Submitted by snack in AskRaddle

an old friend of mine hired a cleaning lady. i'm trying really hard not to judge them too harshly for it, because we have been friends since our elementary school days, and good ones too, but a part of me does.
i know how people who clean for a living often have to work under precarious circumstances, either they do it as illegal employment and therefore have no insurance or through an agency, which means shit payment.
i'm just pissed that cleaning doesn't get the same social prestige (and/or other privileges) other kinds of work get and i think if you hire someone who cleans for you a lot of responsibilities come along with it. i think personally i wouldn't be comftortable with employing a cleaner unless i could pay them, i don't know, 2000$ or something like that.

weirdly enough i also have another friend who actually does clean for a living, illegally, because they are an immigrant who's not allowed to work yet. also they don't have their residence authorization, so yeah, fun stuff.

i know many people who do this kind of work and for most of them it's a second or third job they have to take, to make ends meet. so i guess what i'm saying is i know that many people who clean do it out of an existential necessity, there's an element of force behind it, as cliche as that sounds, and i feel like people who are high-income earners take advantage of that situation, be it conscious or not.

this post ended up being some sort of unstructured rambling, it's not entirely thought-through and may be a little incoherent, but i needed to vent and try to work through those feelings of alienation towards some of my RL friends. And also i'd be really interested in your insights, maybe some of you want to share their thoughts?



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PumpkinSpiceNose wrote

I've heard it posited that if you are paying someone to do your domestic work, you should pay them the rate you get to do your non-domestic work. That basically, they are your equal and you should show it with your money. Otherwise, you are creating a hierarchy where your work is more valuable than the domestic work you are paying someone else to do.


snack OP wrote

That's a great sort of 'guideline' or way to think about it, especially the creating equality and preventing a hierarchy part - thanks for that! I think I felt similar about the subject, but wasn't able to put it in such concise words. That's what I like about your comment - it is very simple and understandable and at the same time powerful in its way to get the point across.


thelegendarybirdmonster wrote

I know someone who pays one of their unemployed friend to clean their house as a way to help them without the friend feeling in debt to them.


snack OP wrote

That's a good situation then.

I'm still kind of unhappy with the notion that there could be a situation where the friend who cleans would feel indebted to the other one, I mean that's the person doing the work. Why wouldn't the other party feel indebted to their friend, if anyone?

I'm not trying to argue with you or what you said, rather with this idea that sits deep in our cultural belief system - that someone who is in the 'weaker' position should feel indebted or grateful to someone in a more fortunate position, for helping out. I'm glad you said what you said, because it made me reflect on things I wouldn't have otherwise.


isvarahparamahkrsnah wrote

I've spent over an year doing cleaning work.

I do it for free and get food in return. It's all good


snack OP wrote

I used to work for food too, or for a lesser hourly rate + food and was entirely fine with it. I think it can actually be a beautiful thing if you work for something else than money.

That said, it's also a sort of luxury to be able to do that. I was a student at the time and not that dependent on money, but as long as money is a means of survival with which you ensure shelter, food etc - in the long run working for food isn't very sustainable.


Rockbru wrote

I clean my home myself at the moment since I'm forced to work from home. It's an easy way to procrastinate from more serious work while also feeling accomplished.


snack OP wrote

Yeah, I also use tidying as a way to procrastinate from time to time. Which is a weird turn of events