I had to get my windows washed recently (hadn't done it in years, outside only) and the hourly rate ended up being over $50.00 for the husband and wife team. Not bad.
My first congregation was located in Pullman, WA. Pullman is a small college town, if you take away Washington State University, there's nothing there. Several brothers were trying to pioneer and make money as janitors/window washers. Because of the nature of the town the only way any of them could make more was to steal business from somebody else in the congregation. It frequently caused bitterness and divisions.
I have a BA from WSU in English, and a diploma in accounting from a private vocational school. I had a pretty good career as an accountant. I've made a grand total of $900 as a writer, although I hope to have a book out this fall. Who knows I might push my life time total from the English degree over the $1000 mark.
in the UK they are called window cleaners. i was one for a few months. i was a 16 year old pioneer..and found out another dub in a different kh needed help with his cleaning round. i earned a weeks wages in 2 days.
but the year wore on--the weather got too cold and that did it for me.
now i pay a guy to clean my windows. £12 for the job--takes him about 20 minutes.
Both my brothers did it.
I was of the age where my mother was insistent that I should get a trade as it's a 'real job'; office jobs weren't real.
Sadly I went to uni and got an office job and did quite well as an evil apostate.
I don't think I've ever had my windows washed or my carpet cleaned by anyone that wasn't a JW.
I called it the Velvet Trap when I was a window cleaner. Yes, there is nothing wrong with earning a living by manual labour and having a trade skill is as valuable to society, or more valuable, than most white collar careers,
There is no skill progression and no career progression in window cleaning. The only advancement you can make is to take on more work.
Compare that to something like carpentry. Your skills and abilities increase over years until you can call yourself a master craftsman. You can go from doing utilitarian work to practically artistry.
The reason that window cleaning is a trap is that to earn a decent wage takes all your time and energy. How can you take an evening course to learn a different skill when you come home physically exhausted every evening? The Velvet part of the trap is that you can earn enough money to earn a decent wage, so you would lose money if you stopped window cleaning and started in a new trade.
The only reason that I escaped is because I fell off my ladder while window cleaning and the government paid for me to retrain as I could no longer do my job. I thank Dog every day for that slippy bit of patio!
It was always amusing to see our kingdom hall car park with the number of cars & vans with ladders on top parked there!
There always seems to be two kinds of window washers in the Org - (1) the casual type who just do a couple of days work a week ( as long as it isn't raining or too hot ) ,start at 10am , long "pioneer" style coffee breaks & lunches , clock off at 3.30pm and claim all the welfare benefits possible and (2) the real grafters who work very hard 6 days a week starting at 6am , invest in expensive vans and equipment ( like the deionised water pole systems ) and really built up a good business.
I helped another JW occasionally when I was younger for an occasional day - I hated every minute of it ( and was very much a type 1 minus the welfare benefits ). It was good cash earning work though.
Ironically type (1) , because they usually go out during the week on the ministry are usually regarded as "stronger spiritually" whereas type (2) are regarded as weak and materialistic.
I've never had my windows washed or my carpet cleaned by a JW -- I'd been warned by PO and learned to duck after every other kind of entrepreneurial skill/scheme.
People are always desperate for reliable, responsible, cleaning people. Competent ones make very good, tax- free, money, unless licensed, insured, cleaning cos.
I knew several self employed types ...most were clueless as to how to run a business. I always believed they should at least have gone to the local community college and taken a few courses in business management. Their accounting methods were lacking or illegitimate...and they had no concept of keeping personal financing separate from the business end or paying taxes. I know 2 in particular that the irs caught up with...and they owed $50k.....and that was over 20 years ago...so go figure. And none of them had health or life insurance...and they would hire poor gullible kids in the cong and have them doing all the nasty stuff for minimum wage or less.