Minimum wage cleaner suddenly reveals her royal links to James O'Brien

11 June 2021, 15:36

James O'Brien to ex-Buckingham Palace cleaner: 'Who was the messiest?'

By Tim Dodd

This is the moment a cleaner who is 'happy' with her minimum wage job suddenly reveals to James O'Brien she was Deputy Housekeeper at Buckingham Palace. 

Jo in Rye started by telling James: "I'm a part-time cleaner on minimum wage. I have the keys to the doctor's surgery where I work. I start work at six in the morning, and I finish at eight.

"I go in, it's a mess, I know what needs doing. Sort it out, lock up, I can see the visible results of what I've achieved - everything sparkling clean - and come ten past eight, I don't think about work again until tomorrow.

"I have zero stress. Yes it's minimum wage, and sometimes when people ask me what I do and I say I'm a cleaner, [and] sometimes I get that look.

"Don't we all clean to some extent? I just happen to be paid for it!"

"I might have to put you in touch with my wife," James said.

James O'Brien wonders if people love their jobs

Jo continued: "I take great pride in whatever job I've ever done, and I do it to the best of my ability. I've got a first-class honours degree, I had a jewellery business, I was self-employed doing that but I found the pressure of having to be able to supply a constant income took the enjoyment away from me making.

"I also was a Deputy Housekeeper at Buckingham Palace."

James interjected: "Woah, okay, start the tape. Who was the messiest?"

Jo said that she wasn't going to tell James.

"You have to tell me, it's the rules!" James replied. "Who was the tidiest?"

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Again Jo replied: "I'm not going to tell you!

"The point being - I've had really good, well-paid jobs with responsibility, and now I'm on a job on minimum wage and this is the one that gives me the most enjoyment. As soon as that [security] alarm's set - done - I can come home, enjoy the garden, the dog, the animals."

James said: "It would be nice if you got paid a bit more per hour. And this is perhaps the point that slightly patronising left-wing people miss, is when you campaign for people on minimum wage to get more pay, there's a danger of thinking that they must all be miserable serfs with their faces pressed up to the window like Oliver Twist and his mates in the workhouse when Mr Bumble was tucking in to delicious meats."

Jo concluded that she'd "rather be happy and appreciative" of what she's got rather than "work all the hours given, have money in the bank, but have no joy and no time to spend it."

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