close up view of a shower head with water coming out of it

The dichotomy of bathing has become axiomatic to understanding the collars of the labor force. White-collar workers shower before work. Blue-collar workers shower when they get home. Whites must arrive clean; blues must leave dirty. But there is another class of showerers: those who can only shower when another person can take over for a few minutes. These opportunity-showerers are those whose work does not include breaks by law or by nature. They are those for whom a moment of inattention could be catastrophic. They are those whose duty is vigilance, and whose compensation may be little more than not having failed. The opportunity-showerers are volunteer caregivers.

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