Working and Working Out on Labor Day in Scranton

SCRANTON -- Labor Day is the holiday dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American worker. Still, a lot of people do have to work on Monday.

Jerry Michaels might not have the most glamorous job in the world, but he does have one of the most important.

"It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it."

He's the guy who cleans the portable toilets. On this Labor Day morning, he's on duty at La Festa Italiana on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton.

"We do our best, try to make them look like brand new," said Michaels. "People come in here, see them nice and clean and ready to use."

Michaels says the job "pays the bills." He tries to do as much as he can before the heat of the day, and there is a lot to do. Two dozen portable toilets ring Courthouse Square.

Chris Bonczewski was on the square all night. He works security, making sure no one messes with all those stands. He will not be there to enjoy the food and the rest when his overnight shift is over.

"Sleep!" said Bonczewski. "Long weekend, back and forth jobs, it's going to be a long day of sleep."

Bonczewski is a La Festa Italiana veteran. This is his third year of helping keep an eye on the operation.

For some people in Scranton on this Labor Day, it wasn't just working. It was working out.

Crunch Fitness inside the Marketplace at Steamtown opened early.

Sam Bird is one of the personal trainers.

"Nobody wants to work out today. It's Labor Day," said Bird.

But the workout faithful were there. Bird and her coworkers put them through their paces.

"Their mindset's not in the gym today. They just want to go home, go to their barbecues. It's a little different today."

Bird admits there are some challenges in her life, especially when it comes to meshing schedules with family and friends who have Labor Day off. She says she doesn't mind being there on a holiday because she "loves her job," Labor Day and every day.

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