Here is something that was made to get people on the internet mad: a hidden camera video of a hotel housekeeper looking through a guy's stuff while she was cleaning his room. "Shocking" is how various places have described the video, but is it really? And more importantly: who really cares if this happens?
If you don't feel like watching the full 3:47 video, I won't blame you, because watching someone walk around a room is boring. But let's be clear about exactly what this woman—who is described as an employee of an American "brand-name hotel"—actually does: she picks up a package and looks at it, sees what PS3 games the man has brought with him (this video is about ethics in hotel cleaning), looks at the PS3, looks at his laptop, picks up and allegedly attempts to turn on his tablet, tries to "access" his Chromebook and opens the top of his luggage. Then she completely cleans his room, picks up after him, changes his sheets and walks out with the entire space looking sparkling.
The woman is not alleged to have stolen any of the man's property or disturbed it in any meaningful or permanent way, but the idea of a hotel housekeeper touching the belongings of a guest goes against the general societal principles instilled in all of us as children. Yet in watching this video, we must accept a simple truth.
Cleaning hotel rooms for a living is a supremely shitty job. Just think about how much you hate cleaning your own bedroom and changing your own sheets, and then imagine doing that all day, every day, except instead of touching your own dirty towels and sheets, it's those of a random and gross man (all men are gross). On the one hand, the nature of the job exhausts you physically; on the other hand, the monotony of it exhausts you mentally. The physical aspect of the job can't really be remedied, but the mental aspect can, namely by blithely looking at or through people's stuff.
Again, this goes against many of the norms that our very society is built on—but this is not a question of ethics, it's a question of empathy. If you were a housekeeper at a hotel, would you not find yourself tempted by the prospect of checking out someone else's stuff? If, after weeks or months or years on the job, would you not one day give in and pick up someone's iPad or—gasp!—rifle through their PS3 games? If you say that you wouldn't, you are probably a liar.
Housekeeping staffs are almost wholly made up of women—many of whom are minorities, including both legal and undocumented immigrants. Their rates of injury are high and they make very little money—just under $20,000 annually, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and basically nobody tips them. Hotel customers indirectly pay for this service when booking a room, but if barely subsidizing this specific type of labor—which is both grueling and mind-numbing—comes with an effective tax of the housekeeper snooping around the room when we're not there, I think it's safe to say that we all will survive.
All of which is to say nothing of a man effectively complaining about an invasion of his privacy by secretly recording someone and then posting it on the internet, where it has been viewed millions of times and likely endangered the job of the person in the video, whose livelihood is more important than the sanctity of someone's Playstation games.
Don't secretly record your hotel housekeepers and post the video on the internet. If you see something, don't say something. Unless all you see is a woman changing your sheets, in which case you can just say thanks.