Real-Life Experience of Having a Maid

One of my friends has been living in Beijing, China, for a few years. He is on a lavish expat package, which, among others, includes a maid who comes by three times a week for four hours. She takes care of the entire household, and if he asks her to, she also cooks. Sometimes, he only asks her to come by twice a week, and even that would be overkill for many, but my friend has very high standards and likes, for instance, his clothes to be laundered several times a week, and his sheets replaced every few days.

What he gets out of his maid is essentially what a dutiful and overly diligent wife would provide. It starts with shopping for groceries and preparing meals, which might mean a warm dinner that is left on his table, just about in time when he arrives home after a day in the office in his high-powered job. In addition, she does the laundry, cleans the entire place, waters the plants, and tidies up his luxury apartment before she leaves. As a guest at his place, I was able to witnesses her in action. She is friendly, her work is thorough, and if you are in the apartment while she does her job, you may not even notice her as she does not produce a lot of noise.

When contrasting this with the women I lived together, or the state of the apartment or house cohabiting friends of mine have to endure, the difference could not be more staggering. For instance, when my ex-wife vacuum-cleaned the apartment, she turned on the hoover for a few minutes without doing any hoovering just to draw attention to the fact that she is cleaning the place for once. She also never managed to do any cleaning while I was away. Instead, all that crap had to eat into our supposed quality time.

Noise is a particular pet-peeve of mine. I consider loud people uncouth. This could mean that they speak in a loud voice, but this also applies to people who produce unnecessary amounts of noise. I have not met many women who are able to lay the table without producing any noise. By this I do not mean that they merely keep their mouth shut for a few minutes, but that they place plates and cutlery on the table without any clangs and bangs. It seems this is way too much to ask for from the modern woman.

It is one thing to assume that keeping your place in order does not take much time, and another to witness it first-hand. I made this realization after I moved out and realized that all the supposed hard work in the household my mother loved to complain about amounted to virtually no work at all. You can thoroughly clean a studio apartment in about an hour a week, and that is an excessively generous estimate. A large apartment or house does not take that much longer. Cooking for more people does not necessarily take more time. The same is true for doing the laundry.

It is one thing to do the math and realize that a maid does not cost that much money — heck, a maid is clearly a superior option to having a harpy of a wife who no longer has sex with you, even if her house-keeping skills were stellar. Yet, it is quite another to see in real-life that a maid renders services that are far superior to what you can expect from a girlfriend or wife who believes that keeping the apartment clean is far beneath her or whose understanding of cooking amounts to throwing some ready-made junk into the microwave.

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17 thoughts on “Real-Life Experience of Having a Maid

  1. 2h every two weeks. That’s 4h per month. That’s all it takes to keep my 2.5p apartment in an OK condition.
    Considering my 45-50h weeks of work (net of commuting), it’s a great investment. I’m not going to spend time on cleaning, especially if I can buy it at a rate which is below what I get paid per hour.

    “and realized that all the supposed hard work in the household my mother loved to complain about amounted to virtually no work at all”

    I know, right? Maybe if she didn’t make it to be a such big deal, she’d have to think hard about the value of herself actually.

    1. I just learned that my buddy’s maid not only launders his regular clothes. She also goes through his work clothes and takes care of dry cleaning. Oh, and she mends his socks, too. Good luck finding a woman to take such good care of you.

    2. His maid most likely costs less than the typical western girlfriend/wife.
      Plus if she starts bitching, you replace her.
      Housemaid + sexdoll = win

    3. He pays her less than the equivalent of 200 EUR/month. Probably, you would pay a lot more in the West and would end up with a person who is a lot less dedicated.

    4. USD 35 per hour in my case. 4 hours per month. And yes, much less dedicated and it’s just cleaning. No ironing, no nothing. If I wanted that, the time counter would just run and I’d pay. So it quickly gets expensive. Then again, standards are different in Switzerland. A low paid job pays better here than anywhere else (and that without the existence of a formal minimum wage).

  2. As soon as a I saw the title I remembered my own experience with maids. It was great! She just does what you ask with zero drama. And is relatively inexpensive.

    I never lived with a girl, but I know there will be a ton more drama and negotiation with a “partner.”

  3. I was lucky enough that those few years I cohabited with a girlfriend, I usually took care of the cleaning and she did the cooking (real, actual cooking of tasty meals – zero complaints from me here).
    I never had a maid, nor would ever I want to, I grew up in a “do it yourself” kind of home, and dont like giving strangers such access to my place.
    However, I have had friends who have had maids and the problem of them stealing stuff from your house is recurring. I can think of only one or two of them who didnt have things stolen by their maids at some point.

