Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
Questioning an Insignificant Social Norm
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
An Imagination Only a Child Could Have
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Addressing the Cleaner Stigma
A friend of the family who hasn't seen me in a while: Q - So what have you been doing lately? A - Just working, pretty much. Q - Oh! Where do you work? A - I work for a cleaning company. A - Oh.(brief silence) Well, at least it's a job!
I've had that reaction quite often.
A well to do person who I am casually introduced to: Q - And what do you do? A - Um, I'm a cleaner. A - Hmph..(snobby sniff)
Someone who is better off than me but still not well off enough to be uppity: Q - Well, this type of person almost never asks point blank what you do for a living because they themselves don't want to be asked, but if it comes up somehow, they usually respond like: a) Oh really? What does that pay like? Or b) Do you like it? How long have you been doing that for? Often they'll tell me about this sister in law or that cousin that ran a small cleaning business. Sometimes they ask how much we charge, because they want to see if they'd be able to afford a clean or two. The experience is usually most pleasant with this kind of reaction.
Someone who is my social equal: Q - Are they hiring? A - They might be, soon. Q - Can you hand in a resume for me? A - Sure.
I've found that a lot of people make it a point to never talk shop with me again once they've found out what I do. People who never bothered before all of a sudden start frantically cleaning when they know I'm coming over and I run into a wall of bleach and Pine-Sol fumes upon opening the door. Or, if they couldn't get around to cleaning, they apologize repeatedly about the state of their house and mutter "Look at all this dust, ugh..."
What do I think about all this? To begin with, people don't need to pity me. I could get a better paying job easily, if I wanted to I could go out tomorrow and get one. The thing is, I enjoy what I do for a living. I find cleaning very satisfying, it keeps me busy, it's never boring or repetitive, and it's good exercise. Secondly, people don't need to look down on me. I'm not collecting welfare, I'm not a hooker, stripper or drug dealer. I work honestly like everyone else, and the government has their greedy hands on my paycheque every Friday just like they do everyone else's.
Thirdly, people don't need to apologize for the state of their house. At work it's annoying because we hear apologies so often - that's what we're there to do, to purge your house of the 'embarrassing' dirt. We do that day in and day out, there is nothing we haven't seen. I don't look at a bathroom with hair and dust covering every surface, soap scum built up in the sink and toothpaste all over the mirror and think, 'Ugh, these people are nasty pigs', I think 'Obviously this is the bathroom they use the most, it's going to take a bit of work.' When I am visiting the houses of friends or family, I don't even notice dirt at all. When I'm not at work or about to clean my own house, I don't see the dust or fingerprints, I don't even look, honestly. I have been known to start cleaning my parents' house while over there, but that's either because I'm trying to kill time before Sunday dinner is ready, or I'm trying out a new cleaning product that they bought! Sure, it's not the best job in the world, but isn't it at least worth it if I enjoy what I'm doing? That's more than a lot of people can say about their job!
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Bringin' it Up to Date
- Had a great Thanksgiving dinner, it was, as I described to my friend, a little slice of heaven on a plate.
- Didn't make it to the Westfield Halloween festival as planned because it was pouring rain and freezing cold and the event takes place mainly outside. Was quite disappointed.
- Got James's school pictures back, and as always, he looks like an absolute angel in it. You just cannot take a bad picture of that child, I am jealous!
- Got digital cable back and have been thoroughly enjoying it ever since.
- Have started ghost hunting with Mike as a hobby. It's really fun, and it gives us an excuse to go to cemeteries at night! Mike discovered that there is a guy at his work that does the same thing with his wife, so we may even join up sometime!
- Have taken to going to the Goodwill store every weekend and buying books. Soon, I will need to get myself a new bookshelf as I am quickly running out of room. I have a whole pile of romance books that were given to me that I don't want, any takers?
- Went to the Remembrance Day ceremony on Saturday and got rained on, but I'm not made of sugar. Besides, the soldiers who fought in the wars didn't have the luxury of staying all toasty and dry in their barracks when it was raining, so why should we, on the day when we're supposed to be at those ceremonies, showing our gratitude and support? I always go, no matter what the weather. The tone of this year's ceremony was different, it was less retrospective because of the current activity in Afghanistan. The emphasis was more on supporting the troops. It was sad because there were some mothers whose children had gone over there and didn't come back, and you could tell they were pretty upset. The bugler who played the Last Post and Reveille was excellent!
Movies I've Watched
North Country - fantastic, Charlize Theron should have won the Oscar instead of Reese Witherspoon. Not that Reese didn't do a great job in Walk the Line, but I think Charlize's performance was a bit more moving.
Dear Wendy - Weird, low budget indie movie, but intriguing and subtly disturbing. It's about a group of teen/twentysomething pacifists who have a special interest in firearms who form a secret society called the 'Dandies'. They make their lair in an abandoned mine shaft and spend their time reading up on and watching movies about firearm exit wounds and different shooting techniques. And they also like dressing up in fruity costumes and dancing through the streets of their hick town, drinking wine, listening to the Zombies, and even having poetry readings where they would recite odes to their guns. It was a very bizarre movie, but I loved it.
Books I've read
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (almost finished)
- There is no Armour by Howard Spring (a quarter of the way through)
- Antiquing for Housewives(printed in 1959, very sexist language but entertaining)
- Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence (haven't started it yet)
- Hamlet and the Merchant of Venice. If you don't know the author to those you need to get out from under the rock and go to school!
I think that's a pretty accurate summary of the past month.