country one man is just as good as another, if he does his work as
well and keeps himself as honest, virtuous, and industrious. No pro-
fession on earth requires greater intelligence or more real brain power
than does the successful house profession.
The Lesson of Christianity. â The man who has the true Christian
spirit can never feel himself superior to another man because of mere
birth, or social station, or wealth or any artificial man-made condition.
There is no class distinction between real Latter-day Saints.
III. Kinds of Service.
By the Job. â It is not unusual to hire help for a certain kind of
GUIDE LESSONS. 593
work, ,or for the fixed period of time â such as at threshing time on the
farm, or to do the spring or fall sewing, or for the week or month of
a woman's confinement. Such help is usually not hard to get and is
By the Day. â Some women prefer to work by the day at laundr}'
w,ork or heavy housework. This is generally a satisfactory kind of
help to get, and to give, and it may be that the hired housework of the
future will have to be done in just this way for there are advantages
on both sides.
General Housework. â The most unsatisfactory kind of house-
service is that performed by the general maid of all work, and in the
small home where only one maid is kept. It is also the hardest kind
of work to do and to get done. Such work is supposed by the em-
ployer to begin before the family is astir in the morning; it lasts all
day and into the evening; and it includes the performance of all kinds
of work known to the home.
By the very nature of things, this kind of service will remain un-
satisfactory until it is more intelligently systematized.
IV. Imperfect Standardization.
There are many reasons why housework and its performance by
others outside of the home has not reached the degree of efficiency
found in other occupations of men and women.
Causes. â The first reason for this lack of standardization is the
fact that housework itself is in an unorganized condition.
Housework Unorganized.â Not until recent years, have thinkers
and educators generally, found it necessary to study housework as a
Long Hours. â By very necessity, the performance of housework
includes long hours for mistress and maid, as well as many and exact-
ing kinds of labor. Only when the housework is very carefully or-
ganized, can there be found any time for recreation or rest; and or-
ganization requires careful thought, intelligence, and a trained intellect,
whether that training come from experience or through schools.
No Standard. â One reason why housework is so unorganized is
that no one has establised a standard of work. Mrs. A. requires her
housework to be done in a certain manner; Mrs. R. wants her work
done in an entirely different waJ^ The bewildered girl thus finds her-
self at the mercy of an unregulated, whimsical, domestic standard as
varied as are the noses on the faces of her changing mistresses.
Social Ostracism. â Another reason for dissatisfaction is that the
one who does housework for pay is placed in a social class by herself.
Even the unions ignore her. Not only is she in a different class, but
in a lower class, unfortunately. So that a healthy, intelligent woman,
will try almost any other kind of work before turning to her last resort
â housework. Nowadays, if a woman has brains to do anj'thing else,
she will refuse to do housework.
Personal Happiness. â Most girls realize that their girlhood comes
but once, and because of the very swiftness of its passing, they long
to have some pleasure mixed with their daily toil. This is not possible
unless the housewife plans carefull3r and attends sympathetically to
the girl's social needs and desires.
Lack of Training. â The next reason for this condition is a result
of the two previous conditions. It is really lack of training on the
part ,of those who "hire out." Many of them have had very little ex-
perience in the doing of housework in their own homes. For one
594 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
reason or another, the girls are tired of living at home; or the parents
want them to earn a little money; or the girls themselves feel they
need a little more money, and with money as the only incentive, these
ignorant, untrained girls go out into the active occupation of house-
work to earn their living. Then these unprepared maids expect to
earn good wages while they are really learning their trade. No mis-
tres feels satisfied with such service; as soon as the girl has learned
her trade, she is ready to marry, or go where she can earn bigger
No Laws or Traditions to Protect EivrPLOYER or Employed. â In this
country there are no laws to protect the mistress or the maid. In the
older countries of Europe, the girl has back of her a law that protects
her in any position where she is doing her duty. The same is true of
the mistress. No maid can leave her employment as long as she is
doing the right thing by the girl unless the girl gives the mistress at
least one month's warning. Such a condition as a girl leaving over
night if she so desires, is unheard of, for no one will employ a girl
unless she comes with a good recommendation from the last place in
which she worked. This excellent custom gives a sense of responsi-
bility both to the working girl, and to the woman who pays the wages.
The domestic service in this country would be much more satisfactory
if there were laws to protect both parties in the contract. May it not
be possible to institute such laws in our own state.
The Remedy. â The remedy for all of these unsatisfactory condi-
tions may be found in a united action by all concerned. The house-
keepers themselves, must make the first move, and as a neighborhood
or as a class, standardize housework. They must organize their work
so that girls need not have to work overtime. They must institute a
change in the social position of the hired-girl, the mistress herself
feeling a social equality with her maid, even if she fortunately possess
superior age and intelligence quality. She must also provide time and
â opportunity for her maid to have some pleasures.
