Friday, February 21, 2014


i learned a number of housekeeping skills from the women in Nancy's family, and look back on my many learning sessions with fondness. Unfortunately, the women in Nancy's family weren't necessarily concerned with speed and efficiency, only quality.

After we were married with a priority placed on Nancy's career, more and more—and eventually all—of the housekeeping fell to me. Additionally, there were the routine shopping and volunteer work that I did at the Women’s Center. Trying to balance even my secondary career with my domestic duties, i started falling behind and obviously needed some help. That help came in the form of training at both a large hotel and with a woman-run residential maid service. In both instances, quality had to be balanced with speed and efficiency; it was an economic imperative. Nancy's mother, Sue, knew a hotel housekeeping supervisor and a Woman who ran a maid service; both were always looking for help due to the high turnover, which was mainly attributed to the grueling pace. Initially Sue lined up a job for me at a hotel and later with the maid service.

Rhoda, the supervisor at the hotel, was a tough-as-nails woman. She was quick to chastise Her maids if their work wasn't up to Her expectations—and things seldom met Her expectations; and if they did, She'd raise the bar. Rhoda agreed to take me on so long as Sue could promise that i'd work regular hours for at least six months and that i'd recognize that She and “her girls” ran the show; whatever She and her girls said was law!

While Rhoda was my overall boss, she assigned me to one of Her maids, who was responsible for my on-the-job training. The maids appreciated having the help but didn't like having to stop and correct or instruct me. They did enjoy having someone to boss around and did so with about as much energy as did Rhoda. My helping them took some of the pressure off the maids and gave them more frequent opportunities to go out on the balcony to grab a much deserved smoke.

Each maid was responsible for cleaning 12-15 rooms a day—more if we didn't have a lot of guests checking out—plus common areas. It was tough work, but i learned so many lessons that helped me get more efficient at home. I cut the time it took me to dress a bed by over half and learned how to plan my work. It took a lot of yelling and screaming on the part of the maids and Rhoda. but after a few weeks I was elevated to “maid” status and given my own block of rooms, which I cleaned on weekends and whenever else I might be available. My work was all subject to Rhoda's inspection and approval, and no matter how good I thought i was, she always found fault and made me do it better. She was in my face if things weren't right and made it a point to give me all of the “problem rooms” as a rest for her girls and to teach me a bit of humility.

As for pay? Well, i really didn't need to be paid since this was a learning experience, but i received minimum wage that went home to Nancy and Sue. i was required to turn over any tips i found in my rooms to Rhoda, and, on Sue's advice, i gave Rhoda and my supervising maid a gratuity every week. i kept this job for eight months and even today occasionally go back and put on an apron when Rhoda finds herself needing help. i will tell you this: a maid's work is hard and most maids are under-appreciated.

The maid service job was also a training that Sue arranged. A Woman friend
ran a local maid service that cleaned residential homes. Again, I worked this
assignment on weekends, going out in a crew with four Ladies. The supervisor drove the van and inspected the work. My supervisor was, by her own admission, “a real bitch,” maybe even more “tough” than Rhoda, if that's possible. She knew of my FLR home life and had me address all of her Ladies formally, i.e., “Yes Ma'am!” She made sure I did the tough jobs as well as always cleaning toilets. It was break for her crew and She and Her Girls loved lording over me – teaching me humility as well as honing my housecleaning skills. Rhoda was a strict disciplinarian, but that experience was nothing like working on the maid service crew. The supervisor would always be driving us—and specifically me!—to improve on the schedule. “Speed and quality” were her watchwords, often yelled out. She'd always be watching. And if correction was required, She would be in my face to let me know what I did wrong.
Punishment? Infractions usually cost me cigarette breaks, or she might make me smoke while standing outside in frigid weather. And if i got done early with a task, she'd find more for me to do by stripping a bed and having me fix it up. All said, i learned a lot; when you pull up to a totally disheveled house and leave it immaculate an hour and a half later, you're doing something right! And on weekends we usually did five or six houses a day.

In addition to teaching me to be an efficient housekeeper, these two jobs also strengthened my Feminist convictions. men should have to do such work, so that they can appreciate what maids and other pink collar workers do for a living. most men i know couldn't keep up with their female colleagues.


Anonymous said...

Really an incredible experience, Dennis. It's an experience more men should have. There's no better way to appreciate women that to do "women's work" for a while. Sounds like it was a growth experience in a lot of ways.

My wife has been teaching me to do laundry and domestic chores. It can be exhausting--and she has pretty high standards too--but I get a lot of satisfaction from serving her. More guys should be doing housework

Anonymous said...

I think it also taught you to listen and to obey instructions even when they were shouted and screamed at you. You learnt to get over any jitters from having them so loud and in your face and not to put up any resistance to their wise instruction or admonishments.


Mark Remond said...

From dennis, to femsup just above:

Listen and obey, the two most important words a man should learn to do.

One never gets over the jitters when confronted by an aggressive and demanding Woman. It's funny, but as a submissive a whole host of emotions go through ones mind. In one instance it is very fulfilling to be confronted with Feminine power, power that accentuates your own inferiority. But there's also a fear of that power and how it could be unleashed. When Rhoda or the cleaning service Boss Lady were in my face it might also be combined with a kick or slap - often deserved - as a means of motivation.

