Historically, we celebrate Labour Dayas a celebration of the economic and social achievements of workers – which includes the establishment of the 8-hour day in many countries during the 1800s.
In many countries, we celebrate Labour Day. International Workers’ Day is celebrated on 1 May – and referred to as May Day.
In the U.S. Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. This day constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country.
We celebrate Labour Day with the World’s Toughest Job
Most of us think our jobs are the most stressful, challenging, demanding, and difficult. But if you are desk-bound, working a 9 to 5, you probably have it good.
You get to go off, do a bit of exercise before you head home to dinner and TV.
Some jobs require superhero powers to accomplish – these are physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging.
Everyone thinks their work is significant, brings value, and deserves to kick back and enjoy our day of rest as laborers.
How COVID-19 Defines Labour Day
The pandemic has changed everything. While many workers can work from home, others still go to work daily.
Others employed in “essential services”, those in healthcare, retail, delivery have continued working as usual to keep the country functioning. They may face a higher risk of potential exposure to the virus.
Have you ever thought of who brings you, bread, parcels, food? Those who keep your communities clean, sweep the roads, clean up, and keep your electricity, gas, and telecommunications going.
“No work is insignificant. All labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Not everyone can work from home. Social distancing is a luxury not everyone can afford.
A significant portion of the population has lost their jobs. In Malaysia, hotels, retail, and even print media businesses have shut down in the wake of the mandated lockdown orders.
Feasibility of remote work
Only workers in finance, banking, insurance, public administration, and most professional services can work remotely.
The Occupations carry the highest risk of infection from COVID-19
The health sector is the most exposed to diseases and infections. While the services sector is the riskiest in terms of physical proximity.
Workers most exposed at risk
Frontline healthcare workers are most at risk. Doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients in the emergency ward face exhausting 12-hour long shifts. The scenes are heartbreaking because of the hospital’s no-visitor policy.
The toughest part of the job – offering as much emotional support as possible as COVID patients die helpless and without their family members beside them.
“You can’t see your loved one and then they’re gone.”
Why do these people take on such a demanding job?
The reason is their reward goes beyond monetary compensation. They know that they have made a positive impact on their communities, society, and the world.
We pay tribute to the “greatest workers” the front-liners who are staying at work. Our medical professionals, paramedics, policemen, and essential workers. We remember the workers who keep our communities safe and clean. We celebrate Labour Day for these superheroes.
Paramedics – keep long runs of up to 14 or 15-hour shifts and are in a stressful and emotionally challenging job to respond to emergencies.
Surgeon – operate on patients and treat trauma and injuries the unexpected circumstances during an operation. They have the added stress not to make a wrong decision that can end in a fatal error.
Police Officer – tough professionals dealing with all types of crime they will face daily and put their life on the line to keep everyone else safe.
The world’s top hardest jobs many labors may pale compared to what the extreme stress our front liners are going through right now in many countries. However, these are very hard, challenging jobs that make us who work 9 to 5 in offices most fortunate in our little bubble.
Life-Threatening and Trauma
Military Personnel – most stressful as deployment in war zones can be extremely traumatic. Being away from home for months. The fear of injuries and casualties can cause great anxiety, with many troops left with psychological problems.
Police Officer – put their lives on the line every day to deal with life-threatening situations such as armed robberies and making arrests of dangerous criminals. A lot of stress and other related health problems.
Mercenary – they deploy private military contractors in very hostile areas and put their lives at risk every day. High trauma and under extreme stress.
Firefighter – on 24/7 call to risk their lives every day to protect the lives of the general public. Need torespond to emergencies including car crashes, water rescue, chemical spills, and fires. Last-minute shift changes can also add a strain on their personal lives.
Bodyguard – live under extreme pressure and serve as a human shield to protect a politician, celebrity or businessman from all threats, or other criminal offenses. Ability to react within seconds.
Alaskan Crab Fishermen – the most dangerous job in the world with arduous weather and working up to 24 hours non-stop searching for crab in rough seas.
Search and Rescue – the ability to think on your feet and work fast under extreme circumstances to save lives. Coast Guard facing high seas, deep in caves, or a mountain rescue team facing sub-zero temperatures at night.
Prison Worker – extremely stressful to manage a large group of convicted violent criminals.
Stuntman – pure adrenaline rush and the most challenging careers that involve jumping off buildings to being lit on fire.
Mountain Guide – an extremely challenging and responsible job that is physically demanding. You will oversee everyone’s safety and enjoyment on the trip.
Painter – extremely hazardous as the need to climb to reach areas that require painting on tall buildings. Susceptible to falls and injuries.
Roofer – The most challenging of all construction roles and exposed to weather-related issues and the danger of falling.
Electronic Waste Recycler – dangerous job, with the possibility of inhaling harmful toxins daily and working in an unsafe environment.
Sanitation Worker – face horrible stenches, rats, dead pigs, and cows and work in any weather condition.
“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.” – John Ruskin
Metal Crafter – experience negative health effects in the long-term form from the inhalation of various chemicals it exposes them to.
Landmine Remover – private landmine removal is dangerous and requires skilled workers to complete the job without causing a potential disaster.
