7 People To Thank This Labor Day
Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September to recognize the social and economic achievements of American workers whose work has furthered the prosperity and well-being of our country. If you spent any time at the shore this summer, chances are you encountered many people who made your stay enjoyable. Here are 7 people we think should be recognized for helping us all to enjoy our time by the sea.
Not only will realtors help you find (or rent out) a vacation place, but they are the first line of defense when something goes wrong. Need a last-minute rental? Air conditioning fail on a 98 degree day? Not sure what to do on a rainy day? A realtor is already a step ahead of you. From providing welcome packets and websites with helpful information, to calling in repair companies when needed, realtors are on it.
How to thank them – Make sure you use a realtor when you’re seeking a place to stay. Air BNB and other private rental companies cut out the realtor middleman, but owners are sometimes hard to contact when you are looking for a last-minute rental or there’s an emergency or issue. Going through a realtor provides that extra layer of comfort, both for the renter and the home owner. It never hurts to send a thank you note or an email letting them know how much you appreciated their effort – and how you hope to use them again next summer.
2. Housekeeping Staff
Housekeeping staff of hotels and motels are the unsung heroes of the travel industry. They not only clean and prepare your room for your arrival, but they go in where no one else dares to go. From seeing your clothes and personal items strewn around a room, to cleaning up spills, to arriving in the middle of the night to take away vomit-soaked bed linens after your kid ate too many salt water taffies, hotel housekeepers deserve far more than what they earn – and what hotel guests tip them.
How to thank them – Leave a tip. Sometimes housekeeping staff provides a tip envelope, but often they don’t. When you’re rushing around to pack up, leaving a tip can be the last thing on your mind. Consider tipping them at the start of your vacation – it may even help you when you need extra towels or quick service.
3. Restaurant Servers
Like housekeepers, restaurant servers are there to assure your vacation experience is relaxing and hassle-free. According to the US Department of Labor, an employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages, as long as the hourly rate plus tips equals at least the Federal minimum wage. Therefore, it’s important to tip servers to assure they make a livable wage. Servers can be college students hustling to pay their tuition, single parents filling in the gap from a lost second income, teachers trying earn a living in summer or older people who must work to survive.
How to thank them – Treat them with respect. Just because they are in the service industry does not mean they should be treated differently than you would want to be treated. And tip them. While it used to be that servers were only tipped when and if they provided excellent service, today it is customary to leave between 15 – 20 percent or more for great service. If you’re unsatisfied with their service, provide constructive feedback to a manager so their performance can be reviewed and corrected, but don’t punish them financially.
4. Small Business Owners
We’re talking about the shops and services provided by local people whose goal is to make your travel experience better. Whether a deli, clothing boutique, beach accessories store or pharmacy, the owners of these shops are trying to make a living in a seasonal town. Many work 12 or more hours a day in summer, tending to customers’ needs, and in off-season hustle to research trends, create new items and stock next summer’s inventory. Service-oriented businesses such as Stock the House, Beach Caddy and Beach Bucket Lunch exist solely to maximize the experiences of visitors by providing personalized services to help you relax and get what you need without running around.
How to thank them – Simply stated, shop in their stores and use their services. Support local businesses by following them on social media and spread the good word about their goods and services. Their livelihoods depend upon your loyal and continued patronage.
5. Beach Tag Inspectors
Okay, so your first response may be annoyance rather than gratitude, but don’t shoot the messengers. It wasn’t their idea to charge you for beach access, so take it easy on them. They assure that the cost to maintain the beach is borne by everyone using the beach. Instead, focus on what your minimal beach fee is actually buying you – clean, safe and carefree beach time. These fees support lifeguard and first responder services, trash removal and in some cases beach replenishment. For $5 a day or $25 a summer, you can enjoy the amenities of sun, sand and sea. You can’t buy a pool membership for that!
How to thank them – Remember that charging for beach access was not the inspector’s idea. Pay up and be thankful for the day, week or season you’re about to spend on the beach. Smile and strike up a conversation, you may even learn something – when it comes to beach conditions and how to get rid of green-headed flies, they’re the experts. And maybe even offer them a cold bottle of water from your cooler. To learn more about what beach tag fees help to support, read our post, “Beach Tags – What are they Good For?”
6. First Responders
While you’re enjoying your vacation, police officers, EMT workers and firefighters are working hard – and in some cases risking their lives – to assure the safety of you and your family. They are there for you when the unthinkable happens. And while you may not love the roaming beach patrols as you try to hide your Solo cup in your beach bag, know that they’re there to keep everyone safe and assure that you can enjoy the beach without someone’s out of control behavior harming you and your loved ones.
How to thank them – First, if you encounter a first responder because they’ve just assisted you or someone you love, remember to thank them. If you’re unable to do it at the time due to stress, fear or injury, you can always send a note or an email to thank them. Second, don’t make their jobs any harder – obey the law and practice safety at all times. Vacation is not a time (or an excuse) to over-imbibe, drive recklessly or behave in a way you wouldn’t at home. Third, consider making a donation to their departments, which often rely on the generosity of the community to supplement their services.
Like first responders, lifeguards are there to assure a safe vacation for all. They watch for and warn about rip currents and other dangerous ocean conditions and assist you if you get in trouble. Their service allows you to relax and enjoy your beach time.
How to thank them – First and foremost, don’t make their jobs more difficult than they already are. Swimming in front of the lifeguards not only keeps you safer, it allows the guards to pay attention to everyone in the water. On an average beach day, you will often see lifeguards leaving their stand to jog down the beach and wade into the water to ask a wayward bather or renegade boogie boarder to move towards a stand. This is a waste of energy they may need later to provide lifesaving services, and leaves the designated bathing area down one guard. Second, listen for their whistles and respond to their requests. Third, if you have young children, be a backup and keep an eye on your child when they’re in the water – if something goes wrong, you will notice it first and can alert a guard. Fourth, consider giving a donation to their department. If you were assisted by a lifeguard this summer, you can also write a note to thank them.
Who would you thank? Post a comment below, then share your gratitude on our Instagram account.