Wednesday, March 24, 2010

MQM: What makes it service?

What do you feel is the difference between just having to clean house and serving domestically? I have to clean house no matter if I am owned or not so what makes it serving if I had to do it anyway? I had to buy a gift for his Mom even if I wasn't owned by him because he is a man and gift buying usually falls to women. I do crafts for me because I am enjoy them so what makes it a service to him? It is hard for me to wrap my mind around that I am serving him by doing those things.

For me, it's not specifically what I do, but the why I do it.

You know... I gave a local talk about service, and someone grumbled about halfway through "this sounds like housework to me". And I was actually taken aback because for me, it's not. It's about being useful to someone in a way they specifically value or permit.

When in service, I don't clean because 'it has to be done'. I care for the boss' home in the manner which pleases him. His tastes dictate what I do. I base decisions on either his directly stated preference, or to make something more convenience/pleasant/comfortable/less stressful for him. If he doesn't like something, I don't do it again-- even if I liked it. If he doesn't care how something is done, I may default to my general taste on how to get a task done, but I do so knowing that could be vetoed at any time.

If I am buying a gift on someone's behalf, I am well aware that my selection reflects on them. I would not presume to purchase anything as a gift for someone else simply because he's a man and I am a woman.

I provide that service because:
A) it's desired
B) I have more experience comparison shopping than someone else might
C) they are too busy or... can't be bothered
D) it's a way to free up some time for them
E) I wrap better than they do
F) we both enjoy the display of my usefulness

I do crafts for me, unless he specifically tells me to serve him in that way. It's not a service unless he makes it so. But it does afford me some relaxation and entertainment, and generally I've found the people I serve encourage that interest provided it does not interfere with my service to them.

In her answer, kaya wrote: "Having to do it is not the service. Having to do it in a manner that pleases him is the service." I could not express this better.

1 comment:

  1. wow, great way of describing the dynamic. I do almost 100% of the domestic chores and I do them just as you describe. To me they are not chores, but opportunities to please my wife. I feel pleasure at the opportunity to do things in a way she would find pleasing. My ironing is slow and deliberate because I know she enjoys wearing crisp shirts to work. My attention to keeping the kitchen clean is a constent activity because I know she enjoys a clean kitchen.



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