May Day is a popular holiday in Europe and other parts of the world. In France for example, people wear Lily of the Valley flowers to represent the beginning of spring. In other countries, young women dance around a May pole. As I understand it, it was some kind of dating ritual to get the attention of other suitors. It was a time to come together and celebrate new beginnings. It was also a half year celebration from November 1st and a pagan ritual. Over 80 countries celebrate this holiday in one form or another.
Another meaning for May Day is International Workers Day. It is a time to celebrate the work force and usually protest or exhibit some gripes or issues facing workers. Unlike Labor Day in the United States, which is designated specifically as a day of rest for all workers, May Day in other countries is a time for discussion and action. Workers often picket or protest to call attention to workforce problems and issues.
As a virtual assistant, work issues crop up all the time. When I engage with a client or potential client, there is a possibility that there will be miscommunication or unspoken expectations. It is my responsibility as a business owner to troubleshoot any potential problems and extend myself to ensure complete understanding of all assignments, deadlines, and any other criteria that could derail the project.
Another meaning for May Day is a distress call. This is used as an international signal for emergencies. It comes from the French words “venez m’aider” meaning “come and help me”. The second word “m’aider” means “help me” and sounds like May Day in English. They say “May Day” three times, so they’re no confusion that it is an emergency.
So on May Day this year, will you celebrate spring and a new beginning, take the time to discuss workplace issued with management or ask for help with something you’ve been struggling with?
For a virtual assistant, most days are a combination of all three. We celebrate getting a new client or retaining an existing one. We speak up, when things aren’t going according as planned, and we ask for help from the client, our peers, or get it online to gain the knowledge we need to complete our tasks and projects.
It is easy to celebrate something new, it is much more difficult to raise red flags, but the most difficult thing to do for some people is to ask for help and yet, receiving help opens the door to new knowledge and greater skills.
Plan to celebrate May Day this year and let me know what you do.