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For some, Labor Day means work
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Robert LaPort carries shingles to the roof of a house Monday in Flowery Branch. LaPort and a crew with Steve Savage Roofing & Carpentry worked on the house even though most people had the day off for Labor Day. - photo by Tom Reed


Chessie Moon, store manager at Sally Beauty Supply in Flowery Branch, talks about working on Labor Day.

For some, Labor Day is just that — a day to work.

The reasons vary. Some businesses rely on the holiday sales, as holiday shoppers are out in force.

Others, such as Suraiya Jalali, manager of the Citgo gas station on Atlanta Highway in Flowery Branch, chose to work to give her employees the day off.

"It doesn’t matter to me," Jalali said. "I love to be in my business."

And business was booming Monday from the moment she opened the store. Customers were snapping up all kinds of items, from food to beer and lottery tickets.

"I’d like to close early," Jalali said. "This was a busy weekend."

But she appreciates the steady business, especially as a weaker economy has meant a recent slowdown in some areas for the family operation.

Robert LaPort said he wouldn’t be working Labor Day except for one thing.

"I need the money. Got to feed the babies," said the roofer with Steve Savage Roofing & Carpentry.

He and others with the company have been working steadily this summer. They were working Monday at the site of two homes in Flowery Branch.

"We work six days a week," said
LaPort, who is married and has a 2-year-old child. "We take off Sundays to go to church."

Chessie Moon, store manager at Sally Beauty Supply in Flowery Branch, said she works holidays to get an extra day of holiday pay.

The work is slow, allowing her to catch up on other tasks, such as restocking, cleaning and "normal housekeeping stuff."

"Today, being the first day of the month, we have to set out all the new sale stuff," said Moon, who lives in Winder and is married and has three children. "... That’s what I’ll do all day today."

Meanwhile, her family is taking it easy at home.

"Too bad they’re not cleaning the house ... or cooking dinner. That would be nice," Moon said, laughing.

The Dockside Grill at Aqualand Marina in South Hall also was busy Monday serving customers.

Jessica Correa, a table attendant at the restaurant, said she wasn’t too bothered by working the holiday.

"My family’s not really big on doing things on Labor Day, so it’s not really too imposing on me," she said. Plus, the extra cash helps.

"It’s good to get money, especially during the school year, when you have all the extra expenses," said Correa, a cheerleader at West Hall High School.

Tanya Adams, a server/cashier at the restaurant, which overlooks Lake Lanier, said she works every holiday at the seasonal restaurant.

"But it’s fun. I enjoy the people and the views," she said. "... It doesn’t really feel like a job."

Another co-worker, Christen Burrell, agreed.

"We keep each other entertained," she said.

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