• Sandy Turner: Celebrating those who don’t get paychecks

  • It’s not always about punching the time clock

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  • I’m just generalizing here, but it seems to me we have things a little backward when it comes to who gets paid for what. A lot of folks who have the hardest jobs of all don’t ever receive a paycheck.
    Since I began writing this column I’ve had the pleasure of hearing from so many of you who are, or have been, caretakers of an aging parent. This full-time, non-paying “job” is emotionally draining and physically challenging with the only benefit being offered is to be able to give back the care and nurture your parents once gave to you.
    More often than not it’s a thankless job as family members question your reasons for trying to keep them in their home or yours, and at other times the parent takes out their anger or frustration at not being independent any longer on the one person they treasure the most.
    There’s no time clock to punch, breaks are rarely an option and unfortunately the “job” only ends when the decision is made to turn their care over to professionals or their journey on earth is over. This “job” can only be described as a labor of love.
    I was never fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom, although I have great respect for the moms and dads who can make it happen. Taking care of a household, kids and spouse is another “job” that, in my opinion, never gets enough recognition or praise. This labor of love has a paycheck that is redeemable daily through hearing your child’s laughter and being there to wipe away their tears.
    Typically I try not to repeat myself on topics that get me going on my soapbox but this is one issue I just can’t wrap my brain around. Why are professional athletes allowed to draw a paycheck, in one season, that is more than most of us will make in a lifetime? Are we saying their talent is more important to us than those of a policeman, firefighter and even the military? How did we let this happen? An athlete’s labor is to entertain us – those who wear uniforms labor to save us – it seems lopsided to me.
    Then there’s the ongoing unfairness within corporate America. It’s a hard pill to swallow when an employee, who’s working overtime, barely making enough to survive, has to watch those in the upper ranks enjoy a day of golf or taking vacations they can only dream of.
    I’ve been on both sides of the desk, from being the paper shuffler to the employee who can’t see daylight. The only thing that can make it right is when the “boss” will roll up their sleeves, and commit to work alongside those who make the company a success – as it’s impossible to lead anyone further than where you’ve been yourself.
    Page 2 of 2 - Celebrate sacrifice this Labor Day, as it’s the only job that is worth its weight in gold.

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