Ladies! Have you ever stared lovingly at Carson on Downton Abbey and thought, "well, shit, I could do that!" Well now is a better time than any to get that going!
According to new article on CNBC, the popularity of female butlers is growing:
"Demand for female butlers is continuously rising," Sebastian Hirsch, the founder and owner of an international household staffing agency called Butlers For You told CNBC. "In most hotels and private households now you're just as likely to be served by a female as a male."
BUTLERS FOR YOU! I cannot type that without stopping for ten minutes to laugh. Hisch said while he has "several thousand" butlers on his books, about 300 of them are female. But interest is increasing, with about 40 percent of clients requesting female butlers.
Marcia Long is a butler and she explains why the job is far more demanding and all-encompassing than many people realize.
"The scale of the properties and palaces is not understood by most people. I often have 40 people that work for me at one or more properties," Marcia Long, a female butler and estate manager originally from Chicago who has worked in the profession for 25 years, told CNBC.
"My work as a butler and estate manager is to ensure the highest standards of service throughout the estates. Basically, [that means] ensuring that everything is running smoothly so that my employer doesn't need to think about a thing regarding the property. It also means being proactive and anticipatory," she noted.
"It is not uncommon for me to receive royals and dignitaries on a daily basis," Long said. She did not, in the interview, mention if those duties also include sneaking around the corridor to see if she could overhear just what Lady Abernathe was whispering to Lord Winchester in the moments just before he was shot. God, I watch too many fucking Agatha Christie movies.
Oh and butlers make a pretty good living, too.
The annual salary for a butler can range between 50,000 to 150,000 euros ($69,000 - $205,000), according to Robert Wennekes, head of "The International Butler Academy" (TIBA) in the Netherlands.
INTERNATIONAL BUTLER ACADEMY. That's it. I'm going to Butler School. Forget all this other noise. It sounds intense, too! Wennekes' academy simulates an 18-hour work day over eight weeks, all to replicate the real world experience for a butler. Oof. I don't know if I want to go through all that. I just want an excuse to tell people I "buttle."
The highly detailed training will cost you, too: the academy's course clocks in at 13,750 euros (which is roughly about 18,870 Americabucks).
Long says for her, there are some challenges with being a female head in an often male-dominated house staff:
"I do have trouble from time to time with male employees but usually, it is about proving my capabilities. Once they realize that I am skilled, they leave the testosterone behind," butler Marcia Long remarked. "Every job has personnel problems and the chefs are notorious with their attitudes and prima donna behaviour."
Another female butler and recent academy graduate, "Stefanie" (who asked CNBC to not use her full name), lives apart from her husband while she works. But the job makes her happy, so the trade off is worth it:
"But personally, I don't see [the demands of an employer] as a sacrifice. I love what I do and I went into this profession because I really like to take care of things and to make people happy. It gives me a big thrill to know exactly how my employer likes his coffee in the morning."
And let's not forget, like Long said, this a job that requires a high attention to detail, and an enormous amount of self-sacrifice. It's a calling for the women (and the men!) who make this profession their career.
"If you're in it for the money then you're in the wrong profession," Wennekes said.
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