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Old 04-14-2018, 08:45 AM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is offline
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If You Were Wealthy, Would You Hire Servants?

In another thread someone jokingly suggested hiring a maid for the sole purpose of fetching them a beer whenever they needed one.

Kidding aside, if you had the cash, would you hire servants?

I would definitely hire a landscaper and a cleaning person, but both of those hirings would be in the sense of entering into a contract with their business to provide x service y times per month at z cost, and not actually making them my employees with W-2's and all that. I don't mind driving, so I'd have no need of a chauffeur; don't have kids, so no need for hired childcare (nor would I hire one anyway, being of the belief that people should raise their own children*); and I rather enjoy cooking, so no need for a personal chef.

*This isn't a dig at people who hire childcare. Everybody's situation is different, walk a mile in someone else's shoes, yada yada yada. But for me, there is absolutely no scenario in which I would ever consider hiring outside help for my kids. Ever.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:56 AM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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Absolutely! And they'd be well compensated.

The first one I'd hire is a clothing shopper. I don't like shopping for clothes and have a hard time finding things that look nice together. So, here's a credit card. Go. Find clothes. Have them made if you have to. I want a full closet for each season and the more commonly encountered occasions.

Then I'd hire a personal trainer and a running coach. Could be the same person, I guess.

And I would never, ever clean anything in my house ever again apart from wiping up spilled beer and rinsing my toothpaste down the sink.

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 04-14-2018 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:59 AM
dolphinboy dolphinboy is offline
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Besides someone to keep my house perfect, inside and out, and my clothes clean, I would hire a personal trainer, a personal dietitian/cook, and a driver to take me wherever I wanted to go...
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:01 AM
Desert Nomad Desert Nomad is offline
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Not a chance. The reason wealthy people got that way are because they don't spend money on frivolous things. Read "The Millionaire Next Door".
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:04 AM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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Not a chance. The reason wealthy people got that way are because they don't spend money on frivolous things. Read "The Millionaire Next Door".
The premise of the thread is that you're ALREADY wealthy.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:05 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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Absolutely! And they'd be well compensated.

The first one I'd hire is a clothing shopper. I don't like shopping for clothes and have a hard time finding things that look nice together. So, here's a credit card. Go. Find clothes. Have them made if you have to. I want a full closet for each season and the more commonly encountered occasions.

Then I'd hire a personal trainer and a running coach. Could be the same person, I guess.

And I would never, ever clean anything in my house ever again apart from wiping up spilled beer and rinsing my toothpaste down the sink.
*jumps up, waves hands*

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Old 04-14-2018, 09:12 AM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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*jumps up, waves hands*

You'll be the third person to know if I win Powerball tonight!
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:12 AM
Buttercup Smith Buttercup Smith is offline
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We already have a weekly maid. And yes I would have other servants if I could afford it. I don't yet know what they would do other than tend the critters.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:18 AM
Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is online now
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Hell yeah. Cleaning persons would great.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:24 AM
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Having a cleaning service come in every other week is pretty inexpensive. I've been doing that for years. But I don't like anyone in the house when I'm home.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:29 AM
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I would. When we were posted in Africa with the Department of State, household help was not only cheap, we were pretty much expected to provide employment to locals. Having someone to take care of the house and grounds was a real luxury and I'd do it again if I could.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:40 AM
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No. I was raised to clean my own damn messes. And if I'm that wealthy, I've got plenty of time to clean, cook, garden, launder, etc...

Also, I don't want complete strangers in my house, touching things.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:42 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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If I were to hire servants I'd consider a housekeeper, a maid, cook, and a "personal assistant" - someone to organize my shit, do my filing, run errands, and so forth. Also, a mechanic for my collection of airplanes.

But in reality, I probably would still continue to mostly take care of my own stuff, only occasionally hiring help as needed.

Last edited by Broomstick; 04-14-2018 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:48 AM
Kimera757 Kimera757 is offline
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I would. I doubt I would have the time to do some errands as well; unless I'm enjoying a wealthy retirement I'd probably have a job with lots of overtime and a requirement to be "on call" pretty much all the time. (My much higher superiors where I work are like that. They get paid much more, salaried, but it's almost like they get paid the same per hour as I do.)

Stuff I don't want touched (personal papers, jewelry, etc) would be kept under lock and key, the bedroom and home office would have a lock that they don't have a key too (I can clean my own bedroom, thanks, and the computer needs more than just a password) and there would be internal cameras in areas they're not locked out of (no need for one in the bedroom or washroom).

Last edited by Kimera757; 04-14-2018 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:50 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Cleaning service and cook. Absolutely.

