MARCH 24, 1938
SEATTLE, Wednesday—We spent a rather long luncheon hour yesterday at the practice house where, for the past month, the WPA and NYA have been conducting their training school for household workers. The luncheon was well cooked and well served. The house has about the average equipment of a home in this vicinity where one maid would be employed. Though they have only been operating a month, two girls have already been placed in domestic employment.
I had the opportunity of talking with the girls and they asked me questions which are probably very similar to those in the minds of many of the workers on these projects. Evidently, in this part of the country, most people want their maids to live in the home where they are employed. One young girl told me she had a father and a mother to support who were not very well and she had to be home at night. Therefore, did I think she would be able to obtain employment?
Of course, there must be people here who have no maid's room and still need the services of a maid for a part of the day. If, through her training, this girl can become so expert that in an eight hour day she can do more than the average untrained girl, I feel sure that she will find employment. There is always room for work which is exceptionally good.
A woman, who evidently has a family at home, asked about the possibility of obtaining work in some special lines. I think the same answer applies to her. If you clean well and quickly, or can fill in when the regular maid is out, you can build up work on an hourly basis.
The state of Washington has passed a law limiting the hours of household workers to sixty hours a week. On these projects, therefore, they have something definite to do in trying to work out a satisfactory schedule of hours for the ordinary household.
In the afternoon I had the fun of going to the dressmaker with my daughter to watch her try on a dress which she is having made from some homespun woven on our Val-Kill looms at Hyde Park and which I gave her at Christmas. It is going to be very pretty and most becoming.
On the way home we stopped to see Mrs. Usher, who calls herself "the scrapbook lady." She certainly has a passion for collecting and I know my husband would sympathize with her. She lives in an apartment with her five boys and I wonder what is going to happen if she keeps on collecting. Forty-four scrapbooks, filled with clippings and pictures of the Roosevelts, are already completed and I think the day will come when it will be a question of the scrapbooks filling the apartment or the Usher family moving out. I have often felt the same way about my husband's naval collection, so perhaps I am unduly apprehensive.
We spent a peaceful evening. Conversation flowed so steadily, that every time Anna tried to make some notes for a speech delivered on the radio this morning, she found herself drawn back into the conversation. Finally, she went to bed without really having accomplished her task.