Tuesday, October 16, 2012
NANCY & DENNIS: TRYING OUT THE MAIDS' VACUUMS
I had an interesting experience while at a business conference with Nancy recently. I may have mentioned that i am looking for a new vacuum cleaner as the one we now have isn't in good condition. Since I'll be the user of this small appliance, Nancy is giving me a significant say in the buying decision and I've been doing a lot of research.
As Nancy and I were walking back to our room at the hotel I noticed two housekeeping carts, each with a vacuum that I was interested in. I stopped to look at them and asked one of the maids about her vacuum, saying that I was interested in possibly buying one. Patriarchal conditioning at work again, the woman started to tell Nancy how much she liked the vacuum. Of course Nancy told her that I was the one using the vacuum in our home, a statement that I immediately validated. The maid seemed surprised, but I assured her that I did the vacuuming at home and was curious about her Kirby vacuum.
The maid apparently liked the idea of a man doing the vacuuming, and, taking a more assertive approach, instructed me to try her vacuum by sweeping the room she was working on. “Here,” she said, “see how it works, sweep this room.”
"Yes, ma'am!” I responded.
Just as I was about to start, a second maid came out of the room across the hall that she was cleaning and asked her colleague what was going on. The first maid explained, and the second maid, with a skeptical, insisted I try her vacuum, too.
Both were clearly surprised when I started vacuuming. Then, seeing an opportunity for a rare, but well-deserved brake, both maids went out on the balcony for a smoke while I vacuumed four rooms. The extended tryout gave me a good feel for each model of vacuum and taught the maids that some men love vacuuming.