    1. Maids and also nannies seem to be quite common in South America from what I understood.
      I had sth going on once with a Colombian and went to visit her in Bogota a few years go. She didn’t even wash her dishes, she left it for the maid to do. Then again, she lived in “Strata 6”, so that would explain a bit of spoiledness.

      What I found shocking is how little they get paid. It’s literally nothing. No wonder they stay poor over generations. Not even their kids can go to a decent school.

    2. Yeah well, supply and demand. Maids (and sometimes nannies) are common in upper and medium-upper class homes in South America. In Argentina, a bulk of them are immigrant girls from nearby poorer countries like Paraguay, Peru and Colombia.

      Maid work is on the lowest rungs of the socioeconomic ladder, as it requires little or no skills to get started. Traditionally “hidden” from the rest of the labor market because of the indoor nature of their work, they have usually enjoyed few regulatory protections if any, but on the other hand if they were more expensive a lot of people simply wouldn`t hire them. For them, its still better than prostitution.

  4. There is also roomba to vacuum…and those meal delivery startups you can use to take care of your eating needs (if you don’t go the maid route).

    When I read sleazy’s post about a maid, I immediately thought of this movie: https://youtu.be/YVbckKd81LU

    The Scarlett Johanssen character comes across as your typical entitled and lazy Western girl…

  5. Almost all houses i’m looking at in Thailand come with one or two maids, laundry service, a gardener/poolboy and security. It’s all included in the rent. And it’s not even that expensive. You can have a villa completely with furniture, 4 bed, 4 bath, pool, hot tub and full service for about 1000 euro’s a month. Why would i ever need a wife? When people would ask her what she does. She would have to answer with “i fuck my husband”. Thats it. That would literally be her only job. Simply fuck her husband. And considering it’s Thailand. I don’t think getting laid will ever be a problem anyway. So a wife would be a waste of money and time. Maybe i take some sugar babies? That would cover every area. And they are easily replaced if they give me drama. Why would i get married? I can get all these services cheaper and better quality elsewhere. And considering i don’t want children anyway. I just don’t see any reason for doing so. And as Aaron already described. A maid in Asia, is more like a butler in the west.

    1. “It’s all included in the rent. And it’s not even that expensive. You can have a villa completely with furniture, 4 bed, 4 bath, pool, hot tub and full service for about 1000 euro’s a month.”

      Where exactly would that be? I guess not in a touristic area, right?

      Oh hey btw, Ben, do you speak Thai?

    2. @Neutralrandomthoughts:
      (Where exactly would that be? I guess not in a touristic area, right?)
      No, these houses are more focused on retiring people from Europe. And upper-class Thai people. It’s close to Hua hin and Cha’ am. It’s about 3 hour drive from bangkok, at the gulf of Thailand. There is some tourism, but not that much. It’s a nice low crime area. It’s beautiful and it has some small businesses that focus on European needs. So no trouble getting a European style breakfast or anything like that.

      (do you speak Thai)
      I speak baby Thai. I know enough words to let them know what i want. But i still struggle. I’m going to school when i’m there. Thai isn’t a easy language to learn. It’s much harder than European languages. But i’m learning in a reasonable amount of time. I already speak better Thai than some other people that already live there for some years. My stepmother is teaching me. But it’s nothing like any other language i learned before.

  6. I can hire a few maids but I don’t. I have machines for that. Between the dishwasher and the washing machine, they take the most the work a maid would do. As for cleaning, a made uncle comes in for about once a week. He only does the bathrooms and stuff. Like Yarara said, I fear them stealing stuff but that is not the reason for not hiring them. I just don’t need one.

  7. Due to supply and demand dynamics, my parents did have the chance to and indeed did have many maids when I was growing up.

    Funny thing though is that my mom kept on complaining that overseeing the maid was far more difficult than the maids work and thus, she does more work than the maid when the maid is around.

    Its a very bad lie but an effective one at that to convince my dad. Good that I didn’t let in to a similar trap with a wife. To the hell with that.

    All decisions must consider opportunity cost and the opportunity cost of a maid is a wife and well, you know who is better at the work she does and cheaper at it while being quicker leaving the house sparkling afterwards and steals less of your money, health or life wellbeing. If you had to guess, it is the maid option that is better.

    Lovely article Aaron. It is something I knew at heart but didn’t ever put down to words.

    1. This is a great anecdote. Your dad probably saw through your mom’s b.s. Otherwise, he probably would have told her that he’ll get rid of the maid as there is no point paying someone to cause more work.

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