Thursday, April 7, 2016

Gossiping Domestic Workers... They Don't Represent Us

"...the staff gift-wrapping a present for Ms. Lewinsky, Mrs. Clinton calling Mr. Clinton a 'goddamn bastard,'... President Kennedy's adventures with secretaries in the swimming pool..."    - Wall Street Journal

Curiously, there are people within our industry promoting the latest domestic household expose', "The Residence."  Although I like to think of myself as articulate, this astonishes me beyond words. I realized, however, those doing so are new to our industry, and they have not been around long enough to understand the collective damage put forth onto everyone working in domestic service whenever household employers read yet another account of domestic workers who just could not resist publicly disclosing the private details of their employer's home.

"More than 100 interviews were conducted with current and former White House staffers who spoke mostly on the record - how else to get credit? - and surrendered what was theirs to protect.  Cheap tricks for the circus crowd?"   - The Washington Post

Domestic staff employers, the majority of whom are already on edge about the potential for their staff to dish the household dirt and having their attorneys draw up non-disclosure agreements for everyone to sign, don't need more updated reminders every few years that those NDAs are not worth the paper they're printed on, if one of their staff succumbs to grabbing onto their fifteen minutes of fame and decides to lift the household curtain for all the world to see.

But could an estate owner open up their home to the media and expose details of their family and estate? Absolutely! It's their home, and they can be as private or public as they choose; just look at reality TV shows in which the family invites the cameras in.

Could a domestic worker act in that same capacity and spill the dirt to the media? Absolutely not... no matter how much of a family member they've deluded themselves into believing they've become. 

If so-called professional service providers at such a notable residence will disclose household information about the Presidents of The United States, their families, and the sacred space in which they reside and raise their children - people who would have been reasonable to assume they were living in a safe space - what is left in our industry that can be considered trustworthy?  

Or for that matter, "professional"?

They tarnish us, yet they do not represent us.
I suppose that my take on this issue is because that I, like most domestics who respect the privacy of their employers, do not disclose information regarding what is seen within the walls of an employers' homes, because:

anyone who employs domestic staff has a very reasonable expectation that no information regarding any activity which takes place inside of their home - regardless of whether that activity be judged by anyone to be good, bad, or indifferent - will be discussed with anyone outside of their home. Simple.

Sadly, some people in our profession break this trust with their estate.

And although their behavior tarnishes the rest of us - they do not represent the rest of us.

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