Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only ask one time of year, but when we do, we mean it. Without your support we can’t continue to bring you the very best material, day-in and day-out. CounterPunch is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. Help make sure it stays that way.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Cleaning Lady

by Philip Farruggio

She works hard for her money, as the song relates. She’s the cleaning lady, the one who gets on her knees and scrubs your toilet of all the things that none of us would ever wish to look at, let alone touch. She mops and dusts and vacuums your house for $40-$50 bucks, then hurries off to her next job, if she’s so lucky.

She does this 5 days a week, pulling in anywhere from $400 -$500, minus her supplies and gas, and sweat and aches. Then she has to factor in the nanny who watches her boy so she can work at all. That’s another $150 off the top. Even still, her 2-year college degree could never get her that much in some white collar job–not with today’s economy. So, she’s the “cleaning lady”, trading in respectability for some green.

She’s got a husband and a baby boy. The husband works too; the baby laughs and cries a lot. Sometimes her husband cries about not having health insurance. He’s a craftsman, skilled enough to pull in the same as his wife; not skilled enough to get his boss to pay for health insurance for the crew. Not too many craftsman jobs out there now, so his bargaining power is reduced to a whimper. Like most Florida businesses, its a non- union shop, so the benefits are one week a year paid vacation, and a few sick days and holidays, and that’s it.

The cleaning lady joins her husband in having no health insurance. Simply cannot afford $400 a month for decent coverage. They did get some for the baby, thank goodness. She, however, was not so lucky. Had a stomach attack a few months back. Between the emergency room, the tests and the specialist, cost her $1,500 bucks, money she did not have. She pays it off, the bill, a little each month, and curses a system that does not look out for the little people, the one’s who clean our toilets.

The other day, one of her clients told her some startling information. She could not believe it, until she saw it right there in the Business Week magazine. It said that, on average, top executives in U.S. corporations earn over 500 times more than their lowest paid full-time employee! 500 times! She could not comprehend how someone could make that much money, and not care that she and her husband could not afford health coverage. She wondered if rich people could even go to church and worship a Jesus who spoke of sharing one’s wealth, not hoarding it. “Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to go to heaven!”

It was getting late. She had to get to the sitter and pick up the kid, go to Publix and grab something for dinner. Mustn’t forget the Pampers too. Then she began to laugh, the laugh one creates to push aside the anger, and the frustration. This was Tuesday, cleaning day. She never got to do her house. It would simply have to wait, like everything else it seemed.

Philip Farruggio, son of a longshoreman, is “Blue Collar Brooklyn” born, raised and educated (Brooklyn College, Class of ’74). A former progressive talk show host, he runs a mfg. rep. business and writes for many publications. He lives in Port Orange, FL. You can contact Mr. Farruggio at e-mail: brooklynphilly@aol.com.

 

 

Philip Farruggio, son of a longshoreman, is “Blue Collar Brooklyn” born, raised and educated (Brooklyn College, Class of ’74). A former progressive talk show host, Philip runs a mfg. rep. business and writes for many publications. He lives in Port Orange, FL. You can contact Mr. Farruggio at e-mail: brooklynphilly@aol.com.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
Andy Thayer
More Cops Will Worsen, Not Help, Chicago’s Violence Problem
Louis Yako
Can Westerners Help Refugees from War-torn Countries?
David Rosen
Rudy Giuliani & Trump’s Possible Cabinet
Joyce Nelson
TISA and the Privatization of Public Services
Pete Dolack
Global Warming Will Accelerate as Oceans Reach Limits of Remediation
Franklin Lamb
34 Years After the Sabra-Shatila Massacre
Cesar Chelala
How One Man Held off Nuclear War
Norman Pollack
Sovereign Immunity, War Crimes, and Compensation to 9/11 Families
Lamont Lilly
Standing Rock Stakes Claim for Sovereignty: Eyewitness Report From North Dakota
Barbara G. Ellis
A Sandernista Priority: Push Bernie’s Planks!
Hiroyuki Hamada
How Do We Dream the Dream of Peace Together?
Russell Mokhiber
From Rags and Robes to Speedos and Thongs: Why Trump is Crushing Clinton in WV
Julian Vigo
Living La Vida Loca
Aidan O'Brien
Where is Europe’s Duterte? 
Abel Cohen
Russia’s Improbable Role in Everything
Ron Jacobs
A Change Has Gotta’ Come
Uri Avnery
Shimon Peres and the Saga of Sisyphus
Graham Peebles
Ethiopian’s Crying out for Freedom and Justice
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail