What puts “Labour” in “Labour Day”

Ever wondered why Labour Day is on the first day of the month?

Wednesday, 30 April

It’s a new day! Rise, shine and behold: it’s the last day of the week. Having a Wednesday as the last workday is an unspeakable joy for any employee. That day being the last day in the whole month, double so.

It’s around 8:20 AM, I’m approaching the company and as I take a load of the gigantic glass windows I think of the work waiting for me behind those walls, and to tell you the truth, it didn’t make me exactly cheerful. But still, something in the back of my mind reminded me that it’s the 30th of April, and in order for today’s work to be counted as a bonus, it had to be done before May strikes.

I arrive at the office, and honestly I’m having a hard time remembering whether I’d chatted with anybody before I unloaded my stuff and switched my computer on. However, I can clearly remember that the clock on the screen read 8:23, at which time I started working keen not be disturbed. I tried not to open any conversation with anyone and shunned those as politely and quickly as I could.

I was so absorbed that I didn’t even notice Amjad doing his daily routine errand: comes by with a mug in his hand, stands at the door off the office, throws a teasing remark and goes back to his office quickly. I was setting a time limit for myself to finish each and every part of what I was working on. I didn’t stop for long even when Ruba rushed into the office all angry and infuriated after the program she was working on encountered a fatal error and her work wasn’t saved, yet again.

Naturally, I wasn’t the only one swamped. The whole office seemed to be on a rush. After all it was the 30th of April, and we were finishing up the month. Even when I went to pray, I could still hear the sound of phone ringing and people walking in the hallway. Not to mention the endless talk about salaries, bonus, overtime, deductions, etc.

By 1:00 o’clock, I was starting to doze off. My head felt so heavy and my eyes hurt. A break? Well, a 15 minutes doze wouldn’t kill anyone. When it comes to taking naps on hard wooden desks, I’m the one to turn to. Later on, Sireen, who was desperate for a nap and has an urgent work to do came by sulking, and we all shared the same notion: We all want this day to end.

By around 4:20, I’m done. My head feels like one of those African Zulu drums. But, still, it’s the 30th of April, and I could feel that I earned the day off. I was having raptures of joy, the month is over and it was officially announced that whoever finished his work could go home anytime. Have a nice weekend!

At home, a nice healthy meal, a walk and a sniff of fresh air could turn your world around. To top all, a blog post just before bedtime for all the workers in the world, whether you were the CEO of a multi-national company or just selling newspapers at the traffic lights, for each and everyone of you making this world unstoppingly viable: It’s labour day, and you’ve earned it.

Originally posted on April 30, 2008 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2008/4/554708.html


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