Struggling With Certain Things

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Struggling With Certain Things


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Old 26th October 2013, 06:34 PM
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Default Struggling With Certain Things

I'm new to Dubai, finding lots I like here and really looking forward to settling into a routine and acquiring new favourite haunts.

The one thing I'm really struggling with is the kind of dual society which exists out here. My brother says it's just how it is and to accept it, ignore the inequality and get on with it.

I'm a grown man; I've always ironed my own work shirts; a maid now does that for me; she also changes my bed and cleans my apartment; even washing up any dirty dishes I leave around and generally picking up after me. Yes she gets paid but I feel guilty for this.

The balcony at my place needed cleaning; it was laden with dust; I'm an aable bodied man, well capable of doing it but paid a couple of the concierges 100 AED to do it for me; whilst I sat and watched rugby league..... They seemed happy enough with the pay; I still felt hellishly guilty. back home I'd have done it myself. Simply because it's so cheap here to get other people to do things for you, should you?

Also the maids and nannies in my building step aside to let me go through doors when I stop for them; saying "No, sir. You go." Yet never making eye contact and looking to the floor. I find it really disconcerting.

Am I just being oversensitive?
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Old 26th October 2013, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringBackBuck8 View Post
I'm new to Dubai, finding lots I like here and really looking forward to settling into a routine and acquiring new favourite haunts. The one thing I'm really struggling with is the kind of dual society which exists out here. My brother says it's just how it is and to accept it, ignore the inequality and get on with it. I'm a grown man; I've always ironed my own work shirts; a maid now does that for me; she also changes my bed and cleans my apartment; even washing up any dirty dishes I leave around and generally picking up after me. Yes she gets paid but I feel guilty for this. The balcony at my place needed cleaning; it was laden with dust; I'm an aable bodied man, well capable of doing it but paid a couple of the concierges 100 AED to do it for me; whilst I sat and watched rugby league..... They seemed happy enough with the pay; I still felt hellishly guilty. back home I'd have done it myself. Simply because it's so cheap here to get other people to do things for you, should you? Also the maids and nannies in my building step aside to let me go through doors when I stop for them; saying "No, sir. You go." Yet never making eye contact and looking to the floor. I find it really disconcerting. Am I just being oversensitive?
You took the step to hire these guys, rather than carrying on doing it yourself, so it's clearly not that big a deal to you.

I have to admit that the deference gets to me a bit too. In my book, when it stops getting to me a bit, it'll be time to go home...

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Old 26th October 2013, 07:01 PM
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You can choose to not hire any help.

Or, hire them, pay them fairly, treat them with respect, acknowledge a job well done and give them an extra tip for it, and if you have a full time or part time maid that has been with you for a while and you're happy with them, give them a little extra for Christmas, their birthdays, and just before they go home to see their families.

I think there is nothing wrong with getting extra help if you can afford it and it makes your life better, what is really wrong is the way many people treat them.

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Old 27th October 2013, 03:43 AM
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This is a really common and normal reaction. Some people don't get over it and go home. But we're all here to earn money and we'll all go home or to the next post when the big D is finished. Sharing a bit of your income means others might be able to return home sooner or share their income more broadly. Lastly I don't think this is simply a 2 level society. There is the complete spectrum. While it's easy to see who are at one end of the income continuum most of us are certainly not at the opposite end. We have own 'masters'.
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Old 27th October 2013, 04:10 AM
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Hey, I feel the same! Mainly the deference side...

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Old 27th October 2013, 06:52 AM
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This is a really common and normal reaction. Some people don't get over it and go home. But we're all here to earn money and we'll all go home or to the next post when the big D is finished. Sharing a bit of your income means others might be able to return home sooner or share their income more broadly. Lastly I don't think this is simply a 2 level society. There is the complete spectrum. While it's easy to see who are at one end of the income continuum most of us are certainly not at the opposite end. We have own 'masters'.
Agree totally travertine ... its just give and take relationship... people who are going house work are doing their job, while we do our jobs... the important thing is to respect them, never overburden them, be there when they need help and support, treat them with equality as human beings by never looking down on them.

