Even with two degrees and a book deal, Rebecca Golden has had a tough time keeping her bank balance above zero, she writes for Salon, so she's turned to an edifying, if often terrifying, sideline: cleaning houses. “I suppose I could find other ways to make ends meet,” she writes. “But cleaning has a physical aspect I relish,” and when “a filthy hellhole” becomes a habitable abode, "you know you’ve accomplished something.” Just don’t ask about toilets.
The recession hasn't stopped people from splurging on "a Craigslist cleaner to spare the lady of the house the indignity of scrubbing her own toilet." A recent example “mocked me with all its nasty human feces stains and the dusting of wiry black hairs around the base.” But “very rich people want the cheapest price.” Recently, 8 hours of brutal cleaning netted Golden just $78. When she gets home, she’s “greeted by the stink of the cat box” and her living room looks like a disaster zone. “I should clean, but I'm not going to. If anyone asks, it's the maid's day off."