Author Topic: House servants? Are you kidding me?  (Read 17998 times)

firewalker

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House servants? Are you kidding me?
« on: August 09, 2015, 06:56:52 PM »
It really bugged me when I found out the home owners I do some landscaping for have a live in servant to clean and take care of their two children. Now I was just told about a family who has a staff! No, not a staff infection. We're talking a make the beds, draw me a bath, put fresh flowers in the vase, pull my chair at the dinner table, name legally changed to Jeeves STAFF. A team of paid servants. FOR A HOUSE YOU LIVE IN!  Does this really happen?

Anatidae V

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2015, 07:44:56 PM »
Sounds great to me if they're making a lot of money, it might be worthwhile when considered against income or other factors that might not be immediately apparent.

okonumiyaki

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2015, 07:53:18 PM »
Agatha Christie quote - "I never thought that I would live to see cars become common, and servants a luxury"

They are paying you for landscaping/ gardening, what's the difference?

James

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 07:55:57 PM »
Agatha Christie quote - "I never thought that I would live to see cars become common, and servants a luxury"

They are paying you for landscaping/ gardening, what's the difference?


That was my first thought also lol


So you keep up the outside and they keep up the inside, how are you different than the "House servants"?


And no they are not servants, they are paid staff, and it isn't that uncommon.

SMP

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 11:31:05 PM »
Looks like firewalker is ....
Really?? 4 threads about servants in a house in less than 1 hour?

Apples

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2015, 04:46:55 AM »
Lots of people have nannys to take care of their children, and those people may also clean up the house a bit.  If this is the type of family that would also host functions at their house (fundraisers, etc.) then they would probably need house manager and additional staff for those.  My other guess would be that one or both people travel for work a lot, and need other people to care for the house for them.  It's still all nuts though, I agree.

justajane

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2015, 05:50:05 AM »
I have to admit that if I won the powerball, I would want to hire someone to have breakfast laid out for me Downton-Abbey style every. damned. morning. I don't care about cooking my own lunch or dinner, but man, I want to wake up and have cut fruit, warm bread, hot coffee, and whatever else I desire ready for me at the  dining room table. I probably wouldn't call whoever did this a house servant, though. More like a personal chef, which is a valid career choice, right? I see your point, but how is cooking for ueber-wealthy powerball winner once a day any different from cooking in a restaurant kitchen? It's probably a heck of a lot easier and better compensated.

RunHappy

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2015, 05:56:04 AM »
It sounds like you are too good to work for them and should pass on future jobs.

firewalker

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2015, 06:26:41 AM »
I guess the idea is just foreign to me. A zillion people work by mowing lawns. A lot of daycare workers for children and infirm. But I never thought someone would need to hire someone to clean up after you and your kids while you are still home. I guess these are some of the rich who need tax breaks so they can create jobs.

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2015, 07:00:14 AM »
Servant?  What year is this?

It isn't uncommon for families to have nannies, and many nannies do light housekeeping.  Often, if there are multiple children (especially young ones), it is cheaper than daycare. Live in nanny can be mutually beneficial to the nanny and the family.  Sometimes it is an au pair who is coming to the US for a short time. I knew a few people in college who were live in help for families. Those families were not rich, they just had an extra room in the house. The people who were live in help didn't get fabulous wages, but they did get free rent, so it worked out nicely for both parties. Having someone live in cost LESS than sending 4 kids to full time daycare.


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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2015, 07:08:20 AM »
I have to admit that if I won the powerball, I would want to hire someone to have breakfast laid out for me Downton-Abbey style every. damned. morning. I don't care about cooking my own lunch or dinner, but man, I want to wake up and have cut fruit, warm bread, hot coffee, and whatever else I desire ready for me at the  dining room table.

If you want to go Downton Abbey-style, and are married, you get to have the aforementioned spread delivered to you in bed every morning ;) 

justajane

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2015, 07:20:33 AM »
I have to admit that if I won the powerball, I would want to hire someone to have breakfast laid out for me Downton-Abbey style every. damned. morning. I don't care about cooking my own lunch or dinner, but man, I want to wake up and have cut fruit, warm bread, hot coffee, and whatever else I desire ready for me at the  dining room table.

If you want to go Downton Abbey-style, and are married, you get to have the aforementioned spread delivered to you in bed every morning ;)

Haha. That's true in theory, but right now, since my husband gets up about 45 minutes before me with the baby, I'm already extremely grateful to him and probably shouldn't get greedy.

 I knew of a husband who brought his wife her tea in bed every morning. They had been married for decades. I thought that was very sweet.

MgoSam

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2015, 07:22:03 AM »
I guess the idea is just foreign to me. A zillion people work by mowing lawns. A lot of daycare workers for children and infirm. But I never thought someone would need to hire someone to clean up after you and your kids while you are still home. I guess these are some of the rich who need tax breaks so they can create jobs.

