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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 :美国南方家政服务业现状解读

2017年05月19日11:19 来源:互联网
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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 :美国南方家政服务业现状解读图1

Domestic work in the South——The Help, updated

美国南方的家务:升级的“帮佣”

Maids are no longer servants

帮佣不再是仆人

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UNDER seGREgation, black women were so rigidly excluded from good jobs that 60% of those who were employed in 1940 worked as maids. With so few other choices, their wages were lousy and their white bosses could treat them abysmally. In Kathryn Stockett's novel “The Help”, set in the early 1960s, a black maid is fired for using an indoor toilet rather than braving a tornado to use the outhouse; her revenge, involving a chocolate pie, is not for the squeamish.

在种族隔离的时代,黑人妇女被严格地排除在好工作之外。在1940年,那些得到工作机会的有60%从事女佣的工作。由于几乎没有其他的选择,他们的工资极低此外她们还可能遭受白人雇主的极坏对待。在凯瑟琳·斯多克特的小说《帮助》中,她讲述了一个发生于上世纪60年代早期的故事。一个黑人女佣由于在龙卷风肆虐的时候使用了室内卫生间而不是世外卫生间而被解雇。她用一个巧克力派进行报复,这并不是由于她太过于生气。

Times have changed. In 1935, six out of ten urban white families above the poverty line in the South had a full-time domestic servant, compared with under 20% in the North. Now hardly anyone does. People who want help with the housework typically hire cleaners for a few hours a week, not as live-in flunkeys with whom they pretend to have a warm relationship. A cleaner arrives, blitzes the house with a Hoover and various chemicals and drives to the next job. Employers are less likely to be paternalistic and more likely to be absent, since women now hold half the jobs in America.

如今时代变了。1935年,美国南方60%生活在贫困线以上的城市白人家庭雇佣一个全职女佣,北方的这一数据不足20%,如今几乎没有家庭这么做。人们若想请人帮助做家务往往会雇佣清洁工(或女佣)每周过来做几个小时,而不是住家的那种穿着制服的女仆,雇主还得假装与女佣之间保持热情友好的关系。现在,一个保洁员匆匆赶来,以闪电战的速度用胡佛吸尘器和各种化学清洁器打扫完一家然后快速赶到下一家。雇主也不似以前那样那么大家长制并且更可能是不在家的,因为现在美国,女性顶起了职场的半边天。

Thanks to labour-saving devices, maids are much more productive than in the old days. This is one reason why they earn far more, though they are still close to the bottom of the income scale. A typical Southern maid makes about 9.11 an hour, which is less than those in richer parts of the country. The metro area where the highest proportion of workers are maids is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a popular resort.

幸亏有节省劳动力的电器设施,保洁人员现在的工作效率比以往高得多。这也是如今她们赚得更多的原因之一,尽管现在她们依然处于收入阶层最底层。南方的保洁工人每小时赚9.11美元,这略微比那些富裕地区的工资略低。在超级大都市工资最高的保洁工人是在南卡罗来纳州美特尔海滩这个备受欢迎的旅游胜地工作的人们。

The demography of domestic service has changed, too. Mamie Garrett, whose family has run mortuaries in Greenville, South Carolina since 1952, remembers when other black women had few options besides becoming “a domestic”, but has herself employed help at home for decades. Some 44% of cleaners in America are Hispanic. Dalsi Lopez, a Guatemalan who tidies posh apartments in Atlanta, says many Latinas become cleaners because poor English bars them from other jobs. Nationwide, 27% of maids are illegal immigrants, estimates the Pew Research Centre, a think-tank.

国内服务的人口统计学业发生了变化。玛米·加勒特住在南卡罗来纳州,她家自1952年就在格林威尔经营停尸间称她依然记得当其他的黑人妇女除了当一个“家庭女佣”之外几乎别无选择时,她可以在自家的店里工作,一做就是几十年。美国保洁工人中44%的人是西班牙裔。Dalsi Lopez是一个危地马拉人在亚特兰大整理豪华的公寓。他称许多拉丁美洲人成为保洁工人是因为贫乏的英语水平成为他们寻找其他工作的障碍。皮尤研究中心这个智囊团估计在全国范围27%的女佣是非法移民。

【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 :美国南方家政服务业现状解读图2

According to the American Cleaning Institute, an industry group, just 12% of Americans had a regular cleaner in 2008. Some budget-conscious families use websites such as Yelp and Angie's List to hire temporary help only when they need it. Those with a little more money may opt for a concierge service such as Girl Friday of Alabama. Girl Friday's clients, 85% of whom are white, pay the agency to pamper them. For 17-30 an hour, it will send someone to cook a delicious dinner for visiting in-laws, buy a present for Uncle Hank or book the family holiday. Its founder, Jasmine Allen, has six employees who do most of the dirty work and a smart new office in a tech hub in Birmingham.

根据美国清洁协会这个行业组织的资料,2008年仅有12%的美国家庭雇佣一个长期的保洁工人。一些有预算意识的家庭若需要保洁服务,会通过诸如Yelp and Angie's List这样的网站雇佣临时的保洁工人。星期五女孩这样的服务网站的客户85%是白人,他们付费给中介为他们找临时保洁员。每小时只需付17至30美元就能叫来一个人帮他们做一顿美味的正餐或者帮助拜访一位姻亲或者为某位亲戚买个礼物,抑或帮他们预订一个家庭假期。该中介的创始人艾伦在伯明翰的科技港有一间大气的新办公室雇有六个吃苦耐劳不怕脏不怕累的员工。

Shelly Haines, a former teacher and pet baby-sitter in Miami, runs a firm called “Savvy Shelly” that caters to especially demanding customers. One called her late on a Sunday to ask her to send eggnog from a particular farm shop to Houston by overnight mail as a gift for a visiting brother. Another has her ensuring everything on board his boat is shipshape. Sometimes customers even want her to act “as some kind of therapist”, she sighs. The help can't answer every cry for help.

Shelly Haines居住在迈阿密,以前是老师,也做过儿童保姆,现在经营了一家公司名叫“通灵雪莉”专为高要求的客户提供定制服务。某周天的傍晚有一位客户打电话给她请她将一坛蛋酒从一个特定的农场连夜邮寄至休斯顿,这将是他们送给访问的兄弟的回礼。另外一位客户要求她确保他装船的所有东西是井然有序整整齐齐的。她叹气道,有些客户甚至让她扮演某种临床专家。帮工不是万能的,他们不可能像超人那样无所不能。

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