My husband and I are law partners and we travel frequently together for business. We get along well, except for one issue: he insists on cleaning up hotel rooms before the chambermaid arrives. I say the chambermaid is paid to clean up the room. He doesn’t go into restaurant kitchens and cook his own food, so why should he clean up the hotel room? Who is right here?Pause for a moment and consider your own response. Then consider Goldberg's:
Two things. One, I am 100 percent pro Goldberg on this one. I am quite conscientious about cleaning up the motel room--and if I were to forget, Mrs. Buce would snap my head back until you could hear the crack in my neck. Partly this is self-interest: I stay at the same motel about 75 nights a year and I know which side my complimentary toiletries are buttered on. But I even do it among strangers. So I think that every word Goldberg says at true.
When the revolution comes, and the chambermaids and busboys and janitors rise up in righteous fury to judge the lawyers and the lobbyists and the CEOs, you will find yourself defenestrated, or at least disbarred, but your husband will see statues raised in his honor. Which is to say, I also clean up my hotel room before the maid arrives. No one gets through life without troubles, but I think that poorly paid hotel workers get through with more than their share. Why not pick up after yourself and make life a little easier for someone who works harder than you do?
The trouble is, careful reasoning tells me he is wrong. Sure, being a chambermaid is a lot less pleasant a job than being a semi-retired law professor. But it is a job. And she needs the job--certainly she isn't doing it for fun. If I do all my own cleanup, don't I make her more dispensable? And in particular, if I do my own cleanup, isn't there a risk that they might just send her home 15 minutes early?
I suppose one of that great rash of home-made economics books has an answer to this one, but I haven't read any of them: I suppose I'm just too busy cleaning up the room.