Mark Remond said...

another response from dennis to femsup:

Thanks for your post. i agree, men should be doing more housework, particularly as traditional gender roles are reversed and Women leave the home for the workforce. As for me, i enjoy working with and for Women and enjoy helping properly motivated men learn housekeeping skills.

Now that your Wife has trained you, you should be taking over more of the chores freeing Her for other pursuits of Her choosing.

Eust said...

Although I do think that women at the workplace should clearly demonstrate that they're in charge, I don't think that should be done in the form of a physical harassment such as slapping or kicking.
Women have to change the typical male mindset (which is often chauvinist) and make men adopt a new way of thinking, in the lines of 'I better do what she says because she's smarter and more capable, and we can all profit form her leadership'.
This, of course, does include stripping him of his male ego and teaching him a bit of humility, but that humility should come from his respect towards her. And that respect should come from him realizing that she's truly superior (better educated, more intelligent, expert in her field of work etc).
Yelling and aggressiveness may achieve results fast, but they can also cause male frustration and unproductivity. Simply put, the modern workplace should be the place where both genders acknowledge and accept their (now reversed) roles.
What do others think of this? Dennis, what's it like at your workplace?

Anonymous said...

If a male can still perform and get things done after a telling off that makes his sphincter tighten and twitch then all the better. The telling off serves to avoid nagging which is only prolonged torment. We need to be told fast and in easy terms for us to understand just what needs to be done.

There is also the therapeutic effect of getting anger out or just exercising power and authority that is good for both the Woman and the person being rectified.

Slaps to the face are a wake up and satisfying to the person doing the slapping. Kicks placed where the Goddess has purposefully made males week are also acceptable as long as the woman in paramount power approves.


Mark Remond said...

dennis responds to eust 2 above:

my professional workplace is a Woman-owned software development company in which Women are increasingly in charge by way of the high levels of education and intellect they bring. Add to this Women's innate ability to manage and motivate creative people and one sees why more and more Women are in charge in the workplace.

All too many men don't accept this, though, and appropriate techniques have to tune men into new workplace realities and be fully productive. In my professional workplace, this is done through training, job assignments, and having troublesome men work under particularly assertive Female managers, Women who aren't afraid of giving any man an in-his-face dressing down by one of the Women. These are great learning experiences for all involved.

Now the aggressiveness you refer to was NOT in my professional workplace. These were jobs specifically arranged for me as a way to learn to be more efficient in doing my household tasks. The Women who managed me in these jobs were effective and taught me a lot in a short amount of time - they had to, speed and skill were essential to their businesses! Their aggressive tactics weren't punishments so much as 'motivation' to do better when They felt i fell short in my performance. The Women's teaching methodology worked well. i not only learned house working skills but learned a bit of humility and was put in my proper place at the bottom of a Female-run hierarchy. Every Woman's teaching approach is different but Her objective is always the same, to effectively teach men a needed skill and to cultivate an attitude of respect and obedience as far as his view of Women is concerned.

Once men learn that their place is subordinate to Women and act accordingly the need for 'motivation' diminishes.

i hope this clarifies.


Anonymous said...

dennis, I hope you will speak more about female superiority and male inferiority. Not much of this has been discussed on this forum. I know it’s controversial, but it’s an idea that’s slowly coming out of the closet as we see women outpace men in all sorts of area. It seems that most, perhaps all, men know or fear deep down inside of themselves that they are inferior to women (and I think women may feel the same). It’s a hidden type of knowledge. That may be the reason why men have tried to control women so much. Men also may project their own sense of inferiority on women; they treat women the way they secretly want themselves to be treated. But, when men accept that feeling inside, they find it easier to serve women as subordinates, to worship them, and to accept the need for female values to be dominant.

There may be another factor involved. As many have recognized, men are notorious followers and crave discipline. Inferiority may be simply the need to accept hierarchy.

I think it is actually a bit strange that there is so much resistance to this idea of male inferiority. As individuals we all recognize that some people are better at certain things than ourselves and normally we have no trouble recognizing it and according these people their due. Why can’t men do this with women? If we did, a lot of things would fall into place. men would be at peace as Women's subordinates. I would like to hear your thoughts on how you accepted female superiority and anything else you have to say along these lines.


Eust said...

Thank you for the reply, Dennis. It's exciting to hear that your company has already introduced certain techniques to help men adapt to their new, often subordinate status. Judging by your description, your company seems to be very progressive and pro-feminist. Please do write more about this at some point in the future.

Anonymous said...

In response to Eust I think that whether a male is subject to physical discipline at work would be up to his Female owner. If his owner is also his boss She may discipline him as She pleases and may give authority to Her Female co-workers to discipline Her property as She thinks is appropriate. If his Female owner rents him out to another Businesswoman She can negotiate with the Businesswoman as what discipline She thinks is appropriate or She can state that She does not want other Women disciplining Her property and perhaps may offer to discipline him for any workplace infractions when She gets him back home. His Female boss may send a note home to his Female owner. However, if a stray unowned male is fortunate enough to serve a Female boss at work he has no rights and should submit to whatever discipline She thinks is appropriate. (lawslave)

Mark Remond said...

dennis responds to Anonymous just above:

Nancy and i have written about these subjects you raise in past posts. You may want to look up:

Jan. 18, 2013 - Women in Charge - A Changing Workplace
Dec. 7, 2012 - Twilight of the Patriarchy
Oct. 21, 2012 - Serving Carol
Oct. 3,, 2012 - Working at a Woman-Owned Business