At the end of the day, the one thing money can really buy you is more time. We're all trying to FIRE so we can have more time to do what we want. Why would it be nuts to spend money to buy back time normally spent cooking or cleaning or doing housework or running errands? If I never had to go to Costco or mop my kitchen floor or do the ironing again, as far as I'm concerned, that would be awesome. I'd love to have that time to spend with my husband, or my daughter, or visiting my parents or working on my hobby. And should I win the lottery, I probably will outsource all of those.

It's not like the labor market is fabulous. They're providing jobs for people, quite possibly decent ones. I'm a personal assistant, which is basically a servant, and I make more than the median HOUSEHOLD income doing it. Sure, my boss could book his own theater and dinner reservations and fetch his own lunch and purchase his own gifts, but then I would be out of a job.
I don't see much difference between how many people lived back 100 years ago and how most of us live today. They have cooks...we have restaurants. They have maids...we have dry cleaners, washing machines, and other options.

Labor back then was regrettably cheap, it isn't now. If you were to live in India, you would be able to have a few servants.

I don't cook every meal I eat, I eat out a lot, and well I wish I could have someone do all the cleaning for me, but then I realize that I do. I have a dishwasher, garbage disposal, washer/dryer set, and vacuum cleaner. Between these appliances, they do the vast majority of the heavy lifting.

MgoSam

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 07:24:34 AM »
I guess the idea is just foreign to me. A zillion people work by mowing lawns. A lot of daycare workers for children and infirm. But I never thought someone would need to hire someone to clean up after you and your kids while you are still home. I guess these are some of the rich who need tax breaks so they can create jobs.

At the end of the day, the one thing money can really buy you is more time. We're all trying to FIRE so we can have more time to do what we want. Why would it be nuts to spend money to buy back time normally spent cooking or cleaning or doing housework or running errands? If I never had to go to Costco or mop my kitchen floor or do the ironing again, as far as I'm concerned, that would be awesome. I'd love to have that time to spend with my husband, or my daughter, or visiting my parents or working on my hobby. And should I win the lottery, I probably will outsource all of those.

It's not like the labor market is fabulous. They're providing jobs for people, quite possibly decent ones. I'm a personal assistant, which is basically a servant, and I make more than the median HOUSEHOLD income doing it. Sure, my boss could book his own theater and dinner reservations and fetch his own lunch and purchase his own gifts, but then I would be out of a job.

A friend of mine runs a company and was considering getting a personal assistant. His reasoning, and I agree, is that it would be a comparable advantage for him to have someone that could take care of many things, while he focused on running his company and planning ahead. In the end he decided not to do it because he realized that it might be harder than he thought to get someone qualified in.

The way I look at it is, take a lawyer that bills out at $200 an hour, if he can get 6 minutes of increased productivity per hour by having a P.A. that runs at $20 an hour, then it's likely worthwhile to have one.

justajane

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2015, 07:25:30 AM »
firewalker - I kind of get your perspective. It's all a matter of scale and attitude, in my mind.

I used to live in Britain and went to one of the royal properties (forget which one) with a friend. The guide said that at one point, there was a staff of over one hundred to serve the royal family of five. I made some comment about how I thought that was just absurd and wrong, and my English friend said, "Why? They earned all their money and deserved to spend it." It really underscored our different perceptions of the universe at the time.

I'm sure it might boil down to the perspective of the employer and how they treat their paid staff. If they treat them like servants and as if they are better than those who work for them, then it is distasteful. But if it's a mutually beneficial arrangement, then I can see how it isn't a problem.

MgoSam

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2015, 07:32:48 AM »
firewalker - I kind of get your perspective. It's all a matter of scale and attitude, in my mind.

"Why? They earned all their money and deserved to spend it."
Did they "earn it?" Don't get me wrong, if someone has money then it's their money and not really my place to question how they use it, but I dislike when titled nobility or anyone that is born into money thinks that they 'earned it.'

I'm sure it might boil down to the perspective of the employer and how they treat their paid staff. If they treat them like servants and as if they are better than those who work for them, then it is distasteful. But if it's a mutually beneficial arrangement, then I can see how it isn't a problem.

Agreed! At the end of the day, if you hire someone in any position, you are giving that person a job. I don't care how little the position is, I cannot stand anyone that looks down any of their employees. The way I see it, they are doing a job that you don't want to do, so treat everyone with respect. People that are nice to you but rude to their waitress are not nice people.

jinga nation

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2015, 07:46:11 AM »
Minimum monthly wage for a house servant in Kenya is KES 10954.70 http://www.africapay.org/kenya/home/salary/minimum-wages. That is USD 108.34 per month, using today's exchange rate. Let me be nice and pay 20% above that, thus $130. Price of having a daily grande Starbucks latte. It is very affordable.

I grew up in Nairobi and had a house servant. Everyone in the middle class did. Even lower middle class. This enabled my dad and mum to run their own businesses. The maid would work from 0800-1630, 5 & 1/2 days. My grandparents lived with us. The maid would clean floors, do the laundry (manual handwash and line dry, iron), prep the food for my grandma to cook lunch and dinner, and any other assigned tasks. We provided a detached servant's room to one of my dad's employee, who would wash dishes and clean up after dinner 7 nights a week. He got all the leftovers, which was enough to share with the neighbor's servants.

