menopausebarbees
... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

The Jungle- The History of Labor Day

My husband has always had an incredible work ethic.  He has worked since he was 13 years old.  One of my favorite stories was when he 16 years old, he was employed at Bamberger’s, a high-end Department Store in Pennsylvania.  He was an experienced salesman and gifted at marking up suits for tailoring.  However, his youthful appearance did not give confidence to his skill set for the established middle-aged shoppers purchasing business suits.  So, Eric had the elderly fitting room clerk put a measuring tape around his neck and as Eric measured, chalked, and pinned, he instructed the janitor to nod affirmatively.  Eric’s creativity helped him sell a lot of suits.

I asked Eric what Labor Day meant to him.  He suggested I read, The Jungle, a novel by American journalist, Upton Sinclair.  In this tale, one will read about the history of the working class with unpleasant living and working conditions, lack of support, and massive corruption in business.  This book dealt with abuse of underage labor in deplorable conditions.

Although this book was written in 1906, the story reckons the popular reality television series of today, Undercover Boss, where the senior executives go in disguise to investigate how their firm operates and how to reward hard working employees.  I have always believed for a business to be successful; everyone has to get in the trenches.

As I have shared posts about Generational Wealth, these statistics are vital to keep in mind:

  • 60% of the US workforce is employed by a family-owned business.
  • Family-owned businesses are responsible for creating 78% of all new jobs in the US.

Today, as we celebrate Labor Day, whether you are an employer or employee, remember our history and let’s all work together with compassion, as we recognize the contributions and efforts to the development of the United States.

Enjoy your holiday- tomorrow we all get back in the trenches! 

Little dapper Eric years before his job at  Bamberger’s.