The money that you give them means a lot to them and their families and they respect you for giving them the opportunity to earn it, so there are no ethical issues attached with getting domestic help in my view.

However you can solve your issue, for sitting idle while they work, by doing community service you are capable of at a different level by sharing your time, capability and energy in a worthy cause.

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Old 27th October 2013, 07:08 AM
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Interesting post. We have always fought against that "servant" lifestyle. It is very "normal" here to have a live-in maid doing all the work for the "madam & sir", but I am strongly convinced that this has a visible major negative on what we become, and how it effects our society, especially children.

A house maid is a luxury, not a necessity. Just because, in this region you can get away with paying extremely low salaries to maids, it seems suddenly that many people cannot live without. Once arriving here it suddenly seems impossible to live without a maid, whereas back home it would be the normal order of the day. Some people even take the maid with them on vacation to enjoy lots of time off from the children; what type of family life is that?

My wife and I live here for a very long time, we live in a large double story house, and we both work for our business: we have no maid. Our house is always clean, we prepare our own breakfast, put the dirty dishes in the washer, make up our own beds, vacuum the house, serve our guests ourselves, we do not have a car cleaner, and we do not have a gardener... besides this, we still have plenty of time to enjoy our life in Dubai. Once a week, we have a person coming doing the ironing for a few hours, and we pay her very well for this.

Having no live-in maid, we enjoy all the privacy we need, and at the end of the day, reflecting what we have accomplished, we feel great!

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Old 27th October 2013, 07:22 AM
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Well, arent their part time helpers/cleaners in the UK as well? Just that they charge higher (last I heard 30 GBP/hour from some agencies).

ANd others have said this as well - no one is FORCING you to hire anyone.
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Old 27th October 2013, 07:27 AM
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Nothing wrong with having people work for you as long as you pay them reasonably well.

The deference thing is annoying but there is a reason it happens. Have you seen people of some particular types get angry at maids/workers for entering a lift with them?

I have, and so to minimize such situations, worker types act meekly.

I have worked in a place where "tea boys" were not allowed in the cafe as "some customers get upset seeing low level people eat in the same place". I am quoting what the manager told me

And here is what is the most hypocritical about it all: the worst perpetrators of such behavior themselves whine and moan if they detect the slightest bit of unpleasant behavior when they go to the West, in other words they want equality for themselves but not for those below them. Go figure that out


The fact you are feeling guilty puts you in a different plane to people who actually treat them bad, so relax and have a clear conscience
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Old 27th October 2013, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budw View Post
Interesting post. We have always fought against that "servant" lifestyle. It is very "normal" here to have a live-in maid doing all the work for the "madam & sir", but I am strongly convinced that this has a visible major negative on what we become, and how it effects our society, especially children.

A house maid is a luxury, not a necessity. Just because, in this region you can get away with paying extremely low salaries to maids, it seems suddenly that many people cannot live without. Once arriving here it suddenly seems impossible to live without a maid, whereas back home it would be the normal order of the day. Some people even take the maid with them on vacation to enjoy lots of time off from the children; what type of family life is that?

My wife and I live here for a very long time, we live in a large double story house, and we both work for our business: we have no maid. Our house is always clean, we prepare our own breakfast, put the dirty dishes in the washer, make up our own beds, vacuum the house, serve our guests ourselves, we do not have a car cleaner, and we do not have a gardener... besides this, we still have plenty of time to enjoy our life in Dubai. Once a week, we have a person coming doing the ironing for a few hours, and we pay her very well for this.

Having no live-in maid, we enjoy all the privacy we need, and at the end of the day, reflecting what we have accomplished, we feel great!
i've seen too many kids with a "leave it to the maid" attitude to clearing up.
This is not an example my children will be getting (here or anywhere!)
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