That's how middle-class life is in developing countries. Since electricity is unreliable and expensive, you use a human for the tasks.

okits

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2015, 07:49:46 AM »
For affluent families I think it's common enough to have a housekeeper (FT or PT) and hire landscaping help.  I don't think of those jobs as being "servants" with any negative connotation.  If anything, I think a good domestic worker has a lot of leverage as "good help is hard to find" (things like nanny poaching come to mind!)

Chris22

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2015, 08:59:00 AM »
There is something morally degrading about the extent to which people like me (youngish, well-earning professionals) don't do any of their own scut work where I live.

??  Why? 

h2ogal

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2015, 09:16:59 AM »
We own a business and I have a full time job.  We usually do some paid work at least 6 days a week.  So yes, we hire local folks to cut our lawn, deep clean our house, wash windows, do laundry, and other time-consuming things.   If we did these things ourselves, we would have no time for hobbies, fitness, or fun!   

We don't consider anyone we hire to be 'servants', which feels like a degrading label but rather 'employees' who we pay well to provide a needed service.

We didn't always have hired help at home.  When we were young and broke we did it all ourselves.  We were also tired and grumpy a lot more often, and we also had a lot more arguments. 

Once I retire I will definately cut down on the hired help, but while we are both working these crazy hours, I will keep the help and buy myself some fun, happiness, and "me time".

Chris22

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2015, 09:52:57 AM »
There is something morally degrading about the extent to which people like me (youngish, well-earning professionals) don't do any of their own scut work where I live.

??  Why?

In my experience, a non-negligible people that have zero experience with manual labor:


I think it's a big assumption that people who hire chores out have zero experience with manual labor.  I have plenty of experience from a long string of shitty jobs worked in college, busing tables, parking cars, loading trucks, etc.  That's why today I like to remove myself from many of those things.

Kaspian

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2015, 10:15:52 AM »
We don't consider anyone we hire to be 'servants', which feels like a degrading label but rather 'employees' who we pay well to provide a needed service.

Speaking as a de facto servant, I prefer the term. There's this weird conceit where we're going to bury job descriptions under increasingly fancy language, to make them sound more important. Hence, nobody is a secretary any more. They're Administrative Assistants. I'm a servant. I am paid to serve my boss by making his life easier. I run his errands, get his lunch, schedule his appointments, and basically, from 9-5:30 every day, exist to help him run his life better. Let's not beat around the bush here.

Best. Answer. Ever.     I'd be like, "If you call me a 'domestic assistant' one more time instead of 'butler', I'll break your legs." 

Invent your own bullshit job title here:  http://www.bullshitjob.com/title/


Khaetra

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2015, 10:26:09 AM »
After I left the restaurant business I worked as a personal chef for one family for over five years.  I never felt like a servant and had they not moved I might still be cooking for them today.  Pulled in a pretty good check every week and had fun doing it.

Cassie

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2015, 12:42:36 PM »
I don't see a problem if a high income couple buy time with their $. They are providing jobs for someone else. They are not servants.

justajane

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2015, 01:43:58 PM »
We don't consider anyone we hire to be 'servants', which feels like a degrading label but rather 'employees' who we pay well to provide a needed service.

Speaking as a de facto servant, I prefer the term. There's this weird conceit where we're going to bury job descriptions under increasingly fancy language, to make them sound more important. Hence, nobody is a secretary any more. They're Administrative Assistants. I'm a servant. I am paid to serve my boss by making his life easier. I run his errands, get his lunch, schedule his appointments, and basically, from 9-5:30 every day, exist to help him run his life better. Let's not beat around the bush here.

Best. Answer. Ever.     I'd be like, "If you call me a 'domestic assistant' one more time instead of 'butler', I'll break your legs." 

Invent your own bullshit job title here:  http://www.bullshitjob.com/title/

As a parent, I definitely consider myself by and large a servant, and sometimes it even feels like feudalism, since I can't escape it. I'm partially kidding, but with three kids, I often feel like I have been relegated to domestic servitude. I can talk about how I'm raising the next generation or passing on my genes, but much of what I do is very, very menial, and like serpantstooth, I don't think it changes much of my reality just to change my title or express things differently linguistically.

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2015, 02:05:06 PM »
Yes. They should probably fire you wrote they're at it, since servants are so awful.
Bahahaha *zing*

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2015, 07:36:42 PM »
My wife brother and sister in law have a nanny.  They like my wife work in Boston...

Before the nanny they would need to wake up, get both girls ready and themselves, drive into the city and drop the girls at daycare and aftercare...

Between the two they were paying 4k/month and their weekend was spent cleaning their house or catching up.

It was cheaper and more beneficial to the family to:
- hire a live in nanny (they had the room)
- hire a cleaning lady 2 times a week

Now after work or on the weekends they get to enjoy time with their kids. And no they are not rich by boston standards (100k/year each); more like middle class.


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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2015, 07:40:39 PM »
Sounds great to me if they're making a lot of money, it might be worthwhile when considered against income or other factors that might not be immediately apparent.

And more people with jobs working for these rich people...

