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About Everything Wiki » Education » Why is it useful to be friends with a cleaner

Why is it useful to be friends with a cleaner

03 May 2023, 08:34, parser
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This material was written and sent to us by LH reader Viktor Fomin. We found his point of view on the relationship with invisible people swarming around us interesting.

In one episode of the Suits series, the inimitable secretary Donna told the boss: "Do you know how I rate people? Not by the way they communicate with their equals; but by the way they communicate with people of lower social status."

Why be friends with a cleaner? There are two justifications: human and pragmatic.


Although society is like a big machine, where different gears are spinning, it is better not to cross the line when another person begins to look like only a tool that performs a certain function, and nothing more. Behind the exterior facade — a cleaner, a security guard, a courier, a waiter, an intern — thoughts, feelings, hopes, a living personality are hidden.

Quite often, people who work together for months (and even not only in a large company, but also in the same department) do not know almost anything about each other. This is not a collective, but strangers who, for their different life reasons, gathered in one room.

But if you show a little bit of participation, do not concentrate only on yourself — then suddenly it turns out that one colleague is actively involved in sports and loves history; the girl from the third department on the left traveled a lot and writes articles about other countries; the secretary teaches foreign languages; a laconic programmer, whom everyone was afraid of — an excellent photographer and generally quite a cheerful person; the copywriter also draws pictures and teaches children; and the guard has a well-delivered speech and he is a kind of life psychologist. Copied from nature.

Of course, it is not necessary to be imbued with altruism towards people of all positions who catch your eye and try to comprehend the secrets of their inner world (sometimes a low social status really means that there is no special inner world). But not to admit that a person has the right to hear a calm "Hello!" from you or to get a simple smile, simply because it is the same human being as yourself — a little selfish. A person who cherishes a sense of superiority in himself will surely forget about social conventions, finding himself in a situation where ranks and positions mean nothing.
And if we consider the question as the British professor of social anthropology David Graeber considers it:

"You can say whatever you want about nurses, scavengers or mechanics, but it is obvious that if they dissolve like a haze in the air, the results will manifest themselves immediately and will be catastrophic. A world without teachers or dockers is likely to be in trouble, and without writers of fiction or scamusicants, it may be less pleasant. It is not at all clear how humanity will suffer if all the chairmen of the board, PR people, lobbyists, insurance settlement and telephone sales specialists, bailiffs or legal advisers disappear (the list can be significantly increased)",

then you can still think about which professions bring more benefits.


Be friends with "social invisibles". The same cleaners perfectly understand that most people perceive more as walking furniture. And when people pay attention to them, they are doubly pleased.

You don't know how your life will turn out and which people will take part in it. It is likely that the person from whom you did not even think to get help will really help you. The same cleaners hear many things that are not particularly intended for other people's ears. Watch somehow how people talk, completely oblivious to the dressing gown with a rag swarming in the corner, and what they say.

In one of Chesterton's stories, the storyline is built on this. A crime was committed and the culprit could not be found. There was no evidence that the murders were committed by a man walking through the walls. And only later, when Father Brown (the hero of the Chesterton stories) began to be guided by the principle "First we look where it can be, and then where it can't", he suspected the postman. A good example of "social invisibility".

— Why no one ever notices the postmen, — he said thoughtfully. — But they are overcome by the same passions as all other people, and besides, they carry mail in spacious bags where the corpse of a dwarf can easily fit."

<a href="">Shutterstock / Kzenon</a>
Shutterstock / Kzenon
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