Saturday, May 2, 2020

THE TIMES OF LONDON: "Lock-Down Disasters of the Super-Rich Revealed!"

In the last post entitled Coronavirus and the Rich I was detailing some observations on how the rich and super-rich are dealing with this sudden freeze in our lives and the abrupt halt to their high-society social activities.

I mentioned how it's most certainly easier for them to isolate themselves in their large estates and multiple homes. I also noted that with their private jets and yachts they can travel much more safely than we, the great unwashed. And I also touched on how they can better limit their exposure to the virus because they have house staff - servants, butlers and personal assistants - to run their daily errands to the market, pharmacies and of course to the liquor stores and wine shops.

But that's where I left off and didn't address the obvious; what happens if all the servants and assistants are in lock-down too, and can't show up for work?

Now comes this excellent and amusing article from the Times of London (April 29, 2020) by Lucy Challenger, founder of Polo and Tweed  (a recruitment agency that supplies staff to the ultra rich) dealing with this very issue of what actually happens when servants can't come to work! To quote Ms Challenger:

"Seeing as we're all in this lockdown together, let us spare a thought for the super-rich. In castles, palaces and penthouses across the land, oligarchs, royals, hedge-funders and trust-funders are having to confront a terrible truth: toilets do not clean themselves. Marble is a devil to look after. And keeping the silverware sparkling is surprisingly hard work. People are wanting to know -literally-how to do the laundry. They've never used a washing machine before. We explain how to understand the settings, how to separate items. To you and me, maybe this is common sense, but if you've never had to do it before, it's a bizarre new world of skills." 

In her succinct and understated British style of humor, she goes on to caution against do-it-yourself cleaning techniques without proper professional staff to help out. Said she, "Chandeliers, it transpires, are a whole world of hurt, so be grateful if you don't have one."  Which made me laugh so hard I had to wipe away tears. It reminded me of my own feeble attempt to deal with this subject in a post entitled "How to Clean a Chandelier" back in 2011.

Ms Challenger's Polo and Tweed is a premiere agency that matches well-trained house staff, in their various skills and capacities with the perfect employer, all across the globe. You might be wondering if I'm on their registry list? The answer to that would be no. In fact, I can only imagine how Ms Challenger would roll her eyes if I even applied.

Although I did graduate from a respectable household management school here in America, I know I could never compete with a proper British butler. I'm content with being an apostate American butler to this nutty old billionaire I'm working for at the moment. Who, by the way, has been hiding out at his gentleman's farm for the past month, along with his latest girlfriend of course. Which doesn't hurt my feelings one bit.

As always, thanks for dropping by this evening. I hope we're all staying safe as the world slowly comes to grips with the nightmare we're all facing.