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Audio recording clip of interview with Alma Whitney by Claytee D. White, March 3, 1996

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Part of an interview with Alma Whitney by Claytee White on March 3, 1996. Whitney describes her experiences as a maid and discrimination in her job.

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Alma Whitney oral history interviews, 1996 March 03, 1996 May 28. OH-01972. [Audio recording] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las


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Tell me some of the regular kinds of problems that maids run in to? When you where a maid and as a supervisor, tell me some of the problems that the women encountered. Well, I can tell you a little incident I had when I was doing maid work. I was working at night at the time and, you know, people, they think because you're black that's all you want to do is steal. So, this particular time, now, I was working in an area and the lady had missed some money. So, she didn't come to me and ask me, she just say the maid had taken some money of hers. When security came to me and asked me, I told him that I 12 hadn't turned the room down. The lady wouldn't let me in the room. So, I didn't turn the room down that particular night. So, the next day, I did turn her room down and she said that I had taken her money, but the thing was, her husband took the money and she wasn't women enough to find out from him, she just assumed that I took it. So then, when they came and asked me, I told the lady that I didn't, she described where it was, it was in her drawer. I said the only thing that I'm allowed to do in your room is give you fresh towels and turn your bed down, that's all I'm supposed to do. I said as far as rambling through your room, I don't. I said I works for a living, I don't steal. So, she said she knew I had it, so, after she made the statement that I had it, the room was right next to the locker and I could here, I heard what she said, so, then I went and told the housekeeper that I refused to turn her room down because she accused me of stealing and they told me that I would have to turn her room down. I said, oh, no. I will not turn her room down. The only way that I would turn her room down, she would have to be in the room, otherwise, I wouldn't touch it. So, she was determined that I had been in there and, you know, and I had took something from her. So, when she came and told me that I was the one that had taken, when her husband came after, when he came, he saw the security guards there and he wanted to know was there a problem. So then, she says that the maid had took some money, then the guy, he did some awful cursing and told her that she was lying, that I hadn't taken the money, he took the money and why didn't she question him before she accused me of taking her money. After he blowed his stack, they moved, they left. He said he refused to stay there because he didn't like the idea what his wife had said. But, then she came to the locker and she apologized to me, plus, she wanted to give me a tip and I told her no thanks. She could keep it because she had accused me of taking money, I said I don't feel right taking your money now. I didn't take what you say I took, so I don't want it. And she asked me, she just begging, asking me if I would please take it, I told her I was sorry but I worked for a living and I didn't want her tip. 13 What kind of tips did you earn at that time? Well, it all depends on, you had some people that would give you like a dollar each day. If they stayed five days, you could expect five dollars. Some of them, if they stayed ten days or whatever, you could get a dollar per day and some of them would give you more than that. Now, I did have some movie stars that would stay on my station. The Maguire Sisters, they would always stay on my station and usually when they would leave, I would get like $50. to $75. for the length of time that they were there. They wouldn't tip like every day, she would tip like once a week and from $25. to $50. that she would give you, you know, for a tip.