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Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's…

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive (2019)

by Stephanie Land, Barbara Ehrenreich (Foreword)

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3282252,429 (3.7)12
A journalist describes the years she worked in low-paying domestic work under wealthy employers, contrasting the privileges of the upper-middle class to the realities of the overworked laborers supporting them.

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» See also 12 mentions

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This would be a great book club read! Stephanie Land tells a great, real story of life for those in 'service jobs'. ( )
  EllenH | Oct 7, 2019 |
Stephanie Land, the survivor of a toxic family, wound up pregnant while in an abusive relationship. Escaping from that relationship, Stephanie became a low-wage maid to support herself and her daughter Mia. Despite her struggles with poverty, she manages to complete several courses towards a university degree, never giving up on her dream of becoming a writer. Stephanie describes the harsh world of cleaning ladies with honesty and clarity. This excellent book should be on everyone’s reading list.
  Kathleen.Jones | Oct 2, 2019 |
Ever wonder about the magic cleaning fairy you hired? This will make you think twice about the lives of the underpaid, overworked, often exploited working class, specifically those who work in housekeeping/maid service sector.
It did get a bit woe-is-me at times but it’s worth reading about her life story. ( )
  Reyesk9 | Sep 23, 2019 |
This is quite a book. The two things Stephanie Land had going for her were a strong work ethic and hope. When I read Lena Dunham’s book, I was kind of disgusted at her lack of work ethic. If she was working on a project she liked, she was all gung ho, but when she worked at something she considered beneath her, she was a terrible employee. Land never thought she’d end up homeless working at physically exhausting house cleaning jobs to support her and her child, but that’s what happened, and when she cleaned, she cleaned. The work made her physically ill, the environment made her daughter physically ill, but she gave it her all. And the reason she was able to do so was that, even at her lowest, she had hope for better things - for a better place to live, for more education, for a happy childhood for her daughter and for fulfilling work for herself. One of the reasons that she could maintain that hope was that she had all kinds of government assistance - even though the process of getting and maintaining it was demoralizing. She also, as an extrovert, was able to make friends who helped her. As alone as she felt, someone always came around to offer a little help. She was also assertive enough and intelligent enough to find resources she needed. So many people in poverty lack much of what she had - they don’t have the guidance so they don’t have the hope. Without it, you can’t get out from under because the slightest misfortune can turn what little progress you have made into disaster. I see why Obama recommended this one ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Sep 19, 2019 |
Land writes beautifully about being trapped in low-wage jobs and the residue of an abusive relationship, with not a penny to spare or a day to give to, say, a child’s illness without a further spiral. She’s a sharp observer of the houses she cleans and the miseries and happinesses of the wealthy or at least not-desperate people who paid her (or her employer) to clean. Her story is only as happy as it is (which is to say, it ends on an upwards trajectory) because she was actually able to access government benefits like subsidized housing, food stamps, and college assistance, and because she had friends—some made online—who could occasionally chip in, rather than themselves being just as desperate. ( )
  rivkat | Aug 16, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephanie Landprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ehrenreich, BarbaraForewordmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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I've learned that making a living is not the same as making a life
—Maya Angelou.
For Mia:
I love you
See you in the
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My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter.
Povert was like a stagnant pond of mud that pulled at our feet and refused to let go.
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