Home > servant or more clothes

servant or more clothes

July 24th, 2009 at 04:24 pm

Sometimes in reading old books I wonder how so many 'middle class' families afforded servants.

In a way it seems they spent more on 'help' and less on clothes, food, dining out, and other simple things.

given a choice I would take a maid over clothes in a minute!

But now a days, clothes are cheap, maids expensive.

I wonder why? From my reading of fiction (so not to be confused with real history) A maid once employed was frequently given, roam, board and some small amount of spending money. Course the details of room/board are a bit different today. That and no one under 18 can seek employment really. So you have to pay a gal (or guy since we are so enlightened these days) who is old enough to start their own family if you want a maid, and they certainly expects to be able to raise a family on that wage.... Considering modern cleaning 'stuff' I would think it is easier to be a maid today than back when you had no vacuum, no washers, and no swiffers. So why do they cost more?

Servants quarters ranged from dorm room type to hovels, to a room in the stables, to a trundle bed in the kids room. Now a days if you had live in help they would expect their own apartment...with AC and cable TV of course.

I think we would have less unemployment if we let folk do unskilled labor for unskilled labor wages. Not to mention paying the neighbor kid to cut my grass shouldn't be a federal offense.

3 Responses to “servant or more clothes”

  1. whitestripe Says:

    here you can get a job when you're 14 and 9 months.

  2. zetta Says:

    Poverty was much more widespread and more severe in the bad old days, so being a servant at subsistance wages + room & board was the best option many people had. The minimum wage and welfare assistance make it possible for the poorest today to have a roof over their heads and food on the table, so not many would choose to do all your cooking and cleaning in exchange for a cot in your garage and leftovers from your dinner.

    I saw a quote by some early 20th centry author who said something like, "I never dreamed I'd ever be so poor I couldn't afford servants, or so rich I'd own an automobile!"

  3. princessperky Says:

    For the record, I don't think servants should be under paid, just that moping a floor doesn't deserve much more than a babysitter wage. (and no reason a 15 year old couldn't do it either)

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
Will not be published.

* Please spell out the number 4.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]