By Dan Pool, Editor
I was having a discussion with a public official recently who described someone as “a hard worker.” I made the counter-observation that is not any unusual distinction at the time of a lingering pandemic, booming economy and crippling labor shortage.
I agree that putting in an effort noticeably above average is a notable distinction which we should all aspire to. But it seems at this time, hard workers abound. Most people you talk to are busting their humps more than ever before.
With the combination of few workers and high demand, even people who aren’t naturally inclined to hard work are forced into it.
Just to get by, keep the doors open and handle the calls, more of us are working longer hours, putting off vacations and who even remembers only working 40 hours a week?
Cell phones, especially those with e-mail, means some of us respond to business needs around the clock.
I would argue that the average person today is more busy than the average people has been in the past 50 years.
The pandemic fooled everyone economically; not only did it NOT derail our economy, it threw it into hyperdrive. The booming stock market, through-the-ceiling home prices and desperate measures companies are using to attract more employees paint the picture of a culture of busy.
You see certain groups publicly lauded for their efforts and rightfully so. A lot of people have put in Herculean efforts to keep this nation moving along. But really the praise should extend to everyone who works hard.
So here’s to most everyone:
Construction guys are working more hours than ever before finishing homes and starting new ones. From foundation guys to roofers, these guys are driving our north Georgia economy.
Healthcare workers – now they are really overworked, underappreciated and stressed to the max with COVID. And this certainly includes people in care homes.
Public Safety/Law Enforcement – Ambulance/EMS fall into the same overworked, COVID issues. Law enforcement has been short-handed for years and just hoping there will be backup when it’s needed.
Teachers – Swamped dealing with some students at home and in the classroom, with the new education technology not proving to be all that great.
Restaurant workers – There are signs in the windows of some eateries apologizing for the poor service before you get in the door. The managers can’t find anyone to hire, leaving those manning the buffet lines to deal with hungry and angry customers.
Convenience store workers – Talk about front line of the pandemic. They may not get a lot of praise, but when you need a Kit Kat, Coke and gas at 10 p.m. be glad someone is there.
Farmers – Always been undervalued and no one is going to accuse a farmer of not being hard working.
Truck drivers – Massive shortage there, leaving the others to drive as long as legally possible to try to maintain the supply lines. It has gotten so bad in England that they are giving emergency visas to foreigners with commercial driving experience.
School bus drivers – All school systems rely heavily on their drivers and substitutes, plus coaches and mechanics to fill gaps, as they have trouble hiring enough drivers. One way or the other, kids have to get to school.
The military – Chronically underpaid and stretched too thin. Been a national problem for decades.
Tech billionaires? Surely they are sitting back taking it easy. Nope, according to news stories they put all kinds of weird gyms, catered meals and playgrounds for grown-ups in their headquarters so their workers can stay for even longer periods of time.
Signing bonuses are now common for even the most entry level job, as there are not enough workers to go around (but that is another subject entirely and a complicated one). This also means that new help is not likely on the way.
So to all those, regardless of what the job is, who are putting in long, tough hours every week. Thank You.