Why is my time more valuable?

In the six months since we fired B, I have had to balance our family schedule against that of air con service techs, pest control, dry cleaning pick up/drop off, water delivery, and the occasional handyman call.  As with service people the world over, appointments are often made within larger swaths of time; between 10 and 1, after 4, or before noon (as examples).  The problem is that without a helper, I can’t afford such lackadaisical approaches to appointment making.

At some point in dealing with each of my service companies, I’ve had to utter the following sentence “I don’t have a maid, so you need to be on time.”

What bothers me isn’t that I have to be clear that we are not the average family with a maid who can be home all day if need be, waiting for a service person to arrive.  What bothers me is that each of my companies/providers then takes scheduling so much more seriously.

My time is treated as more valuable than that of a maid.

I am uncomfortable with this, even as I appreciate that the companies I do business with are at least trying to help me out.  It feels like a difficult needle to thread.

photo source


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4 Responses to Why is my time more valuable?

  1. katrijn says:

    Maybe it’s not (just) a matter of value – it’s not unreasonable to expect somebody to be at their place of work during the day. And for a domestic worker, that would be the house. Of course, it’s always possible that an errand or a meeting takes you away from your desk (the kitchen sink), but that would be the exception, not the rule. Whereas you are not tied down that way by a work contract, so are expected to be out and about around town. Just a thought 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      It’s difficult to describe. If I were a maid, they would not have even called, the men would’ve just showed up whenever they felt like. Because I complained that I, the mom of the house (for lack of a better term) was the one waiting at home, it was taken more seriously. I think in part it’s because a maid doesn’t have the power to hire them, and I do. I have the ability to enact a contract, to pay, etc. Thus, they don’t care if they waste a maid’s time.

      It reminded me of an incident with B early on. We took a taxi from IKEA to our current apartment (we we had taken possession of, but were not yet living there), then to the serviced apartment, and then to where B was staying with her agency. Apparently the whole “three stops” thing pissed off the taxi uncle, but he waited until I was out of the car before verbally unloading on B the entire drive from our serviced apartment to the agency. Of course, given everything that happened, the veracity of everything she ever told me is now called into question, but…I think it still illustrates the principle.

      • katrijn says:

        We’ve got a saying: “whomever pays gets to decide” (in Dutch there’s just one letter difference between “pays” and “decides”, makes it sound very good – “wie betaalt, bepaalt”.) It does make a lot of sense that would play a huge part. Even though it shouldn’t. (Just as in India, Simon and I would always get served last in restaurants, because we could be counted on not to make a fuss. But then, we didn’t mind lingering over dinner either, so in actual fact a win-win for everyone!)

        Ah well, I just like to go look for the good in people – but I suppose things can’t always be so harmlessly explained away.

      • Crystal says:

        I love that tidbit about dutch! I’ve been using your comment of “strength” to friends who’ve been going through rough times—so much better than anything we usualy say in the US

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