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Business as usual for employees working Labor Day

September 02, 2008|From Staff reports

TRI-STATE -- For many people in the Tri-State area, Labor Day is just that - another day to labor, little different from any other.

"We work every holiday," said Kendra Bailey, an employee at Sheetz on Edwin Miller Boulevard in Martinsburg, W.Va.

The convenience store is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Bailey said her shift Monday began at 6 a.m. and would end at 2 p.m., meaning her entire day wasn't taken up with work.

"I'm going to a cookout after I get off," she said.

Bailey described business at the store as busy but only in spurts.

At City Hospital in Martinsburg, Cindy Adams was on duty as a nursing supervisor.

"There is a skeleton staff working today," Adams said of the holiday. "It seems more like a weekend than a Monday."

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Adams explained that all medical personnel work two minor holidays and one major holiday a year. Labor Day is considered as a minor holiday.

Adams, a registered nurse, said she has been at City Hospital for four years of her 30-year nursing career.

"Seniority is not a factor when it comes to working on a holiday," she said.

The crew at Community Rescue Services on Eastern Boulevard in Hagerstown knew they were missing out on holiday picnics.

Because many doctor's offices were closed for Labor Day, the crew expected to run more calls than usual, Capt. Melanie Shank said. A typical day includes 25 to 35 emergency calls, paramedic Dennis Browne said.

They decided, in the spirit of Labor Day, to grill something for dinner between calls.

Pure chance dictates which CRS members staff holidays, Shank said. Paramedics and EMTs work 24-hour shifts, followed by 48 hours off duty. Monday's shift started at 9 a.m. and ends at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Monday was just another day at Peterson's Oil & Lube Center on North Queen Street in Martinsburg.

Cars pulled into the open bay, where drivers can have their vehicle's oil changed while remaining inside.

"It's actually been pretty steady," worker Eric Richardson said.

The oil and lube station averages about 20 to 30 vehicles a day, and the station was working on its 20th vehicle by mid-afternoon.

"We still got a couple more hours," Richardson said.

When asked whether working on Labor Day bothered him, Richardson said, "No. Not at all."

"I'm laboring on Labor Day," said another employee inside the bay.

Next door, a line was forming inside the Dairy Queen restaurant and store manager Debbie Hinton didn't mind, either.

"It's OK. It's just another day. We have to labor somewhere, right?"

Restaurants and convenience stores usually require some holiday hours, but not all of them.

At Hoss's Steak and Sea House along Edwin Miller Boulevard, a sign outside read, "Closed for Labor Day."

Staff writers Marlo Barnhart, Erin Julius and Dave McMillion contributed to this story.

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