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Does Having Servants Make Sense Today?  
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 995 times:

For the benefit of non-Americans who may not be familiar with our popular culture, there was in the 1970's a popular television series called The Brady Bunch, a situation comedy in which a middle-class architect, Mike Brady, and his perky wife, Carol, tended to their mixed brood of six lovely children. The series lasted for years and subsequently has rerun indefinitely, creating a pop mythology that still attracts a following.

Living with the Brady family was their kind-hearted maid, whose name escapes me right now.

The days when a typical middle-class family could readily afford a full-time live-in maid, however, seem to have disappeared some time between the 1970's and today. Even back in the 1970's, I don't recall a whole lot of live-in maids among middle-income families.

All this is by way of a question: Does having a live-in maid make much sense now in the typical middle-class family? Perhaps the maid has been replaced by the nanny. You would think that with the popularity of dual-income families, maids would be more necessary than ever, and perhaps nannies also serve as maids.

What say you?

[Edited 2006-01-10 01:36:07]

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineScamp From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 985 times:

I could do without a live-in maid, but don't even consider asking me to give up my butler, footmen, valet, gardner, cook, and chauffeur.


If it pisses off the right, I'm all for it.
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 984 times:

Quoting Scamp (Reply 1):
could do without a live-in maid, but don't even consider asking me to give up my butler, footmen, valet, gardner, cook, and chauffeur.

 

Yeah, I couldn't give them up either. Nor my beautiful live-in Swedish masseuse or her twin.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure why her twin lives here as well.

...Oh, now I remember.

 

[Edited 2006-01-10 01:34:58]

User currently offlineScamp From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 968 times:

If either the masseuse, or her twin, knows a really cute masseur...send him my way. Live-in or not.


If it pisses off the right, I'm all for it.
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 965 times:

Quoting Scamp (Reply 3):
If either the masseuse, or her twin, knows a really cute masseur...send him my way. Live-in or not.

I wish I could; it's so sad, but neither of them speak English, and I don't speak Swedish.

But somehow, we manage to communicate the essentials. Quite well, in fact. Imagine that.

 

[Edited 2006-01-10 01:44:36]

User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 961 times:

Depends on how much time parents are willing to put into raising their children and how often they have to be at work as opposed to being parents. The way children act these days, I'd rather see a family pay a live-in nanny to cook, clean, and raise the children than letting them run rampant. Then again, not many people can afford that, even your typical middle class family.

UAL


User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 959 times:

I'd say maid service is more or less a necessity for the busy types who can't stand filth...

...but couldnt deal with a live-in. Would prefer a service, preferably a surface-clean in the morning and a deep-clean in the evening.


User currently offlineScamp From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 957 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 4):
I wish I could; it's so sad, but neither of them speak English, and I don't speak Swedish.

But somehow, we manage to communicate the essentials. Quite well, in fact. Imagine that

How touching...stop, or you'll have me in tears.  wink 



If it pisses off the right, I'm all for it.
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 952 times:

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 5):
The way children act these days, I'd rather see a family pay a live-in nanny to cook, clean, and raise the children than letting them run rampant.

The upper half of the middle class can definitely afford nannies, as can be seen in the case of the famous "nanny problem" that derailed one of Clinton's appointees during a confirmation hearing. In fact, illegal alien nannies or paid-under-the-table nannies are rumored to be a not-uncommon phenomenon for those who work inside the Beltway, or who reside in the tonier places around the country, like L.A.'s West Side. (Could this be the reason that much of Hollywood opposes further restrictions on illegal immigration, I wonder?)

Anyway, the middle class is hardly becoming much wealthier relative to high-income earners, and I think we can safely classify live-in maids as mostly a thing of the past where most Americans are concerned.

[Edited 2006-01-10 01:57:26]

User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 949 times:

When I was growing up we always had two household "servants" living in, plus a "man" who would come in once a month or so to do heavy cleaning.

I currently have a maid who only comes five days a week for 4 hours a day, but also helps serving when I have larger dinners.
But, my house is no where near the size of my parents, but I could not do with out help.

I think the statistics are homes over 5K sq. ft need a housekeeper to be kept up.


User currently offlineLHMARK From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 947 times:

Of course you need servants! What kind of crazy question is that?

Signed, JCS17



"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offline3DoorsDown From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 376 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 940 times:

What's wrong with servants if you can afford them? All the illegals need jobs too.  stirthepot 

3DD


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 937 times:

Btw, the maid's name in the Brady Bunch was Alice.

User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 930 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 12):
Btw, the maid's name in the Brady Bunch was Alice.

Yeah, that's what I thought, and I actually did think about identifying her by that name, but then I got all confused because I thought that that might actually be the name of the actress who plays her. Also, I thought that the name "Alice" was far too obvious, since it's also associated with another, completely different pink-collar professional (waitress) of television fame, Alice of the subsequent TV series of the same name (based on Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore).

