The other day, when I got bored of watching the suits lose their shit on CNBC, I flipped to E! and caught part of the True Hollywood Story about Kimora Lee Simmons. This ad, and the controversy caused by the related campaign, were a part of it:
The former Mrs. Simmons received a lot of flack for the depiction of her household help in several Baby Phat print advertisements. I really don’t have an opinion on the ads, probably ‘cause I am perpetually trying to decipher if I envy Kimora or want to see if her vag has a taste as expensive as the rest of her.
The butler brouhaha led me to wonder, with the gap between the rich and the poor growing into a chasm so big it makes goatse look tight, why not investigate becoming hired help? After all, there still will be rich people in the world, even during this Greater Depression. And they’re going to need someone to do their laundry.
Maids and Butlers
“Have you dreamed of working in a large, luxurious home of wealth, surrounded by beautiful artwork, gorgeous tapestries, the finest of furnishings, and other possessions of high-profile people of distinction?” the website asks upon first click.
Um, no. But if working for rich people in their home is as close as I can get to being middle class, well, sign me the hell up.
At Professional Domestic Services & Institute you can learn how to do everything properly, from estate caretaking to entertaining with style. After eight weeks of their comprehensive courses you — yes, you! — can become a certified housekeeper. I searched all over the site to find out how much one of these eight week intensive mopinars would cost, but you have to call their offices in order to get that sort of skinny from PDSI.
The week long courses, which range in subjects but are sure to leave you with the knowledge of how to wax on and wax off, are $2,700 per week. Using that price as a guide, I can say that, in my mathematically and fiscally challenged opinion, this shit is expensive. I have no idea how you learn to tend to the rich unless you are rich. Or maybe the upper crust pay for you to learn how to launder their lingerie and control their garden pests. I should hope so. Some titles and their corresponding yearly salaries are listed below:
Administrative Household Manager: $50,000 to $135,000
Housecleaner: $35,000 to $55,000
Laundry specialist: $35,000 to $45,000
Caretaker: $15,000 to $40,000
As a vegan, I know me some dietary restrictions. I would love to be sequestered in a gorgeous kitchen where I could prepare special meals for special people. The problem with me personally is that I am clumsy, prone to breakage, and don’t know an ounce from a cup. But if I was looking to hone my skills, I could always drop by the United States Personal Chef Training Association’s five day undergraduate course. With instruction, recipes, and guidance on how to market yourself, the $2,695 tuition cost sets you up with all the mental tools you need, while scoping out the sapphire-encrusted spatula for your potential clientele is up to you. I’m not sure how much of an ROI this program gives off, however. The average personal chef’s salary can be 19K to 47K a year, depending. Hey, at least you never need to ask what’s for dinner.
Pop quiz: what’s the difference between a nanny and a governess?
Nannies are (usually) strictly for childcare, while governesses also educate the runts.
Though you may be wiping little ones’ runny noses, the pay ain’t nothing to sneeze at, anywhere from $400 to $700 weekly.
If you’re looking to get into governing, you can check out the English Nanny And Governess School located in the unfortunately named town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The company has gotten a lot of press, everything from CNN to The White House to Nanny 911, and offers to teach you “to challenge children to reach their greatest potential by nurturing their intellect, imagination and ingenuity.” You can learn how to not want to get your tubes tied, too, I suppose.
The cost to get your degree in being a stand in for a parent while mummy and daddy go to St. Tropez? A cool $7,300 for tuition and fees, and that’s not including the room and board costs for ENGS. But, hey, at least the certification guarantees that you’re not going to be like Miss Hannigan.
Personally, I would probably discover the somewhat unsettling truth that I can barely handle a small, well-behaved dog, there is no way in hell that I could handle somebody else’s kids. Especially if it was to babysit while they went out shopping.
Of course, I think that there’s a level of wisdom and humility that comes with working in some level of servitude. I don’t know if I could honestly clean up a spoiled teenager’s room while hearing her yammer on her iPhone about how she is going to go shopping for designer heels, but that’s my own bitter, envious judgment making my life more difficult. If I learn how not to covet, maybe the next career move for me will be keeping corners creased and telling vagina jokes to the rich and famous.
Ring my bell: AinsleyDrew at gmail dot com. A huge thank you to those of you who donate, you allow me to buy the cheese-food in the spray can, not just the squeeze bottle.
Like It. It’s rare but sometimes things don’t make me want to throw up.