SecretMinimalist

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2015, 08:11:44 AM »
In Hong Kong, many local and expatriate families have domestic staff.  The minimum wage for a foreign domestic worker (often from the Philippines or Indonesia) is about US$500 per month plus room, food and flights to/from their home country.  To be allowed to employ someone from overseas in this role, the household needs to earn a minimum of approx US$2000 per month.  3% of the population are foreign domestic workers and there are also local domestic workers; a lot of families have them.

There are pros and cons of the arrangement for all parties involved.  I don't have domestic help but families with kids usually do.  Having an extra pair of hands seems to make life much less hectic for families, especially if both parents are working. 

Giro

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2015, 08:34:22 AM »

As a parent, I definitely consider myself by and large a servant, and sometimes it even feels like feudalism, since I can't escape it. I'm partially kidding, but with three kids, I often feel like I have been relegated to domestic servitude. I can talk about how I'm raising the next generation or passing on my genes, but much of what I do is very, very menial, and like serpantstooth, I don't think it changes much of my reality just to change my title or express things differently linguistically.

I have a friend who is a SAHM.  She doesn't make money to feed or take care of herself so I said that she was a prostitute, nanny and housekeeper to her husband.  She didn't like that.


marcela

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2015, 08:52:30 AM »
Growing up in Brazil we had a housekeeper and a cook/nanny in our city home, the nanny lived with us and also handled laundry and grocery shopping. Our building also had a doorman who would deal with parking cars, bringing up delivered packages...etc. Our mountain house had an onsite groundskeeper who served as protection/ landscaper and his wife would cook and clean for us when we were in residence.
Looking back at it, it seems crazy right? Well, then I realize my parents both traveled for work often and had up to 5 kids living with them ranging in age from newborn to 13 year old. We didn't have a lot of the appliances that we take for granted in this country, no dishwasher, no washing machines or dryers, fabrics that were easy to care for. The groundskeeper's family? On top of paying standard wages, they also had a house on property with their own gardens and my father paid for their kids to go to the same school we would have gone to if we lived in that town. We raised rabbits, chickens and ducks and he got all the skins/feathers of the ones he butchered for us when we were there and had a percentage of the animals that were given them too for their own meat. The nanny and housekeeper got meal and transportation vouchers, the nanny also had her own suite.
The situation you describe is not very odd to those of us who lived outside the US. Labor is cheaper than machines.

MrsPete

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2015, 09:20:57 AM »
I guess the idea is just foreign to me. A zillion people work by mowing lawns. A lot of daycare workers for children and infirm. But I never thought someone would need to hire someone to clean up after you and your kids while you are still home. I guess these are some of the rich who need tax breaks so they can create jobs.

At the end of the day, the one thing money can really buy you is more time. We're all trying to FIRE so we can have more time to do what we want. Why would it be nuts to spend money to buy back time normally spent cooking or cleaning or doing housework or running errands? If I never had to go to Costco or mop my kitchen floor or do the ironing again, as far as I'm concerned, that would be awesome. I'd love to have that time to spend with my husband, or my daughter, or visiting my parents or working on my hobby. And should I win the lottery, I probably will outsource all of those.

It's not like the labor market is fabulous. They're providing jobs for people, quite possibly decent ones. I'm a personal assistant, which is basically a servant, and I make more than the median HOUSEHOLD income doing it. Sure, my boss could book his own theater and dinner reservations and fetch his own lunch and purchase his own gifts, but then I would be out of a job.
I don't see much difference between how many people lived back 100 years ago and how most of us live today. They have cooks...we have restaurants. They have maids...we have dry cleaners, washing machines, and other options.

Labor back then was regrettably cheap, it isn't now. If you were to live in India, you would be able to have a few servants.

I don't cook every meal I eat, I eat out a lot, and well I wish I could have someone do all the cleaning for me, but then I realize that I do. I have a dishwasher, garbage disposal, washer/dryer set, and vacuum cleaner. Between these appliances, they do the vast majority of the heavy lifting.
I can see that. 
"Back in the day" you had to employ three servants to be considered middle class. 

For example, back then laundry was an all-day affair.  Today I can do as much laundry with 30 minutes hands-on time.  My "servants" are my washer and dryer.  Likewise, a scullery maid might've spent a hours heating/toting/removing water for the family's baths, whereas today our hot water heaters deliver the same service instantly.  In these cases, technology has replaced the need for human servants. 

Back then baking bread required several hours a couple times a week.  Today I can buy all the bread I want from the store.  Household cooks have been replaced by factories, delivery trucks, and stores.  Likewise, I don't need a person toiling away in my kitchen for hours -- if I don't want to do it myself, I can pop a Stouffer's lasagna into the oven or buy take-out.  In this instance, the industrial revolution has replaced the need for human servants. 

Back then a manservant might've been employed to care for the family house and carriage.  Today I can hire someone to mow my yard, clean my gutters, and work on my car's engine.  But these people work as independent contractors, and I only ask for their help when I need it -- they may "work for me", but they aren't my personal servants at my beck and call.  A new employment agenda has replaced the need for personal family servants.