Mothers who want their girls to earn a good part of their living
by housework, or to prepare for future domestic service, must make
each girl share in the different processes of housework, and let the
girls rotate so that each learns to do all of the processes equally well,
instead of keeping one girl on one certain phase of housework which
she prefers, and which, therefore, over-emphasizes her efficiency. She
v/ill also give each girl some experience in the marketing, and in those
deeper, intricate problems that make or mar a good housekeeper. She
will train her girls to adopt the budget system. She must regulate
and systematize her own household labors, putting all her kitchen,
house-cleaning and financial problems on a sound, well-regulated busi-
ness basis. Finally, both mistress and maid, mothers and daughters,
must unite in suggesting and securing legislation on this vexed
The Lure of the Shop. â Parents and mistresses who hire girls for
housework generally, must seriously regard the seenrng advantages
of the shop work for girls. It is often next to impossible to find help
in certain large towns because the girls all prefer to go to the factory
or the shops. Why is this? Is it because those who need home help,
do not try to make the home a worthy rival to the shop? There is an
old saying that you can drive a horse to water, but you can't make
him drink. It is equally true that you can't make independent, human
beings do what they don't v/ant to d,o. One thing you can do is to
create good desires and right views of domestic life during the forma-
tive period of a girl's life. That is the problem that confronts the
mothers in their homes today. How are you going to inake the girls
GUIDE LESSONS. 595
enjoy housework? Until that is accomplished, these unfortunate and
haphazard ideals and methods will persist. Girls will go where they
have regular hours, a chance to wear clean, nice clothes, and at least
one whole real Jioliday â the Sabbath â to themselves.
The Farm Home Pkoblem.â Those who find it difficult to get suf-
ficient help in farm homes must be especially vigilant in providing
seme pleasurable offset to the isolation and the necessarily long hours
of work on the farm. They must use their wits and think of advan-
tages and compensations which they can offer to the girls who come
to help them, even if it means the purchase of a small phonograph and
the promise of social recreation every evening if work is well done.
Two or more homes could co-operate in such schemes and plans to
lesson the drudgery of long hours and heavy work. A" little advertis-
ing in the city papers of the fact that in a certain farming community,
certain healthful pleasures are provided for those who work there
might prove money well invested, especially if expenses be shared by
a half dozen families.
It is especially necessary that farm mothers make their work more
attractive to their own daughters than in the city lure, which draws so
many pleasure-loving girls.
V. The JNIistress.
The mistress who engages help may well expect certain things uom
any one who enters her home for wages. They are:
Good Service. â She has a right to expect that the one whom she
._mplcys is capable of earning every cent of the money the girl de-
mands as wages. The girl should know her housekeeping businesi
either from home experience, from study and practice in schools, or
from good training in other homes; else how can she expect to be
Simple Honesty. â That a woman employing help in the home
should expect absolute honesty, need not be dwelt on. Not only-
honesty as regards the propert}' of others but honesty in the matter of
giving honest time and of doing honest work â not work that is well
done on the surface but untouched in the corners. A m'stress may
i^ghtfully insist that the maid possesses a sense of honor and respon-
sibility in the performance of all her work and in all her words, as
she, herself, practices honesty towards the maid; this much and no
more. An undependable servant is worse than useless.
Interest in the Work and in the Home. â A mistress may also
expect that the one who enters her employment makes herself inter-
ested in the work ,of the home and in the members of the family. No
one can do good work unless there is a feeling of absolute lo^-alty to
the work performed as well as to the employer. This is true in every
occupation of man â it is especially true in housework.
Concessions. â No problem on earth has only one side. H a mis-
tress expects certain things of those working for her, she must con-
cede equal rights and privileges to those employed by her.
Practice of the Golden Rule. â The mistress of the home must be
willing to understand and practice the golden rule. The good mistress
always has a lively imagination. She is able to put herself in the
position of the one who works for her and is willing to treat thf
worker as she would like to be treated, if she were in the position
of the servant. H a woman is willing to do this, she is more than
apt to succeed in the employment of help in the home. A good mis-
tress must realize that her helper is some other woman's daughter,
and as she would like her own daughter to be treated in similar circum-
stances, she must be willing to treat the girl who comes into her
home. A little love and expression of appreciation will do more
596 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
toward making the girl willing to work with vigor and determination
tlian will all the harsh w,ords and misunderstandings in the world. An
attempt to supplant in a way the mother love that the girl is missing
in being away from her own home will do much to bring out of the
girl the very best that is in her.