Ah, much confusion on my part.

Thanks for the information.  

[Edited 2006-01-10 02:07:31]

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 874 times:

In todays world with both parents working & no Grandparents around A Maid servant is very necessary where kids are concerned.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineAerorobNZ From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7193 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 865 times:

It makes perfect sense, if it keeps someone happily employed then it seems that it is a win-win situation. You get work done and more spare time, and they get work .

User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 864 times:

Mrs Jafa says she would find a cook very convenient but thinks a nanny is a bad idea for a coupla reasons, the answer to one would be to employ an old ugly one!!

User currently offlineAR1300 From Argentina, joined Feb 2005, 1740 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 860 times:

well, it's a common thing down here.
Cecilia has been with us for the past 9 years.She gets 500 pesos a month(wich are a hell of a lot for her family in Peru)and has her own room, with bathroom and all the meals and wathever she wants, one free day a week, or more if she asks to.Also we pay for her medical insurance.
We ''legaled her up'', cause she was illegal.
She's part of the family now.
She went to peru for good, but after a few weeks she came back.So i guess she relly likes it.


Mike



They don't call us Continental for nothing.
User currently offlineBrendan03 From Australia, joined Aug 2005, 951 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 856 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Living with the Brady family was their kind-hearted maid, whose name escapes me right now.

Her name was Alice, And I don't agree with nannys or maids, The family should work together to do the jobs that the maid is required to do, Parents should be spending time with their children, not hiring a nanny, I understand that working wouldn't give you much time with the kids but you spend what you can with them...



Coolier than thou.
User currently offlineAR1300 From Argentina, joined Feb 2005, 1740 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 853 times:

Quoting Brendan03 (Reply 18):
The family should work together to do the jobs that the maid is required to do

Fine.You do the toilets.And remeber, Grandpa lost his aiming.

Mike



They don't call us Continental for nothing.
User currently offlineBrendan03 From Australia, joined Aug 2005, 951 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 851 times:

Quoting AR1300 (Reply 19):
Fine.You do the toilets

Not a problem, I know how to clean...
Perhaps I should give you a crash course in how to scrub a toilet bowl...

[Edited 2006-01-11 09:20:48]


Coolier than thou.
User currently offlineAR1300 From Argentina, joined Feb 2005, 1740 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 848 times:

It is not a problem of knowing, is a problem of willing...  Wink


Mike



They don't call us Continental for nothing.
User currently offlineFlyingbabydoc From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 845 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
All this is by way of a question: Does having a live-in maid make much sense now in the typical middle-class family? Perhaps the maid has been replaced by the nanny. You would think that with the popularity of dual-income families, maids would be more necessary than ever, and perhaps nannies also serve as maids.

Both my wife and I were born and raised in Brazil. It is still very common for every middle-class family to have one or two maids ("empregadas - assistants") at home, although they generally do not live with the family anymore (like they used to).

Now living in Europe, we find that this is a habit that is difficult to let go, yet not affordable here - the maximum we can get is someone to clean the house once a week. However, if it were up to my wife, we would certainly employ someone for the whole day. And not only a nanny, but someone who would take care of the daily chores.

I strongly believe that these employees are the reason that so many Brazilian women were able to have a career and be successful professionally.

Just my opinion.

Alex


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13116 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 828 times:

The typical household doesn't need as much help as it used to. The growth of machines to do a lot of housework, including automatic washers, dishwashers, microwave ovens, automatic central heating, automatic water heaters, vacuum cleaners and the like have drastically reduced the need for others to help with various chores. We have more pre-prepared and convenience foods today that require less preparation work for your eating. People today are less fussy about cleaneness as they used to be as well as less soot from heating systems, different and lower maintence materials used in the typical home today and the like requiring less cleaning and maintence.
Where you see the greatest growth today for special household assistants is with assisting the elderly at home, often subsidized by government funds.


User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 820 times:

I'll ask the Butler when he's finished tying the maid to the bed Big grin

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 25, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 807 times:

Another wonderful set of comments. I'm struck by the difference between South America, on one hand, and North America and Europe, on the other, in that it's common in middle-class families in Latin America to have live-in maids.

Part of it has to do with the availability of labor, I think. The upper half of the middle class here in the U.S. can avail itself of relatively cheap labor from Third World immigration. The middle class can easily afford regular gardening services; that's part of why Southern California lawns are so well kept. Even with the cheapness of certain kinds of labor, however, while the wealthy and the upper middle class can afford live-in help, the middle class generally cannot.

I also appreciate the insights on the modern conveniences that are available. I agree that food preparation, among other things, takes up only a small fraction of the time it used to. Perhaps we can credit the TV dinner for the decline in the need for live-in maids!


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