MAILBAG: They Threw Out Your Trash. Don’t Treat Them The Same Way

I wanted to bring up an issue that I came across firsthand yesterday. I had a new cleaning lady come to my house for several hours. Before her shift began, I offered her something to drink and told her that she should feel free to help herself to a drink or any food lying around if she feels hungry or thirst. Nothing special, just human decency.

Over the course of the next few hours, the lady had to be told what I wanted done and shown how to do certain tasks. Being that she didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Spanish, we used Google Translate to converse. It was slow, but it was worth it, because she did a great job.

After she was paid and left, I sent her a simple text thanking her for coming by. What she sent back both troubled and saddened me.

Here’s the Google translation of her message: “Thank you very much, you are very kind and I liked that a lot before. I had worked with other people and they didn’t offer me any water and they don’t have patience either because I don’t speak English… thank you very much.”

Seriously? There are people who won’t offer water to people who are coming to their house and working hard for them? How is this even possible? And about having patience: she doesn’t speak English, sure. But you don’t speak Spanish, and she’s trying to help you. Cleaning help isn’t a one-way street. You’re helping them by giving them a job, but they’re also tidying up your house. Doesn’t that deserve a little appreciation?

I’m not saying everyone is terrible; I am sure the overwhelming majority of cleaning help are treated very well. However, the fact that anyone is walking out of the homes of my brethren feeling like they weren’t treated like the garbage they just threw out for you, hurts me.

Please, if you have cleaning help, treat them well. It’s not so much to ask for.

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  1. You should have your wife text her. It’s not appropriate for a man to be texting compliments to the cleaning lady.


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