Be Selfish. Very Selfish. That’s The Safe Thing To Do

If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors*, not his equals.”
~Sirius Black

I don’t get this. A recent incident, has me seething.

What motivation would one have to not treat their help with the utmost respect, maybe a little kindness and even a bit of gratitude?

Forget the whole humanitarian business. Let’s assume, we don’t give a rat’s sh*t for other people’s feelings . Let’s accept that we are all rather self-centred.

But:

if you are leaving your child in someone’s care;

if you are going to eat the food made by them;

if you are going to depend on them to keep your house clean…

Shouldn’t we be a little more careful about how we treat our paid help?

If I were working for someone who didn’t treat me well, and I can’t really afford to quit, I would do everything in my capacity to screw them over.

Doesn’t it make absolute ‘selfish’ sense to treat our help properly?

Just to ensure the children are well-taken care of, the food is cooked to meet health standards, and that the home is not a breeding place for mites and pests.

But look around. You realise that some of the meanest people are the stupidest.

You also realise that for some, treating their ‘servants’ or help badly is so ingrained in their nature and upbringing, they do not even realise how awful they sound.

Like this acquaintance (an otherwise intelligent and nice person) who proudly proclaimed that she disconnects the TV receiver when she is not at home, to make sure the ‘maid’ doesn’t sit glued to the idiot box. She also believed that with this master stroke, she has ensured that the ‘maid’ does nothing but take care of her kids!

As if that weren’t enough, she is indignant that the maid was listening to religious music (of a different faith). So the tape player has been banned too. Just to negate any remote chance of the religious music converting her infant and kindergartener.

Now that all kinds of entertainment or relaxation has been curtailed, the only issue left to tackle is the incessant telephone calls. Once the sim card is flushed down the toilet and the landline is kept under lock&key, I am sure the well-being of the children is assured.

Am I the only one who sees the irony in this?

My eldest sister has a retort whenever people talk to her of ‘putting the maid in place’ – someone who has been with her for nearly 20 years. My sis says, just like the rest of us, her help is a working woman too. And just like the rest of us, the maids/servants/helps have every right to expect and demand respect and equality at the workplace.

So simple.

We are not so much doing a favour to them by giving employment, as we are setting right our own shortcomings. We cannot take good enough care of our home, so we seek help; We need their help to take care of our children so that we can go out and earn; We probably really suck at cooking, so having them around is a better alternative to takeaways; We just cannot be bothered to scrub the crap out of our loos, so…

Be smart and be selfish, even if you can’t be nice. It’s your home and family at stake.

* I don’t even like that word in this context, but couldn’t find a more apt quote.

PS: For all the victimised cry of racism, the Asians are the worst when it comes to class-ism.