I agree with your statement:  The world is different, and we ourselves are not doing the work that was previously accomplished by servants -- we're still using the labor of other people and machines to complete our daily needs.  Interesting angle. 

However, I wonder if poor, low-skilled people weren't better off "back in the day" when being "in service" was an acceptable life choice.  Obviously, it wasn't a career that was ever going to allow them to better themselves -- ever -- but they did have their room and board covered, so they didn't have to manage their money in the same way that people do today. 


RunHappy

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2015, 11:00:00 AM »

As a parent, I definitely consider myself by and large a servant, and sometimes it even feels like feudalism, since I can't escape it. I'm partially kidding, but with three kids, I often feel like I have been relegated to domestic servitude. I can talk about how I'm raising the next generation or passing on my genes, but much of what I do is very, very menial, and like serpantstooth, I don't think it changes much of my reality just to change my title or express things differently linguistically.

I have a friend who is a SAHM.  She doesn't make money to feed or take care of herself so I said that she was a prostitute, nanny and housekeeper to her husband.  She didn't like that.

Well, that's because you were being a jerk.

My husband couldn't afford me on those terms. A full time nanny runs $750/wk, minimum and that only gets you 10 hours a day. An overnight baby nurse shift is at least $200/day.

I've always hated the whole "mom as a job" thing.  I have a kid who is 19 years old and another on the way, I've never once looked at it as a "job".  A job is a set of tasks you do in return for monetary compensation.  To me being a mom is simply of a state of being or lifestyle-choice, but it is not a job.

LiveLean

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2015, 12:54:20 PM »
If I never had to go to Costco or mop my kitchen floor or do the ironing again, as far as I'm concerned, that would be awesome.

I do about 90 percent of what little shopping I do at Costco. It's the most efficient place to shop. I'm also a happy Costco shareholder and I'd continue to shop there and gas my cars there regardless of my level of wealth. Jimmy Kimmel said pretty much the same in a recent issue of Costco magazine and presumably he can afford a personal shopper.

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2015, 03:30:00 PM »

As a parent, I definitely consider myself by and large a servant, and sometimes it even feels like feudalism, since I can't escape it. I'm partially kidding, but with three kids, I often feel like I have been relegated to domestic servitude. I can talk about how I'm raising the next generation or passing on my genes, but much of what I do is very, very menial, and like serpantstooth, I don't think it changes much of my reality just to change my title or express things differently linguistically.

I have a friend who is a SAHM.  She doesn't make money to feed or take care of herself so I said that she was a prostitute, nanny and housekeeper to her husband.  She didn't like that.

I'm not surprised she didn't like that. What you said is extremely rude.

Notice I didn't mention my husband at all above, because we are in a give and take relationship. Children mostly take. I love them dearly, but it is a very different relationship that what I have with my spouse. I am not a servant to my husband, nor does he ever make me feel like one. Anyone who would seriously or even half seriously use the term prostitute to define a wife who doesn't collect a paycheck is a dolt. 

Cassie

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2015, 03:38:37 PM »
It doesn't matter if being a Mom involves being paid or not. It is the hardest job there is if you do if well. Families benefit greatly when 1 parent stays at home when the kids are little. So yes I would say that they have a "job."

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2015, 03:47:14 PM »
It doesn't matter if being a Mom involves being paid or not. It is the hardest job there is if you do if well.

I think my wife who works a stressful, challenging professional job 50+ hours a week, and still has all the other responsibilities of being a mother aside from watching our daughter from 8AM to 6PM, would (violently) disagree with you.

Quote
Families benefit greatly when 1 parent stays at home when the kids are little. So yes I would say that they have a "job."

I would argue with this as well.

justajane

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2015, 03:49:35 PM »
It doesn't matter if being a Mom involves being paid or not. It is the hardest job there is if you do if well.

I think my wife who works a stressful, challenging professional job 50+ hours a week, and still has all the other responsibilities of being a mother aside from watching our daughter from 8AM to 6PM, would (violently) disagree with you.

I don't understand where the disagreement is here. Can you explain?

Chris22

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2015, 03:52:07 PM »
It doesn't matter if being a Mom involves being paid or not. It is the hardest job there is if you do if well.

I think my wife who works a stressful, challenging professional job 50+ hours a week, and still has all the other responsibilities of being a mother aside from watching our daughter from 8AM to 6PM, would (violently) disagree with you.

I don't understand where the disagreement is here. Can you explain?

I interpreted "being a Mom" to be the same as "being a stay at home mom" given the context of the current discussion.  If this is erroneous, my apologies.

Cassie

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2015, 04:02:47 PM »
I have been both a working Mom & a SAHM. I think people underestimate how hard it can be to be home all day with someone under the age of 5. Especially if you have multiple kids.  It is also hard to work & have kids. However, someone else is caring for your child while you are at work for long hours so you are working differently but not the same as a SAHP. Yes, I do think kids benefit from having a parent stay home-especially under the age of 3. I am not saying everyone should-some can't afford it, some can't stand to do it because it is hard hard work.

justajane

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2015, 04:58:58 PM »
I find staying home with the baby easier than having the persona professional job and the baby. Part of why I'm quitting. =P

I think staying home full time with a younger baby is much easier than working. But staying home with an 15 month old day in and day out? Lord help me! I am jealous of my husband, since he gets a "break" from the insanity by going to work. But children don't linearly get easier or harder. They go through stages.

