Monday, May 21, 2007

Old Poles

There was on a flier left at my door this afternoon, not handwritten but a primitive computer generation: "Attention!!! I am Polish and looking for work. I can clean houses well, and will do a good job. You will be very pleased. I have referances [sic]. Call... please ask for Barbara."

I have to wonder about how much cleaner my house would be with that Polish touch, as opposed to Lithuanian clean or a Bohemian shine. I'm reminded of a place I used to work, a six-story building in the River North district of Chicago (just north of the Loop). In the late '80s, the entire nighttime cleaning crew was Polish -- not from among the many 2nd- or 3rd-generation Poles in Chicago, but older ladies born and raised in the old country. I understand that workers like them were the major source of hard currency for Poland in the Communist era.


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