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COchick
09-27-2010, 12:05 AM
So, my MC is filthy rich, has a huge house, etc. I have already given him a personal chef, but what other sorts of servants would work for a modern day home. Housekeeper? Butler? And would they be there all the time, like live-in, or just for certain hours of the day?

Thanks, guys!

Smish
09-27-2010, 12:17 AM
I'd call them employees or staff, and not servants.

And what they'd have depends on the person. What would your character have? If you're wealthy enough, you can hire people to do absolutely anything and everything that can be imagined.

waylander
09-27-2010, 01:06 AM
personal assistant, driver, gardeners, priest/guru

Shakesbear
09-27-2010, 01:46 AM
How and where they live would be up to the employer - and possibly a job description. Also the 'where' would have an impact depending on employment laws and such. If the MC has a large house he might also need a lot of cleaners. If he entertains a lot then he would also need to employ, possibly on a part-time basis, waiters, maids and additional kitchen staff - porters, commis chef etc. As Waylander has already said he would need a PA - who might do some hiring and firing.

whacko
09-27-2010, 03:24 AM
Hi COChick,

In the UK, being a Privy Councellor is a big thing... very historic, very noble. The original privy counsellors, however, used to clean Henry the VIII's bottom. Touching the anointed buttocks was considered a great honour then, carried out by Lords no less.

So if your MC is that rich, and powerful, there is a tradition of employing who you want, to do whatever the hell you want done.

So let your imagination run free young chap.

Regards

mtrenteseau
09-27-2010, 08:06 AM
Touching the anointed buttocks was considered a great honour then, carried out by Lords no less.

Like in Coming to America?

Prince Akeem: "Can't I at least go to the bathroom by myself?"

King Jaffe: "Don't be ridiculous. [claps to summon servants] Wipers!"

Here's a few other options for staff:


Butler - oversees the house. May handle all household financial arrangements (paying utilities, ordering groceries, repairmen, etc.) Receives visitors, answers the phone, and receives mail. Manages all other servants.
Housekeeper - in the absence of a butler, performs those functions. If there are both a butler and a housekeeper, the housekeeper supervises female staff. See Remains of the Day for an example of a household with both.
Valet - serves a specific male member of the family, laying out clothes, running errands.
Lady's maid - serves a specific female member of the family.
Maid - handles cleaning and may serve at table.
Depending on the household situation, he may also have a gardner and a chauffeur.

BenPanced
09-27-2010, 08:53 AM
The International Guild of Professional Butlers (http://www.butlersguild.com/) has more information on household staff.

Birol
09-27-2010, 09:50 AM
Housekeeper, personal assistant, handyman/gardener, security guard, nanny.

fringle
09-27-2010, 10:46 AM
Just a bit on vocab, I've never called anyone who works for me or in my home a servant, ever. Also, neither I nor any of my friends call our drivers chauffeurs anymore. It sounds pretentious and outdated.

Linda Adams
09-27-2010, 02:11 PM
He might also have security as well. That would include the guards themselves, and a chief of security to oversee them.

shaldna
09-27-2010, 02:57 PM
So, my MC is filthy rich, has a huge house, etc. I have already given him a personal chef, but what other sorts of servants would work for a modern day home. Housekeeper? Butler? And would they be there all the time, like live-in, or just for certain hours of the day?

Thanks, guys!


It's incredibly bad form to call them servants, staff is more appropriate, help is considered condescending.

Housekeepers, nanny and gardeners are the most common, and many less well off families will have one or the other.

How long they spend in the hosue depends on the contract. Some staff will live in, often nannys or au pairs, gardeners and stable/grounds staff will often have accomodation on site, but in an annex, flat or house of thier own.

They can come in from outside, work 8 hours and go home again, not staying.

Tsu Dho Nimh
09-27-2010, 07:43 PM
So, my MC is filthy rich, has a huge house, etc. I have already given him a personal chef, but what other sorts of servants would work for a modern day home. Housekeeper? Butler? And would they be there all the time, like live-in, or just for certain hours of the day?

Full staff for the filthy rich is often outsourced to secretive employment agencies. Here's some I remember being mentioned in Lifestyles of the Filthy rich.

Few are live-in because they have multiple clients and charge monthly fees to all of them.

1 - Housekeeper and maybe one or more subordinate staff who keep the interior clean and properly decorated, do the laundry, cook, and in general act like rent-a-wife.

2 - Personal chef/nutritionist who often works for more than one client and just leaves ready-to-heat things in the frig for the housekeeper, or just recipes and ingredient lists for the client.

3 - Landscaping maintenance usually done by a firm that does nothing but maintenance for a number of clients. Very little client contact unless the client has a strong interest in gardening.

4 - Personal assistant (a cross between a personal secretary and the old-style valet) ... shops, mails things, dry cleaning runs. Usually draws the line at cooking and cleaning.

5 - Personal trainer shows up at exercise time as scheduled, may double as a nutrition adviser and masseuse

6 - If there are multiple vehicles, they may have a dedicated mechanic/chauffer

7 - Bodyguards and security consultant

8 - Fashion adviser (image consultants) everything from shopping and fashion advice to make-up, hair styling ... may also have personal cosmetologist who does makeup for important events.

9 - PR consultant and rumor control

10 - Lawyer or law firm on a retainer

11 - Financial advisers

mtrenteseau
09-27-2010, 09:00 PM
Just a bit on vocab, I've never called anyone who works for me or in my home a servant, ever. Also, neither I nor any of my friends call our drivers chauffeurs anymore. It sounds pretentious and outdated.

The car service I used in New York uses the term chauffeurs in some of their printed literature, but I always call them drivers.

The term "help" is particularly American, and is intended to suggest that the family is capable and willing to do the things the staff is hired to do; they're not doing it for us, they're just "helping."

Whatever term you prefer, it can be said with condescension and a sneer and be made into something awful.

My MC has a butler, and in an early scene states that his house has one "full time employee."

COchick
09-27-2010, 11:49 PM
Thanks for all the info, everybody. I think every post gave me something to think about.

backslashbaby
09-28-2010, 05:41 AM
Security folks may be more common than people think, especially depending on location. The security folks can act as doormen, and they can tell the family things the pool guy said, etc, etc. So they may kind of serve as butler, too, being who you'd tell things to if you are not there all day in your work (the cable guy, the clean-the-statues once a year dude, etc, etc).

The assistant/s are usually not at home as often.

I've definitely seen the driver be the mechanic, too. Most often, but that's not saying I know a ton about these things, lol :)

Of course, you might have accountants and lawyers that are seen often enough to maybe 'count' as 'help'. Especially if any family members have to meet with them for signatures all the time or to get their money. You might easily see them at the home a lot.

PS- Security could be live-in or 3 shifts, but they are always there (so, good for 'household/grounds-management' stuff, too). If the driver will need to be arranged very spur-of-the-moment, he might live there, too. Or organize shifts for drivers he manages.

You can choose shift-work for things, or a live-in, depending mostly on whether you really like just one person for the job or whether it's less personal. One nanny, 3 different drivers in shifts -- that sort of thing.