Someone to do for me all the stuff I don’t want to… or don’t have time to, assuming this isn’t a time management issue which I believe there’s a app for.
In the past, if you were wealthy enough, you had people. You know, servants: maids/housekeepers, groundskeepers/gardeners, nannies, butlers, and handymen. They kept the habitual nature of modern life palatable for those who had better uses for their time and the money to afford it.
Now that we have a thriving “gig” economy, there’s the thriving concierge business, which is a lovely term for the person doing all the things you don’t have time for, like dry cleaning, yard work, home repair, laundry, etc., or organizing the people who will perform these less than delightful tasks. This allows the harried entrepreneur/business person time for all the things they want to do that don’t involve the druggery of the above mentioned tasks. It also gives a nice title to the person overseeing the people doing your chores.
Bossman, overseer, foreman, manager, supervisor don’t have the ring of concierge.
And in this day and age, that’s the thing, because self-actualization is more important that the drudgery of housework and the like: I can’t be all I can be if my time is taken up by mundane tasks. Plus, it gives a nice sheen to the whole operation. Nobody wants to be the imperious rich person.
Ok, you may ask, where did this come from?
An article in Seattle Magazine. It is, as these articles tend to be, sunny and helpful and accepting that some folks are just super busy, or not attuned to the shocking level of care their new investment, what some of us once called home, might require, and how that need, and all the other needs modern life demands, will impose itself on all your free time. And a person has a right to their free time, right?
I know, I’m being mean and that makes me a bad person. I can live with that.
In truth, just about everybody would prefer to fob off the drudgery of modern life on someone else and thereby expand their free time so they may do all the things denied them because they do not have and cannot afford a concierge.
This brings to mind certain points…
Interestingly, the article focuses mostly on women because women are traditionally tasked with worrying about these things, and most often tasked with getting them done. That’s fine, and it’s in line with the fact that men, generally, are no help at all. Perhaps it’s the cheery tone and the assumption that, wow, you too can have your own concierge now that you know! It’s all so easy and with so much money being created it’s a win for everybody.
Of course, the article doesn’t mention or talk to the people who are the concierges and whether or not this allows them time for their own pursuits and free time, or whether they’re earning enough for their own self-actualization, or whether it’s simply another strata of gigsters hustling to make ends meet, while working for the people who considers them family until they don’t.
Nor is there any notion of self-worth in doing it for yourself, or of a job well-done, or a skill learned, or being capable because you have no other choice except not doing it. It doesn’t have to, it’s not that kind of article.
I wonder what the writer though while writing it, most likely on spec?
That too, after all, is a gig.
©2019 David William Pearce