Saturday, May 21, 2011

The price of Ivy League pampering

Kia Grasty makes $140,000 cleaning up after Penn’s messiest students—and after her tales (and photos) of clogged toilets and filthy bathtubs, few would begrudge her it. ...

Kia has parlayed the effusive recommendation of one student, who found her on Google, into a customer base of dozens of Ivy League neat freaks and slobs—including high-profile scions like [NYPD Blue actress Kim] Delaney’s son, Vera Wang’s daughter, and the heir to the Beverly Hilton—many of whom pay her for the entire year in advance.

Grasty doesn’t judge her clients for a sense of entitlement because she doesn’t see entitlement as a bad thing. “Students should be focusing on books not disinfectant and cleaning the bathroom,” she says. That said, what she sees could sometimes inspire a proper horror movie, from hay-bale-sized piles of clothes to clogged toilets to, at one frat, mounds of defecation in a bathtub, which she captures for posterity with her cell phone camera. ...

More than a cleaner, many students view Grasty as something of a surrogate mother (Kim Delaney is far from the only parent with Grasty on speed-dial), who goes so far as to help coordinate moves and stock up apartments in advance of the new academic year. ...

Never married and with no children of her own, the maternal feeling runs both ways, especially since the death of her own mother last year (she has since also become a regular churchgoer). ...

Come graduation, Grasty takes a front-and-center seat at Penn¹s historic Franklin Field to watch her favorite kids sport their cap and gown.
--Daniella Wexler, Daily Beast, on compensating differentials

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