Editor’s Letter; Things We Love; Megan Nicol Reed
As I’ve written before, many years ago I worked part-time in a retirement village, as a personal care assistant. The work wasn’t glamorous (it involved helping the residents get dressed, have a shower, sometimes changing their incontinence pads; once I even had to deal with a vaginal prolapse — I know, sorry), but it was emotionally rewarding. I was working there while at uni, and for a while I put my studies on hold to save up for my big OE. I was hungry for cash, and when one of the cleaners left, I said I’d be happy to do that as well. The reaction was decidedly uneasy. The manager thought I shouldn’t’ be doing that “sort” of work and said it was “confusing” for the residents. It made me wonder, why they were so discomforted. Given what I dealt with in my other role, a dirty loo was the least of my worries. Then I realised it was the lack of status we accord cleaning. It probably explains why so many of us feel guilty about hiring someone to clean up for us. But good news just in, research shows the value of paying for anything that gives you more time. So banish that guilt and if the budget allows, do yourself a favour and get a cleaner.