Author Topic: Clean By Design  (Read 20139 times)

arborman

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Clean By Design
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2007, 01:43:54 PM »
Quote from: Timebandit

I'm happier when my house is clean, but I really dislike cleaning.


While the trappings of wealth don't generally appeal to me, I'd love to have somebody (well paid, with benefits) come in and clean our home every Friday afternoon while we are at work.

But I'd feel massive lefty guilt over it.
The pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter what place in history or society; they can be a part of all his other pleasures, and they last the longest, to console him when he has outlived the rest.

anne cameron

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« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2007, 02:30:48 PM »
Nah, you're providing a job for someone who needs one.  If I could afford it I'd have someone in twice a week.  There's nothing inherently wrong with it, and the person doing the work obviously appreciates the chance to make some money.  I mean , we don't hesitate to call in an electrician or a plumber...and a damn good cleaner is, in my mind, at least as important and as skilled.  I have a good friend is a cleaner, I watch her doing windows and I gape because I can't do them without spending most of my time trying to get rid of those "streaks", and she does them and...that's it, they're done.  I think she can probably do six or seven windows in the time I"m cursing and swearing at the same one.

Debra

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« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2007, 02:43:03 PM »
I agree. It's providing someone with employment. I think the issue that arises is supposition that cleaning is inherently demeaning, that it is one of those things that has no social standing or appreciation.

And while it in fact at this time has no social standing and the assumption is that it is only done by people who "can't" do anything else--it is in fact a vital and needed skill.

But as long as we have a society which sees a hierarchy in the jobs that keep a society running, it will be seen as lesser than.

One point to think about.

In Britain one of the first things to go in the P3s was the cleaning staff. Yes they still have them but much reduced and now you are more likely to die from a hospital borne infection than anything you went in for.

So while the doctor gets all the prestige, the cleaner is also an important part of your healthcare.
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” —  Josephine Hart

brebis noire

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« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2007, 02:43:08 PM »
I have a good friend as my cleaner too. She doesn't loooove being a cleaner, but she appreciates the flexibility and physicality of the work. She also likes the obvious results when she's done. She thinks that what I do is boring and says she'd throw herself out of a window if she had to sit at a computer even part of the day.

I think part or most of the problem is the way a certain class of society looks at cleaners and imagines or (de)values their work. Or perhaps figures that because they are manual workers, 'anybody' can do it. I think that's less and less true every day.  :?

skdadl

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« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2007, 03:41:06 PM »
Keeping up with six cats is definitely a challenge unless you're at it every day, and ... I'm not.  :(

I did have a very sweet cleaner for a time before and after we moved a few years ago. She turned out to be related to a Canadian writer I can't name here, obviously, and we had some great chats at the end of her visits.

I couldn't really justify the expense, though (and now I couldn't pay for it), so I had to say farewell. That's a guilt-making experience too.

From Jan Wong's series in the G&M, I gather that the big chain cleaners are much much worse employers than are the small companies. I'm sure no one is being paid all that well for cleaning, but the business contact I knew at our medium-small company sounded like a nice woman, and my cleaner seemed happy to be working for them.

I wish I could get into the swing of cleaning again. There is a certain Zen in really doing a room well -- I've felt it before, but I can't seem to get that feeling back ...

'lance

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« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2007, 03:57:05 PM »
Quote from: skdadl
There is a certain Zen in really doing a room well ...


We're not particularly diligent about cleaning, as you'd see if you visited unannounced, but I know this feeling -- applied to kitchens, anyway. A few years back, tired of stacked dishes and arguments about whose turn it was, and so forth, M proposed a simple division of labour -- she'd cook dinners if I took over responsibility for the dishes.

She proposed this without much hope -- that is, she never thought I'd go for it -- but I did, without hesitating. This way, I probably spend a bit more time in the kitchen than she, but I don't have to plan meals or think, after a day's work, of what to cook for dinner. I can just take up a simple and repetitive task during which I can think of other things, or not think, if I don't feel like it. Anyhow, she's a good cook.

Besides, I can still cook big Saturday/Sunday breakfasts if I want to, when there's no time pressure.

kuri

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« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2007, 04:43:15 PM »
I'd worry too much about loss of control if I were to hire a cleaner.

Or that I'd feel like I had to clean before s/he arrived, so as not to look like a slob. Then I'd resent paying for something I'm doing myself...

Herr Magoo

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« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2007, 04:48:09 PM »
To me, hiring a cleaner is only one step closer to hiring someone to walk my pet, hiring someone to buy anniversary gifts for my wife, or hiring several people to carry me around in a sedan chair.

Sure, I'm a big important guy.  My time is money!  It's all about the numbers, baby, and my time is better spent earning money than scrubbing floors!  But at the end of the day, I'd just feel super strange habitually paying someone to take care of me, when I know damn well that I can do my own laundry, or make my own bed, or buy my own anniversary gifts to give my wife, or walk on my own two feet.

