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July 3, 2009

Your Fourth of July Day Off? It’s Saturday, You Slackers!


You knew this was coming. And if you’ve read this column for long, you knew what my answer would be. But here we go again.


This column is being distributed to the fine newspapers and Internet readers of America on Friday, July 3, 2009. Friday – that’s a work day. July 3 – nothing special about that. And since the next work day in the offing is Monday, July 6 – and there’s nothing special about that either – we’ll all come back and do it again, right?


You lamebrains. This is America, where we cling to our right to that holy grail of all things – the day off – even if there’s really no justification for it.


“D.F., when are we getting our Fourth of July?”


“Um, let me see, how about on the Fourth of July?”


“But that’s on a Saturday this year.”


“I know. Isn’t that awesome? Blow away a couple of your fingers in a firecracker accident for me!”


“D.F., you know what I mean. When are we getting the day off?”


“Weren’t we just talking about a day when you’ll have the day off?”


“What day?”


“The Fourth of July. You don’t have to come to work. Light the grill. Salute the flag. Dress up like Ben Franklin and read the Declaration of Independence out loud to your neighbors. Sounds like a good time.”


“But that’s a Saturday, D.F. We wouldn’t have to come to work anyway.”


“And your point is . . . ?”


“The holiday!”


“The one on Saturday?”


“No! When do we get our holiday day off?”


“On Saturday! When the holiday is!”


“No! When do we get our other day off!”


“I think the next one is Labor Day.”


“D.F., I don’t think you’re getting my meaning. When a holiday comes, we get a day off. And if the holiday touches the weekend, we get a three-day weekend. In fact, some companies just go ahead and let you take a four-day weekend!”


“Why would they do that?”


“Because, well, I guess they just figure, why not?”


“Because you have work to do? Because our clients don’t pay us to do nothing for them?”


“All right, well, look, I’m not trying to talk you into letting us have a four-day weekend – although I wouldn’t argue if you offered it!”


Hopeful pause.




Pleading look.


Scornful look.


“OK, D.F., well, never mind that. But about the three-day weekend? Are we going to get the day off on Friday or on Monday?”


“Gee, let’s think about this. Did the Founding Fathers take a day off after they sent the Declaration of Independence to King George? Or did they prepare for war?”


“Well . . .”


“And are there Fourth of July parades on Friday and Monday?”


“No, they’re on Saturday.”


“I see, so what would be the reason you would need Friday or Monday off?”


“Uh, well, OK, granted, I suppose no one needs it, but most of my friends are getting one of them off.”


“I’ve met a few of your friends. And I should follow their example because . . .?”


At that point he gives up, leaves my office and congregates with his colleagues to decide who will be the next schmuck to come in here and try to talk me into a day off on a regular work day that’s not a holiday, just because a holiday occurring entitles you to your fair allotment of days off, or so you think, regardless of whether the holiday actually falls on a work day.


America’s Independence Day! The day when we fight for our independence from having to actually earn your paycheck! I’m sure that’s what Jefferson, Madison and the rest intended when they risked their lives and provoked the king to send his goons across the ocean after them.


“Just think!” Jefferson surely said. “We’ll form a great nation where middle-management dimwits can explain to their bosses why they should be paid for not working a certain number of days every year – even though quite a few of them are just regular days!”


“Well,” Madison must have replied, “I am expecting to get some help from the French in this revolution, and I hear they’re going in that direction too. You bet. That’s what the rebellion is all about.”


Three-day weekend. Good Lord. Get back to work, slackers!


© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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