Subservience

Every morning, the cleaning lady who is in charge of cleaning the entire block starts work at about 8am in the morning. She starts by clearing all the rubbish from the communal toilets, then sweeps and mops the area. She breaks for lunch, and then washes the toilet proper.

I’ve been observing the cleaning lady for awhile. Mainly her cleaning schedule so I know when not to decide to take a shower and get in her way of cleaning. I mean, her job’s tough enough why make it worse right?

I realise the cleaning lady has this very strange habit. Whenever I walk past her, she would make way for me to past. Sounds fair enough, except for the fact that she pushes herself allll the way to the side of the path that it seemed like she didn’t want me to get too close to her, for fear that I would accidentally bump into her.

Which, was pretty strange to me. I later just reconciled with the fact that perhaps she feels that since she’s been cleaning all day she would tend to be sweaty and maybe dirty, and hence it wouldn’t be so nice to transfer the dirt to us who were all dressed up for classes (yes! I dress up for classes).

But this morning, on my way to the shower, I bumped into her again. This time, she was clearing out the rubbish from the previous day. I looked at her and smiled. She smiled back.

There was something in her eyes that seemed to convey her inferiority. Like to her, just because we were undergrads we were somewhat superior to her, the cleaning lady. It was the kind of look a maid or servant would give to their employers. Ok, granted, I have no idea how maids feel of their employers nowadays, and I don’t want to use the master and slave analogy, so there.

I know I’m writing this in the risk of coming off sounding like some elitist bitch who thinks that just because she can afford to get into University the world should kowtow to her.  But that isn’t what I’m trying to say.

What I am trying to say here is that, I’m bewildered by her actions and the way she looked at me this morning. Does she really think that just because I can afford to go to University, I am better than her?

I think sometimes, just like how people don’t always realise that they should be happy with what they have, people don’t realise that, no matter who they are, be it some CEO sitting in some huge-ass office in the CBD, or the lady who mops the lobby in the same building, there really is no difference, is there?

Is there really such a thing as being better than someone else? Richer yes, smarter yes, but better? Really? I mean, come on, the cleaning lady cleans the toilet for goodness sake, without her around I’d have to live in filth because some inconsiderate asses have no idea how to make use of communal facilities. So am I really better than her?

Am I really?

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2 Comments

  1. No. Short & sweet.

  2. actually, there are still people who really still think that they’re superior to others just because they’re high-ranking, rich or more experienced.

    it’s inevitable. we just need to show them who’s the real boss.


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