Archive for November, 2009

#69 - Butlers

#69 - Butlers

Price: Tolerating Fake British Accents

Most people will never understand the trials and tribulations that rich people cope with daily. While country mansions, yachts, wine cellars, exotic cars and private islands sound appealing to most, it is easy to forget that not having a job means plenty of free time which “simply must be managed, darling”. Whether this is lunch at the club, high tea, shopping or attending galas for the latest cause, it is nearly impossible for one person to shoulder that much planning without the specialized training that an eight week butler course offers. In exchange for this extensive and specialized training, butlers are offered a six-figure salary and the opportunity to live where they work by way of a room in the vast estate. Often this is augmented by keys to the wine cellar and the head of the household looking the other way when Jeeves smuggles a full bodied cabernet back to his lonely living quarters.

Butlers’ duties do extend beyond scheduling the lives of their wealthy employers. In fact, the breadth of skills they display is impressive and may include cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, valet services, secretarial work, event planning and personal shopping. While these qualities are important, the real reason that rich people love having a butler is because it is akin to achieving a Cub Scout badge for self-importance. A butler illustrates to friends, family and acquaintances that a rich person’s time is so valuable that nearly every household and personal task is beneath them. Hired help thus frees their time to focus on “high value” tasks like testing martinis at lunch or having their hair professionally blow-dried at ten o’clock each morning.

The question you should be asking yourself is how does this help you to make friends with rich people? As Yogi Berra once said, “when you come to a fork in the road, take it”; get to know a butler or become a butler! Kissing up to the butler is an art but when performed correctly you will secure social invitations to stately soirees. Becoming a butler is more time intensive but may lead to ingratiation and a lifelong association with the family; think Alfred and Bruce Wayne, Smithers and Veronica Lodge or Geoffrey and the Fresh Prince of Belair. Over time these gentlemen became as important to the family as Lassie was to Timmy. Be warned, as the butler you can never forget your place in the household as wearing a white tie to dinner rather than the hired help black will certainly mean ending your tenure with your tail between your legs but at least you will finally know when to use the small fork!

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