Do you know your househelp’s struggles, aspirations? | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

I woke up to the loud buzzing of leaf blowers.

“It’s Monday,” I thought.

“There should be lawnmowers out there.”

I looked out the window and saw a team of workers out on our street blowing dead leaves off the pavement. Their tools looked menacing, like weapons of war. The sound they make can get annoying. I would rather hear the scratch and swish of our good old walis tingting.

Yesterday we had sunshine and blue skies. We went out for a breath of fresh air. It was lovely. The scenery around us is quickly turning from beautiful to breathtaking.

Autumn is finally here and the trees are turning. By the way, this phenomenon occurs when summer ends and daylight hours are shorter; then the temperature drops. The leaves stop making food. Chlorophyll breaks down. Green starts to dissipate and suddenly the yellow and red pigments start showing off.

Wow! I didn’t know all that. Did you?

Weather forecasters predict a short fall season this year. Too bad. It means that winter will be long and could be fierce. Who knows, it may even snow in Georgia. I am glad I will be back home by then.

Senior ladies who lunch

We drove in three cars to the Lazy Dog, a restaurant just a short drive from where we live. I think we took up all their handicap parking spaces.

There were 14 of us, all seniors. The place is spacious, comfortable except for its unusually heavy chairs. The menu is interesting. One of their starters that day was crispy fried deviled eggs. Looked delicious. I must try it next time.

The main attraction of this brand-new establishment is that customers are allowed to bring their dogs to lunch with them. There is an enormous covered patio for the pooches and their masters. And yes, they have a dog menu.

There were no dogs when we were there. I think that feature started the following week.

What will they think of next?

Anyway, it was a delightful gathering. The ladies were all dressed up for the occasion. The most senior of the group was 92. She has a lovely smile, is elegant, still attractive and she’s “all there.” “She has a boyfriend,” someone whispered, giggling. And I think that’s just wonderful.

Essayist-novelist Anaïs Nin once said, “Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.”

Several of the ladies ordered Bloody Marys. I don’t remember the last time I had one of those. I think it was ages ago, to chase a hangover. These were humongous, with a celery stick as a stirrer and huge green olives and spicy green beans to munch on. Our “designated driver” agreed there would be no seconds.

I love how these ladies take care of one another. They all live in the same community and have developed staunch relationships through the years, in good times and bad.

At the lunch, I noticed how one of them who suffers from memory issues depended on the lady seated next to her to remind her of what she ordered for lunch. There was never a sign of impatience even when she had to do it several times. There was only kind and thoughtful concern. That’s what friends should be all about.

TV time

I have been enjoying reruns of “Undercover Boss,” a heart-warming Emmy award-winning TV show about corporate executives who, in clever disguise, take low-level jobs in their own companies to find out what happens behind the scenes, how things really work in their businesses and how they can improve on their present methods.

With the help of hidden cameras, the show provides a clear and candid view of the big boss’ painful adjustment as he transitions from top honcho to low-income employee.

We watch as he discovers how workers feel about their jobs and what they dream about. He meets their families and listens to stories of their triumphs and heartbreaks.

As a welcome bonus, the employer learns about himself, as a boss and a human being.

In every show there is an inevitable “aha” moment for this big executive in disguise who comes face to face with real life as his workers live theirs. He feels chastened, humbled and becomes fired up with a desire to change the situation and make it better for his people.

It is a reality show with a lot of heart. Quite emotional.

I wonder if this show format would work here. Probably not. I can’t think of anyone I know high up in the local business community who would even entertain the idea, much less be willing to suffer the discomforts of the working class.

Let’s tweak it a little then and take it home to where we live. No need for a disguise. No need to go under cover.

How well do we know our household helpers? Would we trade places with any one of them, even for a day? Do we know anything about their families, their struggles, aspirations, where and how they live? Do we have the foggiest idea of what their life is like?

Question: Would it change anything in our attitude if we did?

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