But ultimately I think it is impossible to generalize about these things. You've got a complex interplay of a child's personality, a parent's personality, the type of job, the number of children, the personality of the spouse, the amount of external support you have, etc. etc. etc. The answer as to which is "harder" will always depend on these variables and be different for each and every person.

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2015, 05:14:28 PM »
I''d rather go to work than be home 24/7 with a colicky baby though.

No doubt. Nothing shreds one's sanity and nerves like a baby who never stops crying, especially when the baby is your own. We've had crappy, crappy sleepers, fussy eaters, mischievous and whiny toddlers, and other struggles, but never a colicky baby. I am extremely grateful. 

RunHappy

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2015, 06:53:36 AM »
It doesn't matter if being a Mom involves being paid or not. It is the hardest job there is if you do if well.

If being a "Mom" is the hardest job doesn't shouldn't that include being a "Dad" as well.  Or are Dads just not as good as being a parent as a Mom is?


Quote
Families benefit greatly when 1 parent stays at home when the kids are little. So yes I would say that they have a "job."

I disagree with this one too.  I think it is more  important for a parent to be home during the teenage years than the early years.  There are many options of childcare for infant through beginning school, which are heavily regulated to provide good care for children.  However with childcare the kids will still grow up fine.  It is the teen years that are tough and where I think a parent should be home to help provide guidance.  There are options for parents when the kids are young to keep them safe but those options are nonexistent during the years when the kids are nothing but a walking bag of curious, rebellious, surging hormones.  I find a lot of parents of teens have no idea what their kids are doing and who they are hanging around with.  From experience I know sometimes the "bad kid" is disguised as a straight-A-president-of-whatever kid.


I will only agree that being a parent is a job, only if you agree that it is ok to quit being a parent at any time the "job" benefits no longer outweigh the work put into it.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 06:57:24 AM by RunHappy »

Cassie

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2015, 09:00:51 AM »
When you decide to have a child you have a job for life or at least the first 18 years depending on the type of parent you are.  Yes some Dads are the primary caregivers.  The first 3 years are the most crucial in bonding, security & development not the teen years. Yes teens should be supervised too.  Read the literature on this.

Giro

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #44 on: August 12, 2015, 09:12:24 AM »
It doesn't matter if being a Mom involves being paid or not. It is the hardest job there is if you do if well.

If being a "Mom" is the hardest job doesn't shouldn't that include being a "Dad" as well.  Or are Dads just not as good as being a parent as a Mom is?


Quote
Families benefit greatly when 1 parent stays at home when the kids are little. So yes I would say that they have a "job."

I disagree with this one too.  I think it is more  important for a parent to be home during the teenage years than the early years.  There are many options of childcare for infant through beginning school, which are heavily regulated to provide good care for children.  However with childcare the kids will still grow up fine.  It is the teen years that are tough and where I think a parent should be home to help provide guidance.  There are options for parents when the kids are young to keep them safe but those options are nonexistent during the years when the kids are nothing but a walking bag of curious, rebellious, surging hormones.  I find a lot of parents of teens have no idea what their kids are doing and who they are hanging around with.  From experience I know sometimes the "bad kid" is disguised as a straight-A-president-of-whatever kid.


I will only agree that being a parent is a job, only if you agree that it is ok to quit being a parent at any time the "job" benefits no longer outweigh the work put into it.

This is a good post.  I watched a comedian talk about a SAHP being the toughest job and he joked about putting in a DVD and how incredibly hard it was to hit play.  Sorta funny.  My job isn't hard.  I'm a software engineer.  I don't know if it's "harder" than riding bikes in the park with the kids, but some days I'd rather be in the park.  I like my paycheck and the options the money allows me tho.  I like being able to send my kid to private school because I believe in outside of the home learning and don't like public schools (in general).   

I would argue that it's really no better for the kid to have a SAHP.  Good parents are good even if they work.  Bad parents are bad even if they stay home all day to raise the kids.  A totally lazy at home parent who does nothing but watch tv all day and plop the kid down in front of the tube,  is that better for the kid?  Or both parents working and being organized so that when they get home, they work on dinner together and the kid sits at the table involved in conversation and doing their homework.  Then, we go for family walk to get the dog some exercise. Then we play a family game or do an activity.   We clean together, We discuss issues and make decisions together, we leave for work and the kid goes to school and then we join back together in the evening. 

idk.  It's all individual and there is no blanket right or wrong. 

There are enough hours in the day to have it all, it's just a matter of what you choose to do with those hours. 

Chris22

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #45 on: August 12, 2015, 09:28:45 AM »
It doesn't matter if being a Mom involves being paid or not. It is the hardest job there is if you do if well.

If being a "Mom" is the hardest job doesn't shouldn't that include being a "Dad" as well.  Or are Dads just not as good as being a parent as a Mom is?


