Cleaners, not managers


My mother has worked at an apartment complex for about three years with her husband. He was technically in charge of the office, collecting rents and other things, but really my mother was the one who knew everything in her head. Which apartments were free, which were rented to who, who owed how much, what day of the week and how often they paid, etc. Everything.

Recently we had a bad go of things and my step father died. My mother made out worse because although the boss is extremely understanding and knew both my mother and step father for years, she was immediately downgraded in her job to being nothing more than a housekeeper. The people who replaced her not only run bad hours, but have no idea what is going on and have messed up numerous balances. It was bad enough when renters who called DEMANDED to speak to the male manager, only to be redirected back to my mother because she was the one who knew everything backwards and up-side-down. Now that there is no man to supervise her, I guess my mother would just make a mess of things, regardless of the fact that she was the one who kept things running smoothly, and now it’s a bit chaotic.

Similarly, there have been many times when my mother notices that there is something wrong with her vehicle. She would warn my step-dad and her bosses that the vehicle had something wrong with it, but rather than look at the problem, they would insist nothing was wrong. Once we ended up stranded somewhere, and all we needed was a $3 part that my step-dad was too stubborn to buy. More recently, my mother has been swearing up and down that the the truck will break down soon. I know nothing of cars, but I know that when you turn the key it shouldn’t sound like an asthmatic trying to scream while being punched in the gut. Her boss still refuses to believe that it’s an issue.

He must think that we drive around screaming every time there’s a little bump in the road. Our fault we’re female. If only we had that elusive Y chromosome that allows us to understand complicated things like paperwork and cars. Cleaning is the only job we’re suited for.

Daughter of an undermined woman, US

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