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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
Bingo.

Honestly I've no problems with paying someone to do some cleaning once a month, when I can't be bothered to do it myself. I'm lazy and they need the money, it's a win-win for both of us.
 

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I don't see anything wrong with paying people to do certain odd jobs. We work for a living and they do too. The 100AED that you paid these people works out to 1,600INR in India. That's a LOT of money back home.

The maid topic however, is something that is discussed over and over again. I'm not against housekeepers, I employ one too. What really pi$$es me off though is this list created by the psycho b*tches on the other woman forum for their maids while they spend time getting manicures, driking lattes and gossiping over quinoa salad. They're too lazy to make their own beds! :mad:

Every day:
Wash clothes
Ironing
Clean kitchen
Clean bathrooms
Clean Living Area
Make beds
Tidy bedrooms

Clean Living Areas & Bedrooms=
All carpeting vacuumed
Vacuum, mop and dry hard floor surfaces
Stairs, mop and dry hard floor surfaces
Tidy room appearance
Dust furniture and knickknacks (damp cloth)
Make beds
General dusting

Clean Bathrooms=
Tile walls and bathtubs cleaned and disinfected
Shower and shower curtains cleaned and disinfected
Mirrors cleaned and shined
Sink and counters cleaned and disinfected
Floors washed and disinfected
Carpeting vacuumed
Clean and disinfect toilet
Wipe down outside cabinets, drawers and cabinet faces
General dusting

Kitchen Cleaning=
Scrub sink
Clean small countertop appliances
Clean refrigerator exterior
Outside of range hood cleaned
Top and front of range cleaned
Drip pans cleaned
Sinks cleaned and disinfected, chrome shined
Countertops cleaned and disinfected
Clean outside cabinets and cabinet faces and doors
Clean exterior of large appliances
Wipe down inside and outside of microwave
Clean table and chairs
Floors cleaned and mopped
Trash emptied
General dusting
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Weekly Tasks:

Every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday:
Clean furniture
Clean glass tables
Vacuum floors
Wash floors
Clean cooker top
Dust off room

Sunday:
Change sheets on beds, wash and iron them
Change towels, wash and iron them
Wash and iron table cloth / Wash table mats
Water indoor plants
Cover outside furniture
Vacuum carpets

Monday:
Clean and tidy out fridge, throw anything out of date
Wash and disinfect kitchen bin
Clean cooker properly / hob
Clean large appliances
Clean inside of microwave and oven

Tuesday:
Clean inside of windows and ledges below
Dust off study / book shelves

Wednesday:
Water indoor plants

Thursday:
Uncover, clean and arrange outdoor furniture
Clean outdoor areas and doors (entrance, patio, balconies)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monthly Tasks

Once a month:
Check all wardrobes and drawers are clean and tidy.
Clean top of pictures, doors, fridge, mirrors…etc.
Go through kitchen cupboards and clean interior and exterior, make sure anything out of date is disposed of
Wash shower curtains in washing machine
Clean walls with sponge and water
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

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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
I have such an example at my workplace. He complains about being looked down and labeled a 'terrorist' every time he travels to Europe or the USA, but you should see the way he treats others...
 

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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.
"Buying" help house jobs is happening everywhere, and that is reasonable. Its very different here with the "24x7 house maid" / "I do nothing" syndrome that is spreading in this region.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I suppose it is my middle class guilt kicking in; back home I wouldn't have dreamed of paying someone to do these tasks for me, I simply couldn't have afforded it. Hey, I reckon I get over it. I think the guilt spans from the fact I've moved here and am getting paid significantly more than I did back home, and I see these people working for less than the equivalent would be back home. But then I suppose, as you say, it is more than they would be paid back home, so I guess it's all relative!

The other thing I'm struggling with, particularly in elevators.......... is, well do different nationalities have differing attitudes to personal hygiene?
 

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The gross inequalities will be hard to stomach initially and not to say you'll become totally nonchalant about the whole thing at some point, but you will learn to live with it and do your bit to make life that bit more easier for them. Be it through generous tips or just common courtesy.

the guy at my corner store always comes running to me with a basket whenever I walk in and he offers to hold it for me, even if I'm just buying 1-2 things. I politely decline and take the basket myself if need be but they look very uncomfortable seeing me do things for myself, like pick out which carton of juice I want or even carrying the basket! I found this odd until I saw some guy in a huge 4x4 outside the store, honking like his life depended on it, until someone came out, took his order and went back in quickly to get it sorted - as if this was a drive through.

Apparently, this happens all the time. it's shocking and disgusting the first few times..then you just shake your head and carry on.

my guys now have a tip jar which I can see is filling up slowly but surely. I hope it at least gets distributed properly amongst the team. I figure every dirham counts...
 

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No. Nationality is one of the lazier indicators by which you can predict hygiene. Every country has people who are very well groomed and those who are not.
Yes and no.

That said, the 'yes' is more related to the likely socio-economic class of person - which here is often heavily tied to nationality. So it's practically a 'no' anyway.
 
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