As unthinkable as it may be, we see it all the time in the legitimate press and trashy tabloid papers about how certain celebrities, political figures, and other rich types are occasionally accused of mistreating the very people who take care of them.
It's no big secret on the international stage that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife was recently accused and convicted of abusing her household staff. Here's a link to the embarrassing article in the BBC news, to cite one unpleasant example.
I've received many inquiries on this topic, but to tell you the truth it's difficult to write about. Things are so complicated in the lives of the super rich. They live in their own isolated world, and have such highly-specialized needs.
In the corporate world where everyone is on their best behavior forty hours a week, the very thought of verbal, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse is forbidden and met with ferocious law suits if any such transgressions occur, right?
But in the intimacy of a private home, things are substantially different. Unlike at the office where everyone's behaving properly, at home we in the house staff see our employers at their very worst and crabby moments, from when they fist wake up in the morning until they finally crawl into bed at night. No one can expect them to be all smiles and best manners twenty-four hours a day. We understand this, and have a high tolerance for bad moods and disrespectful behavior - or else we couldn't handle this kind of job. It's something akin to being part of a grumpy quarreling family - which usually means nothing and smooths out during the day.
However, there comes a point when some employers might take out their bad moods on their household staff in more troublesome ways. We're easy targets after all, and get it all the time. Lack of appreciation or gratitude for all that's being done for them comes with the territory of course, and we all know how to deal with it.
But when it comes to verbal insults, demeaning behavior, physical or sexual abuse, that crosses the line and becomes the rightful territory of lawyers and lawsuits. The sad part being that many rich people in America hire illegal immigrants, undocumented workers, at low wages to run their homes - desperate people who are afraid to bring charges against them for whatever abuse they might suffer, for fear of being deported.
House staff jobs fill legitimate needs, just as office staff are indispensable in running a corporation. There should really be no discrepancy between the two fields in just how much we should tolerate abuse. Luckily there are some internal controls. We don't give up our civil rights because we work in a private home, and most legitimate house-staffing agencies will blackball any employer who's accused of abuse and will not send future applicants into that environment.
While celebrities abusing their house staff make BIG SPLASHY HEADLINES in the tabloids, the good news is that the vast majority of rich people are respectful and appreciative toward those who are seeing after their needs. Or else this occupation would not and could not exist.
Thanks for stopping in this evening, I hope this shed some light.
I'm in private service too Andrew and this post is so welcome. Thank you for giving voice to what we face in this line of work. Lydia P.ReplyDelete
Thank you Lydia. We always have to be on our toes in this particular field. Hope your situation is agreeable all 'round! AndrewDelete
I found this post excellent! I also work in service, and while I am not abused I often feel degraded. My employer is a rich 30 year old who has me at his neck and call. I suspect it's has more to do with prestige and showing off his attentive "servant" to his girlfriends and friends than actual need. From the most minute details, my day consists of waiting on him like a slave. But, he writes my checks so who am I to protest....
Showing off their servants is a game a lot of rich people play. But no job should make you feel degraded. I'd suggest you quietly update your resume and think about moving on. Best of luck, AndrewDelete
I welcome the thought about House staff jobs. Thanks for sharing with us I just want how contract staffing agency plays a vital role in this house staff jobs.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your comment. Indeed, contract agencies provide a critical role in screening candidates before they are sent to job interviews. This includes work history, references, criminal background checks, driving record, and of course credit reports on financial responsibility. Trust is of the utmost importance when it comes to house staffing. And candidates must be above reproach.Delete
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts.