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Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS - MICHELLE HUR­LEY

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.

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