Another thing that the wise mistress understands is that every
human being needs companionship. The thoughtful mistress will
make it possible for the girl to have the right kind of companionship
when her work is done, even though she may not have it during the
period of work. This is often difficult if there is a feeling of class
distinction in the home â if the daughter of the house is considered
socially better than the maid who comes to work. But even though
that feeling exists, the mistress must encourage the girl to have the
right kind of friends come to see her and provide some way of making
right acquaintances. This is only fair to the girl because girlhood
comes but once and the friendships of girlhood are those which often
last the longest in life.
Another thing that the mistress must keep in mind in order to be
perfectly fair to the girl who works for her, is the fact that the girls
of today are the mothers of tomorrow. No woman wants the respon-
sibility of having urged the girl to w,ork at periods which may cause
serious injury to her body. Sympathy for the girl will enable the mis-
tress to instill into the unformed mind truths that will be helpful to
her when she grows into mature womanhood and undertakes the great
responsibility of life. Mother-Talks will be a great factor in drawing
the girl to the woman for whom she works, and will rouse in the girl
more interest in her tasks, while instilling gratitude and affection for
her mistress, and the members of the family for whom she works.
Aside from sentimental considerations, such a course is fair, just and
wise, and brings marketable returns.
Competition with City and Shop. â The wise mistress understands
that her home and the work of it is in keen competition with the life
of the big city or with the shop or factories in her town. The wise
woman will offer corresponding inducement for domestic service. She
must think of ways to make her work pleasant; making the girl so
happy that she will prefer life in the home to hard and constant labor
in the shop or the big city establishments. This truth applies to the
mother with daughters in the home. Such little devices as providing
a prize for the one who shells the most corn or who picks the most
peas or peels the onions for the pickling is perfectly legitimate. One
niight arrange a picklijig afternoon, and let the girl invite young
people to help her and then at the end have ice cream or cake; or let
them make candy or something that will make these hard periods of
housework pass over with some pleasure to remember them by. In
such ways only will the mistress be enabled to make home work m.orc
desirable than the work to be found in the shop and in the big city.
VI. The M.md's Point of View.
If we have daughters whom we desire for various reasons to_ go
out in the world and live in other people's homes to earn their living,
or to learn things that they may not have the chance of learning at
h.ome, let us consider the maid's point of view of the situation, for
there are two sides to every question.
Consideration of Advantages. â Thereare many reasons why house-
work is the very best occupation for girls who are anxious to earn
money for any reason whatsoever, or who are undertaking to earn
their own living before they become mothers and have a home of
The Question of Health.â There is no occupation known to
GUIDE LESSONS. 597
women that ofifers more inducements for the preservation of health
than does housework if it is rightly done. No woman should disregard
this fact in the training and care of her girl. No gymnasium ever
equipped ofifers a better chance for health-giving exercise than does a
medium-sized home or the large home, if it is organized so that no
one has to do more work than can be done well. If women would
dress for housework as they dress for the gymnasium, wearing com-
fortable shoes, comfortable clothing, and work always in rooms that
have a free current of air, they would get through their work that
constant change of occupation that is so necessary to bodily poise.
The tasks rotating agreeably, and every muscle, nerve, and the whole
intelligence healthfully engaged. With wisdom and proper under-
standing, housework can be made attractive as well as physically
helpful, and this is an advantage that should not be lightly considered.
The Question of Progression. â There is no work with the possible
exception of teaching, that gives a girl the chance to learn things that
are going to be of benefit to her in her after life as does housework.
This is decidedly not true of many of the occupations that women
choose today. Tf a woman is working in a comfortable, progressive,
intelligent home, she is learning all the time something that she can
use to her advantage when she gets a home of her own, and nothing
that she learns, if it is well done, need be unlearned. This is a great
advantage because life is so short and time is so precious.
It is true that a certain amount of drudgery must be done, but
there is no profession on earth that does not have its drudgery; house-
work is no exception to this. The drudgery must be performed intel-
ligently and imder as favorable conditions as possible that it may be
mimimized instead of exaggerated. Even dish-washing can be pleas-
ant if performed under healthy conditions in a clean, pleasant kitchen,
and especially with some good companion. No girl objects to wash-
ing dishes in her chum's kitchen. It is only at home that she objects
to this. Now mothers, what is the reason?
Protection. â In the case of a girl forced to earn her living as well
as of the girl who may choose housework, there is no better occupa^
tion because of the protection that it gives the girl. In most of the
town occupations, in shop work, etc., girls are exposed to more or
less temptation to indulge in the lesser evils of vanity and extrava-
gance, as well as in those of greater magnitude. Bad men and bad
women are to be found everywhere in the city and the town, and it
must be understood by girls that if they take upon themselves the
responsibility of seeking service with non-"Mormons," these evil condi-
tions too often exist, and they have to meet all kinds of temptations.
Ir the Mormon home, on the other hand, they are and should be, pro-
tected, shielded by wise women, and given a chance to form the right
kind of companionship.
