little bit longer.
It is supposed to also be a celebration of the working man and woman, the backbone of the American economy, the "salt-of-the-earth nieces and nephews of Uncle Sam. With apologies to those in other countries, this is a Friday Five about LABOR. All can play. Put down that hammer, that spoon, that rolling pin, that rake, that pen, that commentary, that lexicon, and let's have some fun.
1. Tell us about the worst job you ever had.
I worked briefly in a Country Day School's summer program. I was with one other person and over 30 two and three-year-olds. I made it one day. No training, no support, and too many children for us to handle well. Or at all.
2. Tell us about the best job you ever had.
Apart from my current one (and I really do love being a pastor, and I especially love being one where I am), I loved working in bookstores. In the years between college and my M. Div., I worked with a great family-owned full-service Christian store. Books, music, videos, and just about any church supply you might imagine. It was fun!
3. Tell us what you would do if you could do absolutely anything (employment related) with no financial or other restrictions.
Run my own store called "Eclectic", where I would only stock things I enjoyed: books, music, coffee, local art, whatever I liked. And I would spend most of my time getting to know my customers--someone else can do the record-keeping!
4. Did you get a break from labor this summer? If so, what was it and if not, what are you gonna do about it?
I did not, so much. I went to NJ for classes and was gone most of June, but that was more work rather than less. We have a vacation scheduled for mid-October, and there are a couple days off I'm planning between here and there.
5. What will change regarding your work as summer morphs into fall? Are you anticipating or dreading?
Everything picks up in the fall. Bible studies and the after-school program start again, our denomination's annual reports are due, we are starting to get ready for Advent with cantatas and special programs.
Bonus question: For the gals who are mothers, do you have an interesting story about labor and delivery (LOL)? If you are a guy pal, not a mom, or you choose not to answer the above, is there a song, a book, a play, that says "workplace" to you?
"Death of a Salesman" says something profound to me about loss and expectation and dignity to me...but I don't really connect it to work on a personal level. For clergy, Richard Lischer's excellent book, Open Secrets, about his first years as a pastor, should be a must read. As is Eugene Peterson.