Three square meals a day ready on my table, and not having to do my own grocery shopping? Yes yes yes.

And no more vacuuming, dusting or cleaning the shower? Sign me up.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:57 AM
Corry El Corry El is offline
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I guess the implication of 'servant' here is people who work only for you, and/or live on your premises. Except some responses refer to personal trainers and people to clean the house, who are now usually not exclusive or live-in. People even in the top half of income IME often pay others to clean, do laundry, landscape, help them work out, childcare, etc. That's not limited to the 'wealthy' unless you define it very broadly (the rich countries of the world are very wealthy societies on the whole compared to all previous human history). But it's much less common for those service providers to be exclusive to one person or family or to live in.

Not being poor, we like a lot of people could afford to engage say a cleaning service without winning the lottery. We don't happen to. If we had a bigger place or were more neat freakish maybe we would. I personally would never want to directly employ somebody exclusively for my personal service if it was avoidable. I just wouldn't want to deal with that kind of personal relationship. It's not a matter of money.

I suppose at some point having a personal service providing company might be unavoidable, if one/both of us are still living, not fully able to take care of ourselves, and don't want to move. Possibly even an exclusive person in that case not 'Visiting Angels' etc. Then again maybe we won't directly be making those decisions.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:57 AM
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I guess I’m comfortable, not exactly wealthy. I have a housekeeper coming 2x a month, and a gardener coming 4x a month. Not exactly servants, per se, but the time I gain is worth the cost to me.

In the spirit of the OP, I’m envisioning the Anthony Hopkins character in Meet Joe Black, and yeah if I was wealthy like that I’d have some servants like his. Except I’d rather have a helicopter license and fly myself around, with a seasoned copilot with me so I don’t F it up and screw the pooch.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
Cleaning service and cook. Absolutely.

Three square meals a day ready on my table, and not having to do my own grocery shopping? Yes yes yes.

And no more vacuuming, dusting or cleaning the shower? Sign me up.
I like this too, a cook who shops and provides 3 squares a day. Sign me up too!
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:10 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
In another thread someone jokingly suggested hiring a maid for the sole purpose of fetching them a beer whenever they needed one.

Kidding aside, if you had the cash, would you hire servants?
I dunno. with the caveat that it's easy to say what I "would" do since I'm not actually doing it; if I had the scratch I might just do something like you and just pay for a cleaning service periodically. I don't see myself wanting a huge house or anything despite being loaded, so it really wouldn't make sense to hire anyone full time. a condo is fine for me so landscaping isn't a concern.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:12 AM
Ají de Gallina Ají de Gallina is offline
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Here in Latin America, even lower-middle class people have maids, even live-in maids.
Once you're firmly in the class, your house/flat has a "cuarto de servicio" were the maid lives.
I had a maid/nanny plus a nanny/maid when my three kids (born in a four-year span) plus a replacement for Sundays. Now I "only" have one five days a week, live-out. All my kids are in their mid to late teens, so they can help more around.
I've never washed my clothes nor cleaned my house.
I've never been anything close to wealthy. I cannot imagine being rich and vacuuming.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:56 AM
Oredigger77 Oredigger77 is offline
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I cannot imagine being rich and vacuuming.
Pretty much this.

First on my list would be a live in house keeper shortly followed by a groundskeeper. Honestly I plan on getting back to weekly maid service this year and a weekly gardener within three years.

There is a large difference though between things getting dirty through out the week while still being livable and things never getting dirty. Having my dishes disappear of the table when I'm done eating or all of the dishes from cooking dinner clean themselves would get my wife and I to cook more. Daily vacuuming to keep up with the dog hair and dusting all of the surfaces so every room seats smelled clean. That would bed the life and really it's only $60k/ year so it should be doable on $350k/year income.

The grounds keeper is more of a luxury and I would need enough ground to keep him busy year round probably 15 or so acres which is about $15 mil where I'd want it so I'd need about $5mil/year in income to make that work.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:16 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Or you could combine cook/housekeeper and groundskeeper/handyman.

One reason we have fewer servants these days is not just because of changes in relative wealth, but because labor-saving devices mean you don't need as many servants because the servants themselves are using tools and appliances, making them more efficient.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:26 AM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is online now
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My in-laws used to live next door to a family with the name Butler. Years ago, we were looking through their old photos and there was a group photo that included the neighbors.

Me: "Who are those people?"
Wife: "Those are the Butlers."
Daughter (age 14): "You had butlers?!?!


mmm
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:31 AM
Hector_St_Clare Hector_St_Clare is offline
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There are a lot of things I would spend money on if I was wealthy. Servants aren't on the list.

