The ongoing saga of September’s rollercoaster weather continues. It was hot and humid this morning and now we await the inclement weather to roll in later this afternoon. The sun just came out which will encourage the severe weather eruption. This morning I stepped out very fashionably in an over-sized fluorescent chartreuse yellow Cement Masons Local #514 tee-shirt and lightweight pants. I was strolling along and all of a sudden I heard incessant honking and alot of hootin’ and hollerin’ and some loud whistles thrown in for good measure. In my not-so-glam clothes, clunky walking shoes and messy topknot, it was pretty obvious they were not trying to get MY attention; sadly that boat has long sailed. But, as I kept on striding, the big pick-up truck, emblazoned with the logo of a local home improvement company, caught up with me. The driver stopped the truck and three young workers looked my way and shouted in unison “unions rule!!” A trio of thumbs-up gestures greeted me. I smiled and shouted back “yeah, unions rock!!!” and returned their thumbs up, then they sped off. On the back of my tee-shirt, the Local #514 insignia, a tradesman on hands and knees troweling the cement, is so large it stretched over my entire back and you sure can’t miss this neon color; I nearly glow in the dark. I am sure they collectively wondered in what capacity I work as a member of this trade union. Luckily there was no reason to explain. If they only knew that I am from the dark side … for the Employer. I will share this episode with my boss Robb who is a traditional labor attorney for management. It will make Mr. Day’s day.
I’ve amassed a collection of union and company tee-shirts, all courtesy of Robb. Before I started working for him at the Firm back in 2000, I helped him while he transitioned through several secretaries. I spent so much time training each successive secretary, that when the last one fell short of making the grade I volunteered to take him on permanently. He was grateful for no more newbies and proceeded to tell everyone in the world that I had saved his practice. For the next several months, each time he visited with a client he asked for goodies with their logo for his new assistant. I ended up with wearing apparel for all seasons and other client-related paraphernalia that ran the gamut from pocket protectors and key chains to flash drives and mouse pads. Alot of Robb’s work involves negotiating new contracts with various unions. After multiple bargaining sessions, once the contract has been typed, finalized and ratified by the union members and it was “sign-off” time, Robb often asks the union rep for two tee-shirts to commemorate the event – one for him and one for me. I have tee-shirts from the Ironworkers, Roofers, Cement Masons and Bricklayers’ unions to name a few. So, …shhhhhhhhhh, unions rule; just don’t let my boss know that I uttered those words!