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I’ve had a cleaner on and off since I was maybe 19 or 20 years old and it’s always made me  a little uncomfortable. Perhaps because I come from a lower-middle class to middle class background and it feels like something rich people do, who knows? What I do know is that I feel weird having someone clean my house. Not so weird that I want to fire them and do it myself but, still, the discomfort is hard to ignore.

I always spend a bit of time cleaning up before they get here. You know just the usual – putting clothes away, stacking the dishwasher, tidying the generally scattered shit that accumulates around the house. I apologise for the mess when they arrive, like they’d still have a job if the place was tidy. While they’re here, I feel incredibly guilty for sitting on my ass, even though I know they’re getting paid. One cleaner used to come on days when I always seemed to be hungover and I’d either tell him to clean around me or just barricade myself in the bedroom and tell him it was off limits.

In fact, if I can arrange it, I prefer to be out of the house so I don’t have to interact with them at all. It’s got nothing to do with not wanting to talk to ‘the help’ and everything to do with avoiding the awkwardness I feel about employing someone to clean up my mess. The mess that I, as an adult, am technically responsible for but this is a capitalist society so, for every task someone doesn’t want to do, there’s someone out there that’ll take their money to do it for them.

So really, I shouldn’t feel too bad. My mess and laziness is this person’s livelihood. As long as I’m not living in a total pigsty and don’t treat them like shit then it should be ok, right? Right? Ah, if only feelings could be argued away by logic.

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