They Put Their Labor Into Labor Day : Holiday: There are some people who must take the day’s name literally and actually work. : GLENDALE


While most people are sunning themselves on the beach, picnicking in parks, or reveling at back-yard barbecues on Labor Day, some will be on the job to help make the holiday more enjoyable for all.

Holiday revelers in a rush to get on with fun-filled activities will be rude and unappreciative, some say. But others are happy to be working, if only because of the holiday pay benefits.

“People expect us to be here and they take us for granted,” said Lynda Gallagher, 30, an emergency-room nurse at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. “About one out of 10 really appreciate it.


“You give them instructions (about medications) and they walk away and never say thank you,” she said.

Co-worker, Bob Brown, 34, agreed.

“People come in the middle of a family outing and want to get out quickly,” he said. “They don’t understand that there are people here with heart attacks.”

On Monday, Gallagher and Brown expect to see at least 100 people flow in and out of the emergency room, because doctor offices will be closed. They say the hospital will get mostly minor cases, such as cuts, sprained ankles, hurt fingers, stomach flu, and picnickers with upset stomachs from eating, or drinking, too much.

Glendale Fire Engineer Don Meeker, 55, said the department will be busier than normal.

“All people need is an excuse to celebrate,” said the 29-year Fire Department veteran. “I can almost count on a 10% increase in traffic accidents. When I come to work I know I’ll get four calls on my shift, and on a holiday it will double.”

Because of numerous Labor Day picnics, firefighters will also be called to put out a few barbecue fires that get out of hand, he said.

But fast-food delivery services could put a damper on some of those fires this year.

Doug Rogers, assistant manager of Domino’s Pizza on Glenoaks Boulevard in Glendale, said business during Labor Day weekend will be slow, but he expects to get calls late Monday from hungry vacationers.

“We’ll get a rush on Monday evening when people return home and don’t feel like cooking,” he said. “Also it’s the start of Monday night football.”

Retail store employees also have a few holiday jitters. They say customers’ tempers sometimes boil when stores sell out of certain picnic items, or when lines get long.

“Most people come in to buy sodas, chips and beer,” said Rosalind Taylor, a manager at Thrifty Drug Store on Glendale Avenue. “But there are some who will come in at the last minute to buy a barbecue pit, and we’re sold out now. They get upset when we run out of items.”

Mickola Matthews, 21, an assistant manager at a Wherehouse store on Azusa Avenue in West Covina, said she expects Labor Day to be a headache. “The lines get long and people get impatient around holidays,” she said. “They have a lot of shopping to do, and they don’t want to wait in line. They want to get in and get out, and it’s not that easy.” Still, Matthews is convinced that Monday’s customers will appreciate the store being open because parents will want to rent movies for their children, and teen-agers will come in on their way to the beach to load up on sounds.

“We’re usually crowded because of all the picnics and stuff,” said Tom McLaughlin, an 18-year-old checker at a Vons store on Glendale Avenue in Glendale.

“People come in and get picnic food like barbecue meat, salads and sodas. People appreciate it, I think.”

McLaughlin said he tries to work on all the holidays because he is paid triple his hourly wage at the unionized store.

“The store’s atmosphere is better on holidays,” he said. “People are happy thinking about all the money they’re making.”