Not all rest on Labor Day

CNJ Staff Photo: Tony Bullocks
Bobo Signs owner Gaylon Bobo, left, and Seth Pritchett apply primer Monday to a Garvey Processing sign on Abilene Avenue.

By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — Labor Day is just how it sounds to many people in Roosevelt County.
The first Monday in September has long been designated as Labor Day, a creation of the labor movement giving workers an extra day off during the year, but many people work whether they choose to or not.

While many people have the day off, its just another day at the office for several local folks such as Gaylon Bobo, a Portales sign maker. Bobo and assistant Seth Pritchett were painting a sign Monday at First street and Abilene. These two were working on Labor Day by choice.

“It’s a beautiful day, and that means more to us than whether it’s Labor Day, or whatever day,” Bobo said.

Pritchett agrees.

“I didn’t have to work on Labor Day,” Pritchett said. “My boss would have given me the time off. But if I don’t work, I don’t make money and I’m more interested in making money than taking the day off. I enjoy my work, and it’s more advantageous for me to be here than to be anywhere else right now.”

Carlos Paiz is in a similar position.

Paiz sells fruit and vegetables at a fruit market in downtown Portales. And his reason for working on Labor Day is simply to take care of his customers.

“We are very committed to the people here, no matter what, even if we wanted to relax at home, the people will be waiting for us here,” Paiz said. “So it’s bad to let them down, because they may not want to come any more.”

In fact, in the last year, Paiz said he has only taken one day off.

“I have customers that will look for me, and I want to be here for them. They are good to us and so we want to be good to them too,” he said.

Not everybody chooses to work on Labor Day.

Chris Sawyer, 19, couldn’t get the day off from work at the Taco Box. The Eastern New Mexico University freshman said he would have used the time off to practice for a wind symphony audition on Tuesday.

“I had to (work today), I couldn’t switch with anybody,” said Sawyer, “but it’s not too bad. I could have done a few extra things.”