Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 14.52.03

EHS writes:

“I don’t know if you’re familiar with hassle.ie, whose been advertising a lot around Dublin. They make it even easier to de-humanise the ‘help’. The comment from a cleaner (‘reginaapreis’) on their Instagram page made me sad…”

57 thoughts on “Just An Idea

  1. Jack Ascinine

    Dehumanise the help? Like hailo dehumanises taxi drivers? It’s a service that they elect to work for. Get over yourself.

    1. Lefty Doherty

      it is depressing that some middle class twenty somethings can make a web site that makes it easy not to think about your cleaner as a human but rather as you say a service. it means theres a bunch of kids in london making money off the hard work of the cleaners here.

      1. Mick

        But who is not thinking of them as humans? I’m thinking of using hassle.com but it doesn’t mean I won’t have respect for the person doing the cleaning. You have a weird way of looking at things.

        1. Grouse

          I expect the idea that it’s “de-humanising” comes from the service reducing your personal contact with the cleaner. No calling them, no paying. But given that you still have to meet them when they come to clean, I don’t know if it’s all that fair an accusation.

          (I still have concerns with the payment model of a site like this, as mentioned below.)

          1. jean

            I guess for some people they feel it’s more secure, as they can go back to the company if there’s any issues. And yep, some people prefer it because they don’t have to have an icky human connection with the ‘help’. Barbara Ehrenreich wrote about it in Nickel and Dimed, she worked at a similar service. Cleaners got paid very little in her experience, it seems to me that it’s much more decent to hire someone directly.

        2. thirsty

          Have to agree with this now I’d see them as people and even chat to them if they were cleaning my rooms.

      2. Jack Ascinine

        And there’s a bunch of cleaners here making money off of their service. That’s how it works. Its called commerce. Would you like for them to shut their site down and go on the dole and complain about not having jobs? Mother phukers can find ANYTHING to complain about in this country.

        1. Lefty Doherty

          How would they be making less money if they didn’t need to fund these folks in white shirts’ bbqs?

          1. Rob_G

            Well, presumably by using this service, the cleaners find it easier to get more hours (earning less) than they would by putting up notices and getting work that way (where they would earn 100% of the going rate, rather than paying commission to Hassle).

  2. jack

    Here’s a good read about an American equivalent company. “The team” get the motivational BBQ. The immigrants doing the dirty work get minimum wage and crappy employment conditions.

    1. Crank

      In fairness, I’d say the business model only has a limited lifespan:

      You get a cleaner through hassle.com
      They arrive, clean your gaff, you pay them through the app or whatever
      Then they ask you if you want them to clean your gaff again.
      If you do, they give you their phone number, and next time you give them cash in hand.

      This extrapolation of every service to an app is nonsense.

        1. Mister Mister

          Cleaners are probably busier than ever with both parents working and messin about with the kids during the evening and weekends.

        1. jean

          Didn’t realise that was happening with AirBNB – I would have thought the security benefit that they offer would prevent that. But I guess if you’ve had someone stay a few times, you might get to know them and feel safer…

    2. JC27

      In fairness, there seems to be a wide range of ethnic backgrounds represented in that picture.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      +1
      Bet the cleaners had a far better one themselves! The Titanic Effect; the real party is below deck.

  3. Grouse

    I would like more info on how they “de-humanise” the help, if they are essentially a directory service for finding cleaners.

    Then again, the dynamic is a familiar one in the developing gig economy. Companies like Taskrabbit become the extremely profitable gatekeepers of low-wage employment. They have comfortable and profitable worklives taking twenty percent off the already-very-low wages of their labourers. I don’t know enough about Hassle’s payment model to say either way. Their FAQ page offers nothing along the lines of “what percentage of my payment goes to the cleaner”.

    [Further reading: Pixel & Dimed, On (Not) Getting By in the Gig Economy]

    1. Lefty Doherty

      exactly. there’s nothing wrong with a directory service, i just think its worth remembering that every one of those people at that party has their salary paid by the hard work of the cleaners. and the service that hassle offers is the convenience of not needing to talk to a cleaner on the phone and awkwardly hand them cash.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        I think you’re being patronising here; why would paying someone directly be ‘awkward’?

        1. Steph

          Because Irish people aren’t comfortable when directly confronted with the fact that we are, for all our anti-britestablishment sentimentality, a very classist society.

          1. Spaghetti Hoop

            Nonsense. You’re only saying that to excuse your own snobbery. Classes went out with the ascendancy. Anyone with any sense knows that people who do menial jobs can be students, teachers, actors, artists, parents, global travellers etc. Why anyone would have a problem paying for a service directly to the provider indicates some sort of psychological hang-up.

          2. Steph

            Like hell they did. Look at the school system, judicial system, politics and tell me we don’t have classes in Ireland.

          3. Lefty Doherty

            Don’t mind Spaghetti Hoop, who says just a few comments above that ‘the real party is below deck’ (in reference to the cleaners being the third CLASS passengers on the Titanic).

      2. Lilly

        WTF are you talking about? I’ve never felt any awkwardness around handing over (or receiving) cash. I might not carry a big vulgar wad but I see nothing indelicate about having a few fifties at the ready. Who do you think you’re dealing with, the House of Windsor?

  4. Davey T

    So basically, if you needed “the help”, whats to stop a person finding the cleaner through this website for 2 hours work, and then offering the cleaner the 12 an hour from then on? Cut out the white shirted middle men and women!