It's always seemed vaguely decadent to me not to clean your own house, and I like cooking too much to want someone else to do it.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:37 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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I'm introverted enough that I wouldn't want a full-time employee because having to constantly have the chance of interacting with someone with no respite would not be worth whatever value they'd bring. I'd have someone come in for a half-shift once a week to peremptorily clean my house and do my dishes and laundry if I hadn't done so already. It could be accomplished in just 4 hours because I don't have high standards and I wouldn't want to live in much greater than 1000 square feet no matter how wealthy I am. At the most 2000 square feet with part of that being guest bedrooms/storage that don't need to be cleaned as often.

I'd only hire a personal assistant if I were famous enough that it would be more taxing to go out in public a lot than to have someone around me for several half shifts a week to get my groceries/interact with deliverypeople, etc.

Thinking about it some more, I would hire several house-sitters since if I were wealthy I'd have several 1000-2000 square feet houses/condos across the world. They'd come closest to a servant since they would live in my house, just not when I was living there, and they'd get a decently-high equivalent pay since they'd get free rent and maybe a stipend for doing and/or arranging light maintenance and looking over the place for several months a year.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:53 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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By most standards, I probably qualify as wealthy now (I'm not quite in the 1%, but definitely in the 2%). I have a landscape maintenance guy who comes once a week for about 30 minutes, and a house cleaner who comes every 2 weeks for about 3-4 hours.

If I was a billionaire with 10 houses spread around the world, I'd definitely want someone to at least keep an eye on things when I wasn't there. But like a lot of people here, I value my privacy enough that I wouldn't want a Downton Abbey type of situation. And I don't like really big houses anyway. Lots of land, yes. But not a big house. I could see having a vineyard in the south of France and wanting to have some experts take are of it. Inside my house, I mostly want to be left alone with me and whomever I'm there with.

Last edited by John Mace; 04-14-2018 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:01 PM
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Not a chance. The reason wealthy people got that way are because they don't spend money on frivolous things. Read "The Millionaire Next Door".
A "mere" millionaire probably wouldn't spend money on things like that. But once your net worth gets north of, say, $30 million--that's a different story.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:18 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
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Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
In another thread someone jokingly suggested hiring a maid for the sole purpose of fetching them a beer whenever they needed one.

Kidding aside, if you had the cash, would you hire servants?

I would definitely hire a landscaper and a cleaning person, but both of those hirings would be in the sense of entering into a contract with their business to provide x service y times per month at z cost, and not actually making them my employees with W-2's and all that. I don't mind driving, so I'd have no need of a chauffeur; don't have kids, so no need for hired childcare (nor would I hire one anyway, being of the belief that people should raise their own children*); and I rather enjoy cooking, so no need for a personal chef.

*This isn't a dig at people who hire childcare. Everybody's situation is different, walk a mile in someone else's shoes, yada yada yada. But for me, there is absolutely no scenario in which I would ever consider hiring outside help for my kids. Ever.
We do have a gardener who comes by once a week. We'd likely hire a cleaner to come buy once a week also. But I don't consider those servants. So, no, we wouldn't hire servants.

I don't know any parents who don't need babysitters, at least- altho a lucky few have builtin on babysitters with grandparents, etc.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:51 PM
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If you can afford domestic help, you are expected to have them. That is the culture here. And it is a good one. More people working helps everyone.
  #30  
Old 04-14-2018, 12:53 PM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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I would definitely have a live-in housekeeper. Mainly because I love to cook but hate to clean up the kitchen. I don't mind cleaning chores, but they seldom make it to the top of my priority list, with the result that I am sometimes reluctant to invite people over. If I had that kind of money, I'd buy myself the luxury of a constantly company-ready home. For similar reasons, I'd want a gardener.

There are, of course, services one can hire, but I prefer to have one person I know, who gets to know my preferences. I have ideas for the garden, I just don't want to weed it. And I don't want the standard throw-away pansies that the service is putting everywhere else this week.

It would be great if the housekeeper was someone who would take on butler-level management chores - managing snow removal, pool service, auto repairs, and such. I would gladly have a service come do the heavy cleaning to free up time for that. It wouldn't bother me if there were someone I trusted to watch over them.
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:15 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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I am nothing even close to wealthy and I have a housecleaning service every other week. the thing is, I am so bad at housecleaning that I can spend the whole day doing it, and yet there are wisps of dog hair and streaks of dust everywhere, when I'm done I'm NEVER done. The service sends somebody--it's usually one person, sometimes two--after about two hours and never more than three the place is clean for at least a few hours before the dog hair starts to build up again.

