The bosses at Marriott Hotels have come up with a real nifty public relations gimmick to give the appearance of caring about their minimum wage employees while continuing to despise them with all the utter contempt at their disposal. It might be called the Neoliberal Two-Step.
Step One: the Marriott suits are inveigling hotel customers to supplement the low wages of The Help through tasteful "tip envelopes" now being discreetly placed in all the rooms. They're partnering with Democratic celebrity multimillionaire and renowned poverty concern troll Maria Shriver, who is adding her liberal cachet to the "Envelope Please" murketing effort. She, unlike others of her class, has actually deigned on occasion to interact with the women cleaning her luxury suites:
“The Envelope Please was born from having conversations with women I’ve met who have taken care of my room during hotel stays. Their stories of hard work and perseverance inspired and informed me. They told me that room attendants, who are often the primary breadwinner for their families, are often forgotten when it comes to tipping, unlike other front-of-house employees, since most travelers don't see them face-to-face. I hope this gratitude initiative will make these women feel seen and validated,” said Maria Shriver, founder of A Woman’s Nation.Of course, Shriver would never dream of agitating for a living wage and benefits for these women, who suffer more than their share of back problems and other ailments through constant repetitive lifting and bending. And of course, the suggested tip is a mere $1 a day, with $5 being the absolute outer limit of gratitude if The Help has gone the extra distance.
But wait! There is an even better solution to help The Help than tips, paid sick days off, and top-notch health care coverage:
Step Two: in order to make Maria Shriver feel even more self-satisfied by allowing women to be better seen and validated, a choreographer from the Joffrey Ballet is teaching The Marriott Help how to perform servile dance moves and postures -- the better to seduce their coddled clientele to keep coming back for more. And who knows, maybe even inspire them to be more generous tippers and thank-you note writers. If you're a housekeeper able to master the following stunts, Marriott guests might be more apt to put that extra buck in your envelope to supplement your meager paycheck:
|We'll Bend Over Backward to Fulfill Your Every Whim....|
Let Me Just Sweep Up Your Crumbs for My Breakfast....
|Your Fresh Towels, Madame....|
|How Can I Die For You Today?|
|Unpaid No-Excuses Break Time: Pulling Ourselves Up By Our Ballet Straps|
Of course, the New York Times is slanting this bizarre story as a positive for Marriott and for wealthy travelers everywhere, who apparently have been getting mighty sick and tired of clumsy, injury-prone chambermaids lumbering about like herds of heifers and hungry exhausted bellboys who have not yet learned the art of refined obsequiousness:
While pirouettes and grand jetés may not get a porter to your room any faster, a little basic ballet training might improve their grace upon arrival. At least that’s what JW Marriott is hoping will come of a new employee training program it has developed in partnership with the Joffrey Ballet in New York. The hotel’s Poise and Grace Program is a series of video tutorials led by the Joffrey’s artistic director, Ashley Wheater. In them, Mr. Wheater demonstrates core movements and mind-sets practiced by professional dancers in order to achieve the seamless flow of a ballet sequence.
The training focuses on four areas: warming up the body, proper breathing techniques, the flow of movement and a connection with the audience. In essence, to think and act as if they were on stage- or perhaps in a Wes Anderson film.Or, you can make believe that you're the star of an especially dystopian remake of Cinderella. Disassociation from one's actual plantation-like surroundings works wonders for the psyche. If you embrace the mannerisms of a slave through proper breathing techniques and the like, then you seamlessly become the slave through no will of your own. Disgruntlement vanishes out the window as fast as the overworked ballerina heroine of The Red Shoes throwing herself off a balcony.
|Poise & Grace Rejectee: No "Envelope Please" for You, Moira Shearer!|