People that really have to?  Fine.  I'm not about to try and guilt them out of it.  But I do believe that most people hire someone else to clean up their crap because they simply don't like cleaning up their own crap... not because they really cannot.  I think they've prioritized looking after themselves very low, so they can prioritize other things high (making money being, typically, at the top of that list).
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brebis noire

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« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2007, 05:00:46 PM »
Well, another way of looking at it is that you can't do *everything* yourself, and that some people might be better and more efficient at certain things than you are. Do you also do the maintenance on your computer and your car and sew and repair your clothes? Do you do your own renovations, electricity and plumbing as well? Cut your partner's or kids' hair? I'm supposing that the people who do all of these things wouldn't have time to work at a paying job.

I've discovered over the years that I'm really not that good at cleaning because my mind wanders, I can't approach the task logically and I don't do it often enough to develop technique and efficiency. I can and do tidy up, pick up my (and often everyone else's) crap, clean up regular everyday messes, clean animal cages and litter and make beds (this is not an exhaustive list...) but thorough, methodic and regular cleaning I just cannot do. My cleaner offered services to me for over a year before I finally accepted. We're both glad I did.  :)

Herr Magoo

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« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2007, 05:05:05 PM »
Quote
Do you also do the maintenance on your computer and your car and sew and repair your clothes? Do you do your own renovations, electricity and plumbing as well? Cut your partner's or kids' hair?


I do my own computer maintenance because I can.  I don't cut hair because I don't know how.

But I know how to do dishes, so I really can't pretend to myself that "I would if I could".  Same with picking up my dirty laundry.  I know how.
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brebis noire

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« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2007, 05:12:32 PM »
Of course. And you could learn to cut hair - it's not that hard, I learned to do it; not my own, but everybody else's. But my point is, you don't do *everything* you are able to or could learn to do, nobody can, faute de temps.  
OK - I can't.

anne cameron

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« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2007, 05:32:20 PM »
I can't afford a cleaner.  I wish I could.  I do the day to day upkeep crap myself, usually after supper, which I cook myself.  But the big-job stuff absolutely challenges me.  I am SUCH a frikken ditz.  I get lost in my own head, I'm totally disorganized at the best of times, and I think I have the proclivities of one of those golden flies which always hover just above a cow pat without ever seeming to settle.  I'll do something at the sink, let's say the dishes, and manage to slop water on the floor.  Fine'en, get the mop and do the floor.  Well, that looks good but hey, look, the front of the oven door has a spot..and jeez, will you just look at the top of it..so out with the burner rings, and those little cups and the chrome rings, put that to soak in the sink, then get busy on the top of the stove, and hey, while we're at it, let's take a look at the oven.  Oh, horrors, start in on that, get it half done and jeebus, now I need to get up off my prayer bones and get a pill, fast, quick, the back is on fire.  Try to stretch it out, nope, not working.  Sit, see if that helps.  It does but the kids have been busy at the book case so go sit on the floor and straighten that and  oh, yeah, the damn oven.  Go back, get that finished, go to the sink, get the cups and rings done, cut myself on one of the chrome rings, why do they have to make them razor sharp anyway, why can't the entire top of the christly stove heat up, they could divvy it up into nine sections, you could choose which of the nine you want to use, maybe write the president of the stove industry...get the stove back together and JESUS what happened to this floor I just washed.  Do it again.  And notice the fridge....

But one day I'll win the 6/49 and some nice person will show up twice a week and she'll be happy to have the work and I'll be happy to give it to her and between her visits I'll still do dishes, cook meals, walk the dogs and do the day-by-day and the laundry.

skdadl

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« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2007, 05:55:36 PM »
Yes, I've never wanted anyone else to do the laundry or the dishes, which feel kinda personal to me.

But I really have appreciated having the floors washed. Washed, I said, not vacuumed. I want all the floors washed. That is hard work, and it can certainly be done badly. When I do it, I do it on hands and knees, which is why I don't do it that often any more, I guess.

When I were a tad, me mum used to put paste wax on all the floors by hand, and then a half-hour or so later would go about polishing BY HAND (no polisher machines in the 1940s/1950s).

Timebandit

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« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2007, 05:59:44 PM »
Well, Magoo, good for you.  If you're able to keep up, that's great.  I can't, and part of the reason I can't IS because I work and so does my spouse.  Now, if it were just the two of us, living in a smaller space, we might be better at keeping up.  However, put a couple of kids in the mix, and we can't.  We can do most of it, but there's an ever widening gap between what needs to be done and what gets done.

I'm also on the verge of hiring a bookeeper in my business.  It isn't as if I can't do the accounting.  I can, I've been doing it for years, and I'm sure I'll continue to do some of it.  However, my time is possibly more beneficially spent doing other things to create more and better work, and if I can afford to delegate some of the work to someone else, why wouldn't I?  

I don't see the housework as much different than my books.  Different skill set, same result -- the necessary gets done.
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brebis noire

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« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2007, 06:19:47 PM »
Quote
 

I don't see the housework as much different than my books.  Different skill set, same result -- the necessary gets done.


Yup, I used to do our taxes, for years. But that was a seriously bad idea because I am essentially slow and careless with numbers. - much like I am with cleaning. I  So we pay to have it done, even though I could conceivably do it. But I'd rather do spring cleaning than the taxes...

 

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