Celebrate Labor Day with Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs

Monday, September 07, 2015
Happy Labor Day!

As many of you know, the first Monday of September is a public holiday in the US and Canada to celebrate the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our countries. 

Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs

In honor of this holiday, I recommend checking out Gig:Americans Talk About Their Jobs, a book compiled by John Bowe, Marisa Bowe, and Sabin Streeter. This book, according to its introduction, started as a column called “Work” on the editors’ webzine. The editors started by “sitting down with people, asking them what they did and how they felt about it, and tape-recording the conversations.” After two years of this column, they realized they had the beginnings of a book. 

The editors wrote each chapter from a worker’s point of view, in the worker’s voice, which creates engaging, authentic stories. The workers range from Wal-Mart Greeters, to Highway Flaggers, Bookies, Mothers, Lobbyists, and Palm Readers.  

I love this style of writing, and it inspires me to write short, simple, yet vivid vignettes.

Although Labor Day is generally a day off for everyone to, well, not labor, some of you may still want to use this holiday to labor at your writing.  If you need some added inspiration, check out these Labor Day writing/journaling prompts.

Labor Day Writing Prompts
Courtesy of Build Creative Writing Ideas
  1. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why? What are some of the things you'd have to do to get such a job?
  2. Of all your relatives and family friends, who do you think has the most interesting job? Do you think he or she enjoys the job or that it's just a way to pay the bills? Why?
  3. Describe the most difficult job you can think of. What are some of the tasks people who work there have to do? Do you think that the job is important or not important and why?
  4. Create a dialogue between two factory workers an hour before the end of their shift on the day prior to Labor Day. What would the two of them talk about and why?
  5. Several decades ago, it was much more difficult for women to get jobs than men. Why do you think it was so difficult for women to have a place available in the workforce? Do you think there is gender equality in the workforce today? Why or why not?
  6. How would the world be different if there were no unemployment and everybody had a job? What problems would it solve and what problems might it create? Would this be a better world? Why or why not?
  7. What are your family’s Labor Day traditions?
What are you doing to celebrate today?

Compiled by Anne Greenawalt.


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