Quote
Families benefit greatly when 1 parent stays at home when the kids are little. So yes I would say that they have a "job."

I disagree with this one too.  I think it is more  important for a parent to be home during the teenage years than the early years.  There are many options of childcare for infant through beginning school, which are heavily regulated to provide good care for children.  However with childcare the kids will still grow up fine.  It is the teen years that are tough and where I think a parent should be home to help provide guidance.  There are options for parents when the kids are young to keep them safe but those options are nonexistent during the years when the kids are nothing but a walking bag of curious, rebellious, surging hormones.  I find a lot of parents of teens have no idea what their kids are doing and who they are hanging around with.  From experience I know sometimes the "bad kid" is disguised as a straight-A-president-of-whatever kid.


I will only agree that being a parent is a job, only if you agree that it is ok to quit being a parent at any time the "job" benefits no longer outweigh the work put into it.

This is a good post.  I watched a comedian talk about a SAHP being the toughest job and he joked about putting in a DVD and how incredibly hard it was to hit play.  Sorta funny.  My job isn't hard.  I'm a software engineer.  I don't know if it's "harder" than riding bikes in the park with the kids, but some days I'd rather be in the park.  I like my paycheck and the options the money allows me tho.  I like being able to send my kid to private school because I believe in outside of the home learning and don't like public schools (in general).   

I would argue that it's really no better for the kid to have a SAHP.  Good parents are good even if they work.  Bad parents are bad even if they stay home all day to raise the kids.  A totally lazy at home parent who does nothing but watch tv all day and plop the kid down in front of the tube,  is that better for the kid?  Or both parents working and being organized so that when they get home, they work on dinner together and the kid sits at the table involved in conversation and doing their homework.  Then, we go for family walk to get the dog some exercise. Then we play a family game or do an activity.   We clean together, We discuss issues and make decisions together, we leave for work and the kid goes to school and then we join back together in the evening. 

idk.  It's all individual and there is no blanket right or wrong. 

There are enough hours in the day to have it all, it's just a matter of what you choose to do with those hours.

You're comparing a crappy stay at home parent to a good working parent? Wouldn't the better comparison be a crappy working parent to a crappy at home parent, or a good at home parent to a good working parent?

And no, there really aren't enough hours in the day to have it all. There are 24 hours in each day, and it's not enough time to do everything one could possibly want to do. Tradeoffs are inescapable. My family can not have two parents, an infant, three demanding careers, good health and sleep, and a labor intensive frugal lifestyle. There's not enough time and we started making tradeoffs. Right now it's food quality and saving money. Soon it's going to be my salary.

Why do 2 people need 3 demanding careers? 

And glad to see the "labor intensive frugal lifestyle" comment; that's why some of us who work demanding jobs and/or have kids laugh at stuff like "why aren't you riding your bike to run errands and growing your own produce?" because that stuff takes TIME and offers, in reality, minimal savings versus the time cost. 

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #46 on: August 12, 2015, 09:33:47 AM »
I would argue that it's really no better for the kid to have a SAHP. 
In context (your other comments), it seems to me like what you meant was "really not INHERENTLY better".
It might be, or it might not be, depending on the kid's nature and needs, the quality of the interaction they get with the parent, and the opportunity cost of the other options for their time.

Y/N?

Chris22

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #47 on: August 12, 2015, 09:42:59 AM »
It doesn't matter if being a Mom involves being paid or not. It is the hardest job there is if you do if well.

If being a "Mom" is the hardest job doesn't shouldn't that include being a "Dad" as well.  Or are Dads just not as good as being a parent as a Mom is?


Quote
Families benefit greatly when 1 parent stays at home when the kids are little. So yes I would say that they have a "job."

I disagree with this one too.  I think it is more  important for a parent to be home during the teenage years than the early years.  There are many options of childcare for infant through beginning school, which are heavily regulated to provide good care for children.  However with childcare the kids will still grow up fine.  It is the teen years that are tough and where I think a parent should be home to help provide guidance.  There are options for parents when the kids are young to keep them safe but those options are nonexistent during the years when the kids are nothing but a walking bag of curious, rebellious, surging hormones.  I find a lot of parents of teens have no idea what their kids are doing and who they are hanging around with.  From experience I know sometimes the "bad kid" is disguised as a straight-A-president-of-whatever kid.


I will only agree that being a parent is a job, only if you agree that it is ok to quit being a parent at any time the "job" benefits no longer outweigh the work put into it.

This is a good post.  I watched a comedian talk about a SAHP being the toughest job and he joked about putting in a DVD and how incredibly hard it was to hit play.  Sorta funny.  My job isn't hard.  I'm a software engineer.  I don't know if it's "harder" than riding bikes in the park with the kids, but some days I'd rather be in the park.  I like my paycheck and the options the money allows me tho.  I like being able to send my kid to private school because I believe in outside of the home learning and don't like public schools (in general).   