    1. Caroline

      Up to 10 euro? 10 euro is pretty much the lowest rate going. So they are creaming off at least 2 euros per hour. I wouldn’t hire someone knowing those were their working conditions. It’s not like Hailo because with taxis there is a vested interest in the service provider being matched up with a person in real time that’s much more difficult to achieve without the technology. Not so with cleaners.

      Why do cleaners work for them? I suppose it’s like those clients who tell you the rate of pay is low but you’ll be guaranteed lots of it…

      1. Jack Ascinine

        Do keep in mind that the cleaners did not: finance the build of the company, develop the technology, pay for marketing, pay staff, manage the books, and are not held responsible for managing other cleaners. Its how business works. Do you think everyone gets paid all of the money that they make for a company? A person is hired to make money for a company not vice versa.

        1. Lefty Doherty

          Except Hassle is not offering the cleaners employment (with the employee’s rights that would entail). Obviously some cleaners are finding it profitable to go down the Hassle road rather than going solo or joining/creating a cooperative with other cleaners. The OP is just pointing out that Hassle obviously treats its ‘white collar’ middle-class marketing & sales team a lot better than it treats the actual cleaners. This company is not any more immoral than any other company for doing this, its just a depressing spectacle to see it displayed so glaringly on that instagram page.

        2. Caroline

          I understand how it works, and I don’t expect they are close to profitable even whipping 2 euro off every cleaner every hour.

          It just all seems so unnecessary, and I personally wouldn’t hire someone knowing the price of the “convenience” of having some randomers supposedly vet them and set up the appointment. It’s all a matter of choice of course but I wouldn’t touch it.

    2. Violet

      “Up to ten euro an hour” is corporate rah-rah for “less than ten euro an hour”. It’s nothing to celebrate.

  5. Mrs S

    The cleaners get paid “up to €10” per hour.

    The “up to” sounds disconcertingly vague.

    Also, who is liable for injury here? Presumably Hassle isn’t the cleaner’s employer and there’s nothing on the website which requires the customer to be insured against risk.

  6. Jock

    That’s plenty of unskilled casual work that’s undeclared income. This money is usually a top up to their welfare payment.

  7. fmong

    For what it’s worth my issue with Hassle.com, and it’s just a personal issue from what I understand.. I’m open to be swayed.. is that the cleaners only get “up to” 10 euro an hour. That’s one euro and change over minimum wage. My understanding is the cleaners are self employed, so in theory they’re liable for tax on that too.

    Because they don’t work for Hassle.com there is no PRSI, so they’re earning no stamps. No sick pay, no holidays, no PRSI benefits. The cleaners will work only when they’re “summoned” (my term) by the app, so the rest of the time they’re not earning, so how do you account for that in your life? Sit by the iPhone? It’ could be seen as a zero hour contract, with less rights

    Also while Hassle.com are keen to stress the extensive screening process your cleaners will go through, there is no mention of a similar process for the users of the app.. what steps are taken to protect the cleaners going to strangers homes?

    No doubt this will be dismissed as bleeding heart liberal waffle, and there’s worst things going on in the world. I’m also still unable to clarify why hailo works out fairer imho then hassle, there’s many arguments, but while hailo seems to have enpowered users, my gut doesn’t feel the same about this.

    I could well be wrong! It’s a free market and this is classic free marketering in Tatcher sense, no doubt the demand and supply will determine wether hassle.com succeeds, and that’s all that matters to it’s supporters. It’s great to see a new Irish app launched, and I applaud all at hassle.com I just wonder… curious to see how it pans out.

    1. Lefty Doherty

      Agreed on all points, and would like to add that this is a London-based company, not Irish.

      1. fmong

        How do they not pay tax? I would imagine in this case they’re considered sole traders, and while they will more then likely not earn enough to use up all their tax credits, legally they would be seen as tax liable, as I understand it. I would imagine hassle will require them to be registered as sole traders and not “cash in hand” business, as Hassle couldn’t be seen to be doing business “off the books” so to speak.. or am I missing something?

        Further to that if you’re a sole trader you’re not entitled to the dole if/when you’re not working.

  8. YourNan

    Irish woman co-founded it, I still would be very wary of using this until you know exactly what the cleaner gets, it seems exploitative to me.

    Also “Jack Ascinine”, have you got a vested interest here? Don’t like your posts, your tone, your attitude.

    1. General Waste

      Jack Ascinine is the pretty much the only one talking sense among all the middle-class, self-hating, lefty codswallop on this thread. Hassle.com are providing a service and everybody – cleaners and customers – signs up voluntarily. If it’s a crap service or if cleaners can make better money elsewhere it will fail, it’s that bleedin’ simple.

  9. Ploika

    This isn’t dehumanising at all. How is it any worse than having your ad for cleaning services drowned out on Gumtree or Craigslist or adverts.ie?

    Get over yourselves.

  10. Lilly

    I got a great cleaner the old fashioned way, by putting an ad up in the local shop. She even feeds the goldfish when I’m away. Go with whatever works but I’d want to know that he/she is being properly paid.

  11. PJ Hammond

    I talk to the cleaner in my office every day. I sit down and have a cup of tea with her. We invite her to our staff parties. I treat her as a human being. She has taken the job out of choice. I don’t need some insipid, whiny, good-with-other-people’s-money, middle class, self-loathing bunch of people telling me that she is dehumanised.

Comments are closed.