To be fair, the difference between federal, state or recognized holidays and special days like professional holidays are clear. The president and Congress can declare federal holidays, which give federal workers the day off. State holidays are signed by officials in the state and celebrated there, like Rhode Island Independence Day (May 4) or Truman Day (May 8) for the former president, which is celebrated in his home state of Missouri. Recognized holidays or religious celebrations are very popular observances that pay tribute to something, such as Mother’s Day (May 12) or Cinco de Mayo (May 5). And special days were invented to promote something or just for fun, like No Socks Day (May 8).
Thomas and Ruth Roy created about 90 special days for more than 20 years by entering them into Chase’s. Now about six years retired from their holiday-creation hobby, they are still known for some of the most creative ones, all listed on their website. Tom’s personal favorite is “Stay at Home Because You’re Well Day” (Nov. 30).
“When I was a kid, just like other kids I used to fake being sick,” he said. “When I became an adult, I just wanted to call in well.”
He believes that everybody is entitled to create a holiday or celebration for others to enjoy, with no need for greeting cards.
“I don’t need Hallmark to tell me to do something,” Tom said. “Everybody is free to do whatever they want as long as it’s not hurting anybody else.”
And so they have, resulting in many overlapping professional holidays. This year May 8 is National Third Shift Workers Day, National Night Shift Workers Day and Receptionist Day; they all fall on the second Wednesday in May.
Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day is also May 8 this year, because it falls on the Wednesday of the first full week in May. The American Society of Safety Engineers started the celebration in 2006 as a part of North American Occupational Safety & Health Week to pay tribute to safety professionals everywhere. This year Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy has already issued a decree for the observance.
During the week, safety workers go into schools and explain safety equipment and talk about the profession. They also hold open houses within their companies to show how safe they are.
But in addition to maids, other professionals have yet to get a special time to recognize their efforts, at least in the United States.
Programmers’ Day, which was declared a holiday in Russia a few years ago, has not caught on in America. The special observance falls on the 256th day of the year, which is Sept. 13 (Sept. 12 in leap years). Maybe, once the virtual assistants are done celebrating, they can help set it up.