Friday, September 22, 2006

Yuhl-Sheem (10)

I have a lot of pity and sadness for women who do housekeeping. Even though we didn't really share a language, I felt close to the Mexican women workers. The housekeepers have the hardest work to do in the hotels but they get the least amount of money. When I worked there I lost a lot of pride. Sometimes I couldn’t keep my head straight. I would come home and not want to eat anything. It was a hard time. I would work 9-5. When I came home my husband would be sleeping so he would be ready for his night shift. I'd make dinner for us and we would spend some time together but then he would have to leave for work at night. When he would come home in the morning, I would be leaving for work. When I would sleep he would work. When I would work he would sleep.

At lunchtime I would eat with the other ladies and they would talk about their problems with their kids. So then I would think, well I’m not the worst off. I would think about my daughters at the best universities and my mah-uhm would feel better. I know that they will never have to do the type of work I have to do.

The work I did at the hotel was very physical. I would have to bend over a lot to scrub the toilets and the bathtub. I had to push around heavy carts and lift up the mattresses to fix the sheets. After awhile I started to have pain in my shoulder and lower back. I went and told Rob, the department manager, that I had hurt myself. He dismissed my complaint and told me to go back to work. The pains didn't stop. I had Christen write a letter to Rob telling him that I had been injured and asking that I be given less physical work. After Rob got the letter he told me if I needed help to ask him and he would help me. Of course, he was never around when I needed help.

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