I would argue that it's really no better for the kid to have a SAHP.  Good parents are good even if they work.  Bad parents are bad even if they stay home all day to raise the kids.  A totally lazy at home parent who does nothing but watch tv all day and plop the kid down in front of the tube,  is that better for the kid?  Or both parents working and being organized so that when they get home, they work on dinner together and the kid sits at the table involved in conversation and doing their homework.  Then, we go for family walk to get the dog some exercise. Then we play a family game or do an activity.   We clean together, We discuss issues and make decisions together, we leave for work and the kid goes to school and then we join back together in the evening. 

idk.  It's all individual and there is no blanket right or wrong. 

There are enough hours in the day to have it all, it's just a matter of what you choose to do with those hours.

You're comparing a crappy stay at home parent to a good working parent? Wouldn't the better comparison be a crappy working parent to a crappy at home parent, or a good at home parent to a good working parent?

And no, there really aren't enough hours in the day to have it all. There are 24 hours in each day, and it's not enough time to do everything one could possibly want to do. Tradeoffs are inescapable. My family can not have two parents, an infant, three demanding careers, good health and sleep, and a labor intensive frugal lifestyle. There's not enough time and we started making tradeoffs. Right now it's food quality and saving money. Soon it's going to be my salary.

Why do 2 people need 3 demanding careers? 

And glad to see the "labor intensive frugal lifestyle" comment; that's why some of us who work demanding jobs and/or have kids laugh at stuff like "why aren't you riding your bike to run errands and growing your own produce?" because that stuff takes TIME and offers, in reality, minimal savings versus the time cost.

We don't, which is why I'm quitting my job. Mr. Tooth is in the arts and that career isn't launched enough to support us with benefits, so he has a day job. Unlike most artists, he has other marketable skills, so rather than waiting tables, he works as an engineer as well. The end result is that he is gone all the time, and when he's home, he's either working or practicing.

Much of frugality is trading money for time. There's one-off optimizations (a mortgage refinance, changing cell phone carriers, etc.), and just not buying shit, but after that, you start insourcing stuff that you normally pay for. Cooking everything saves a fortune, but it's basically a part time job in its own right.

That's funny, because I think cooking is one of the best money/time tradeoffs, and not even necessarily a tradeoff (going to a restaurant takes time too).  Both my wife and I can whip up a decently tasting, not terrible for you meal in less than 20 minutes. 

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2015, 10:35:12 AM »
Minimum monthly wage for a house servant in Kenya is KES 10954.70 http://www.africapay.org/kenya/home/salary/minimum-wages. That is USD 108.34 per month, using today's exchange rate. Let me be nice and pay 20% above that, thus $130. Price of having a daily grande Starbucks latte. It is very affordable.

I grew up in Nairobi and had a house servant. Everyone in the middle class did. Even lower middle class. This enabled my dad and mum to run their own businesses. The maid would work from 0800-1630, 5 & 1/2 days. My grandparents lived with us. The maid would clean floors, do the laundry (manual handwash and line dry, iron), prep the food for my grandma to cook lunch and dinner, and any other assigned tasks. We provided a detached servant's room to one of my dad's employee, who would wash dishes and clean up after dinner 7 nights a week. He got all the leftovers, which was enough to share with the neighbor's servants.

That's how middle-class life is in developing countries. Since electricity is unreliable and expensive, you use a human for the tasks.

Back on topic, living in developing countries in Africa and Asia, our FT housekeeper, 1x/week gardener, and (when I finally broke down and hired one) FT driver made themselves indispensable, as in jinga nation's example from Kenya.

Cleaning is a constant task due to unpaved roads, long dry seasons, long rainy seasons, and dust.  The washer runs constantly for the same reasons, but we lacked a power dishwasher.

Food preparation takes much longer because one must wash raw fruits & vegetables with bleach and then rinse several times.

Ferrying teenagers back and forth to activities and negotiating auto service in exotic languages took time and skills I preferred to invest elsewhere.

Deciding which plants worked best in the climate and choosing them in exotic languages also necessitated time and skills.

Total monthly cost was a very affordable $300 US, we paid more than the going rate, raised frequently, and paid overtime when we needed it.

Most expats we knew had similar domestic help arrangements.  The biggest staff I remember was for a family with two long-hour-working parents and two rambunctious young (5 & 7 yo) children - they had a driver, cook, housekeeper, nanny, and FT gardener.  A bit too much for my taste, but different strokes.

Now that we're in Europe, everyone pitches in on the housekeeping and gardening, and we're car-free.  It's good for the teenagers to know how to fend for themselves.

Chris22

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Re: House servants? Are you kidding me?
« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2015, 10:39:02 AM »
When I kept a time diary, food preparation was 15-20 hours a week, between cooking, clean up, and shopping. I've been cooking for twenty years and I'm pretty efficient too. It's a part time job

Maybe.  I can tell you that we start, eat, and clean up from dinner in an hour a day, MAYBE 90 minutes max.  Going to the grocery takes me an hour on Sunday.  Lunches are sandwiches, usually made in about 10 minutes before going to bed for the next day.  Breakfast is whatever granola bar or fruit or yogurt you grab.  We'd struggle to hit 15 hours a week.