Wages. â In no other occupation is a woman able to begin her
work with so little outlay. In beginning any kind of business, one
has to spend a certain amount of money, more or less, in order to
learn the profession. The very nature of home life makes it possible
for a girl to learn domestic service in her own home usually, so that
she can begin her waee-earning work really without any capital, except
that of experience. The better the experience, the better the capital
and the more wages she can demand. There are few professions of
women that are better paid even though it does not seem to be true
on the surface. A girl who earns three dollars in a home js
really better paid than a girl who earns six dollars in a shop. The girl
in the shop, unless she happens to be living in her own home where
her parents are willing to take care of her, has to pay her board, dress
598 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
herself well, take care of her laundry, and all of her incidental ex-
penses, so that a great percentage of her six dollars goes out for neces-
sary living expenses. In housework, the wages that she earns is
almost entirely clear profit and a big part of it can be set aside as
savings. The dress of the woman doing housework is much less ex-
pensive than that of the w.oman who works in the shop, for nice clean
gingham dresses are used most of the time and only one or two
dresses annually are necessary to wear to social affairs, whereas in
the shop, the wear and tear of clothes and of shoe leather, of hats, of
coats, and all ,of the different kinds of clothing far exceeds any
domestic need. Not only are the demands more, but the girls who
are in town all the time feel that they must dress better and better,
and there is more temptation to spend their money instead of saving
it. So that from CA'ery point of view, the moderate wages paid in
housework really is to the advantage of the girl who performs this
kind of work. This is a consideration that is seldom thought of and
yet should be well understood by the girl who intends to earn her
living. It is also true that if a girl is the least bit capable she has a
chance to keep her job indefinitely, for there are many homes in which
competent help is needed, and the mistress is only too glad to find a
girl who is willing to work until a possible chance comes to make
a home of her own. This is not true of the other occupations. Changes
come very rapidly, and often unexpectedly, and the girl often finds
herself out of a job for one trivial cause or another.
VII. Rights of the Maid.
There are certain requirements that every self-respecting girl
should make of her mistress. When first entering a home, she should
have a good, yet modestly conducted talk with the lady and have a
mutual understanding of what she is able to give and what she expects
in return from her mistress. In the first place, she has a right to
demand a clean, comfortable room. This is worth a great deal and if
it cannot be provided, one is perfectly justified in demanding more
wages or some other advantage to offset the handicap. She should be
given, above all things, a good, comfortable bed. It is really to the
advantage of the mistress to have the working girl sleep well, for if
she doesn't, she is in no condition to work hard during the day. The
pleasanter the room can be made, the easier it will be for the maid
to remember the interests of the family who lives there.
Definite Hours and Holidays. â As far as possible there should be
an understanding of the nature and kind of work required. The girl
should demand definite hours and certain holidays, if possible. The
hours should not be too long. If, for some family reason, the work
m.ust be done at six o'clock in the morning, and the girl must, of ne-
cessity, rise one-half or one hour before this, she should be given a
chance to rest in the afternoon. The eight-hour law may be a little
short for the performance .of housework, because all tasks are not
equally severe. No human being should be required to work from
five o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock at night without some
chance of recreation, pleasure, or rest. If for any reason a working
day must be made this long, some of the following days must be made
shorter to compensate for it. It is no argument to say that the mis-
tress keeps long, hard working hours. That is entirely outside of her
business arrangement with hired help.
A girl must also insist upon having an afternoon for herself, that
she may do the personal things her life requires. She should have
some chance to go down town to d,o her shopping, to visit a friend,
or to indulge in some of the pleasures that her busy life seems_ to
forbid. This afternoon should be her very own and under the wise.
GUIDE LESSONS. 599
indirect oversight of the mistress may be spent in any way that the
Whether or not a free Sabbath is given to the girl, she has a right
to demand at least half of that day that she may be enabled to go to
church if she chooses, or to have a visit with her friends, or to have
another break in the routine of the week. Very few businesses de-
mand their workers to be on hand the seven days of the week, and
until housework is planned so that more freedom is given the worker,
the supply of trained, maids will decrease. If the Sabbath cannot be
gi^ en, then the mistress should supply a greater wage or some other
inducement that will counter-balance this disadvantage.
Provision for Companionship. â TheJ girl may also require some
chance of forming the right kind .of acquaintances. She should be pro-
vided with some suitable pla^pe where she may ask "her friends to
come and that place should not be the kitchen. If there is no other
available room in the house, then some arrangements must be made
to have a certain evening when she may have the use of the dining
room, or sitting roiom. No girl should receive company in her bed-
room, unless very careful supervision is maintained. If her bedroom
is made up with a couch into a day sitting room, and there is a chance
for other members of the family to have free entrance, then there may
be no objection to the girl using her own room for company. No girl