Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Live in Maids (Do we need them?)

In Brazil, until recently, everyone in the middle and upper classes had a live-in maid. Most Rio apartments come with maid’s quarters. The live-in maid was an integral part of Brazilian culture until a very few years ago. Then the combination of twenty years without hyperinflation plus social and educational programs had the effect of creating jobs and lifting some 40 million people into the middle class. 

In April of 2013, President Dilma Rousseff signed a law providing, just as in NYC, that the salary for “domestic servants” covers only forty hours work per week; overtime must be paid for more than that. Other labor benefits have also been granted, and the result is that unless you’re rich, you can’t afford a live-in maid in Rio or in NYC. 

Apartments here are no longer built with maid’s quarters; older apartments convert them into pantries or guest bedrooms. Life has changed; life goes on, on the whole for the better. 

I've spoken to many friends in NYC about their hectic lifestyles and they seemed to be getting by with their families.

And in Brazil, I've friends who have Live-in Maids up till 2011, making the transition was not easy as the couple just had a new baby and their parents are getting old, however, with the inflation and small apartments, they managed to get by and in retrospect, it was for the better.

In Singapore, I know many friends who complained about their stressful lives and have Live-in Maids. Many complained about small apartments and high cost of living, but they do not seemed to be able to live without their maids.

My advice, you don't need a maid. A maid is not a necessity. Make the right change in your life. It may be easier than it seems.

-- Ironbowl

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