President – one of the hardest jobs full of trials and tribulations which can take a toll on one’s mental health.
Astronaut – mentally strong and physically fit to able to withstand long missions of isolation in space. Ability to stay calm under pressure and able to handle a crisis. The experience of looking down on the earth from space is immeasurable.
Carpenter – rewarding job that is physically and mentally challenging to plan and build.
Mortician – face death daily to prepare the deceased for burial which includes cleaning, embalming, grooming, and dressing them.
Farmer – labor-intensive and working in, all-weather dealing with large animals, and producing crops. Tough on the mental and physical state.
Pastor -A pastor or church leader deals with the eternal and spiritual nature of things. Churches often give the pastor or other leader’s responsibility without authority and may expect the pastor’s family to be involved in his work. If a pastor preached just two sermons a week for fifty weeks in a year, he would have written the equivalent of nine novels.
“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Driver – chauffeuring passengers for over eight hours a day is an enormous responsibility. Whether it’s a taxi, bus, or train, drivers need to have they’re on the road at all times.
Airline Pilot – one of the toughest professions to be responsible for the safety of hundreds of passengers. A pilot must deal with weather delays, disgruntled or unruly passengers, and the danger of terrorist attacks.
Taxi Driver – Being stuck in a car and dealing with rush hour traffic, lunatic drivers, bad weather, drunk and rude passengers can make any working day very stressful for a taxi or Uber driver.
Physically challenging work
Lumberjack -Being a lumberjack requires that you spend all your time working outdoors and often during hard weather. This job is challenging, considering that it is intensive and highly hazardous because of falling branches and trees, and moving machinery.
Oil Rig Worker – a physically and mentally taxing job that involves long hours in a challenging and hostile environment. Wages are often calculated hourly with accommodation, and meals included. The typical work schedule will involve working on the rig for 6 weeks followed by 6 weeks of leave.
Communication Tower Climber – according to Lousy, this is one of the deadliest jobs in the world which still results in 20 deaths each year on average in the US. The tower is over 1000 or 2000 feet and the workers must often climb these heights in extreme weather when things go wrong.
Sports Manager and Referee – sleepless nights with constant verbal abuse and death threats. Traveling to sporting venues and being on the road away from family.
Teacher – hectic to ensure their pupils’ work is marked and lesson plans are completed. Teachers also deal with a variety of unique personalities, including disruptive students.
Telephone Operator /Telemarketer – meeting a ridiculous number of targets to hit to get a paycheck at the end of the month. Talking to people and dealing with angry customers.
Customer Service – dealing with angry customers who may be abusive.
Mental Health Counsellor – need to be calm to help patients get better through addressing emotional and mental disorders. Patients can often be verbally or physically abusive.
Social Worker – long shifts late nights to care for vagabonds, patients who are elderly, children, sick, or with mental health problems. the satisfaction of making a positive impact on someone’s life can make all the stress worthwhile.
IT Manager – when systems go down, IT Managers need to think on your feet and come up with effective solutions.
Bartender –added pressure from drunk customers and listening to problems, spending hours on end on your feet and traveling home late at night.
Lawyer – long hours research cases for litigations and the burden to win a court case can very demanding and often leave many lawyers feeling burned out.
Senior Corporate Officer – making important decisions and spending hours after work to socialize and to make sure everything runs as smoothly.
Public Relations Executive – pressure and responsibility for the reputation of their clients or the company they work for. They must work at all hours to deal with celebrities and public figures.
Broadcaster -responsible for researching, reporting, and announcing breaking news on television. Must be able to handle technical errors to an interviewee acting out.
Reporter – news reporters can be in dangerous locations with brief notice. Once you have the news piece, you must rush off to get it published before your competition does – all for a low salary.
Event Coordinator – Coordinating big events like weddings and mega-events can be stressful when things start to go wrong. You need good connections and be a good problem-solver to survive in this cutthroat industry.
Architects – most architects work full time, many work long hours, especially when facing deadlines. The toughest challenges are the 24-hour studio culture that has come to pervade the architecture profession.
Contractors – Most contractors struggle to meet deadlines as labor and material shortage persist. the project may continue later and complete before or near the deadline.
We celebrate Labour Day
Learning the value of hard work is essential. While the world’s countries have implemented the largest and most restrictive mass quarantines; some may take it as a free holiday initially. Employers are worried about their business losses, employees – possible pay cut, or even losing their jobs.
During these times, we learn and appreciate other intrinsic values such as strength, patience, tolerance, or generosity. We learn to dismiss the mistaken idea that everything comes doing nothing. Work contributes to our happiness, health, confidence, and wellbeing.
Why do we work?
We work to improve our lives, our families’ lives – to improve our lives and to make ourselves happier. While many around the world still work at menial tasks to pay for the most basic of necessities, we work beyond the basic call for survival.
We need to survive and thrive in this season. And we reach out to help those in need.
Today as we celebrate Labour Day, reward yourself and celebrate your hard work – even if you’re at home, or alone. No matter your profession takes a refreshing breath and enjoy a break. Kicking back is that much sweeter when you’ve earned it.