My dad was a landscaper at @VillanovaU when I was growing up. When he became too injured to continue he stayed with the union as a custodian until the job nearly killed him.
Watching his experience as a blue-collar worker there taught me two lasting lessons that have a HUGE effect on how I deal with my employees and coworkers.
First - my dad gave a shit. He read voraciously, studied his craft, and worked harder than anyone probably should. He truly cared for the campus and it's students and his mark is still all over that campus decades after he put his spade and pruners down.
Nothing made him angry faster than someone being careless in the care of his campus. Nothing gave him more joy than a simple word of appreciation from a student.
Second - I learned the horrific personal cost when an employer mistreats laborers. Now that my dad is retired I can say it out loud without fear of retribution against him - @VillanovaU treats it's laborers like dirt. Dad did a good job of hiding exactly how bad it was... as a student it was impossible to ignore.
As a student I listened to the way supervisors talked about and treated the people who emptied their trash, served their food, and watched their doors. I watched understaffed teams pull backbreaking shifts trying to keep up with the need. I watched privileged students joke about it. I watched people talk about the cost and get excited over the prospect of replacing employees with an Aramark contract.
Labor Day is about people like him. It's a reminder of the struggle to be treated fairly in return for hard work. Party and celebrate that today - but keep it in mind as you walk around this week. Thank the laborers around you. Appreciate their work. You'd be surprised what it can mean.
Welcome to the first mastodon based community for Philadelphians who ❤️Philadelphia! Think of this instance as a new neighborhood in Philly that anyone can be a part of, because it's online.