The weird thing here is that I don't mind wiping and scrubbing and vacuuming, what I don't like is the prep, getting all my shit out of the way before dusting etc. I am paying someone to do the part I don't mind, but before they get there I have to do the part I do mind. I don't know if I could get used to having somebody else put my stuff away, but I expect I probably could. At any rate I think knowing the service is coming keeps me neater than I would naturally be.

I would love to have a personal chef, too. I hate cooking. I'm not bad at it, it's just boring. But then I'm not wild about eating either. On my own, I would live on peanuts and fruit.
  #32  
Old 04-14-2018, 01:27 PM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is online now
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Housekeeper - fulltime.
Full-time teacher's aide/autism aide for my son
  #33  
Old 04-14-2018, 01:36 PM
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Probably not. I would hire contractors to do work on my house and property and possibly someone to mow the lawn and clear snow from the driveway. But no full-time servants.
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  #34  
Old 04-14-2018, 01:57 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Or you could combine cook/housekeeper and groundskeeper/handyman.

One reason we have fewer servants these days is not just because of changes in relative wealth, but because labor-saving devices mean you don't need as many servants because the servants themselves are using tools and appliances, making them more efficient.
This is very true. Go back just a little ways, and you would need a few people working full time just to keep your small family's clothes laundered. Cooking, cleaning, landscaping, and everything else just required far more labor before we started having power tools and appliances become prevalent.

If you were to have any free time at all in order to do your high society functions, you had to have other people to do the menial chores.

This is still true today, to a lessor extent. Even with modern conveniences, if you are a lawyer or doctor or other highly skilled and compensated individual, it is a waste of not just your, but also of society's, resources to have you vacuuming your own floor.

If you enjoy doing it yourself, that's one thing. Even "high value" individuals need a hobby, and if your hobby is housekeeping, then that is fine. If you can get someone else to do the work so that you can have the time to spend more of your skills benefiting society, or your time on hobbies you enjoy more, that works out well.

Also, of course, this acts as an employment vector. You aren't getting serfs and ordering them about, you are hiring people at a negotiated pay that presumably they are happy to exchange their time for.

Personally, I don't like having people wait on me, and I'm not a fan of other people touching my stuff, so I don't know how I would handle a situation where I could afford servants. I think at most, as far as inside goes, I'd hire a cook who would take care of the shopping, prep, and cleanup, while I took care of most of the actual cooking myself. I'd probably hire landscapers or at least someone to mow my lawn.

Last edited by k9bfriender; 04-14-2018 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:12 PM
eschereal eschereal is online now
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If I had north of $30M, and a good revenue stream, I would hire friends. By which I mean I would like a house full of weirdos enjoying themselves (a laYou Can't Take It With You). They would be people with prettymuch nowhere else to go. At least one or two of them would be OCD, so they would keep the place fairly neat.
  #36  
Old 04-14-2018, 02:34 PM
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What? Doesn't every single dude?
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:41 PM
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Depends on how you define servants. I'm fine with people coming in to clean once a week or so, and lawn service, not that we use either. I don't really consider them servants, though. More someone dedicated to you or who lives in your house. That, no.
When I lived in Africa, like Chefguy having a servant who came in every day (I am not going to repeat the racist name for this job they used in 1961) and cleaned and made the big meal at lunch. That was expected, and he didn't live with us. Okay, but I couldn't stand that today.
My wife taught at a nanny school and part of the deal was hosting nannies who would work for you a certain number of hours a week in exchange for room and board. My wife was in charge of placing them so we always got good ones. I found having someone live with us annoying, though well worth it. But it was not something we wanted after it stopped being nearly free.
So, my answer is no.
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:58 PM
nightshadea nightshadea is online now
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my dad had a friend who was wounded in Vietnam enough to get out of combat service but not enough to get sent home .. so they gave him a desk job at the army base in the Philippines

And since he was getting a bit of money he decided to move off base and the house came with a girl to take care of it which he didn't mind but the problem was the girl was pretty much a "leased girlfriend" but being from the Midwest he didn't pick up on what her duities entailed and was quite shocked when she climbed in to bed one night for her "womanly duties " and she was quite upset when he refused ..... (Not that he resisted for long since they married and had 8 kids eventually)
but he learned that it wasn't unusual for such an arrangement and if he moved out shed of stayed for the next tenant and some renters around had 5 or 6 kids around town ........t

the landlords would go to the poor villages and pretty much buy them from the parents with monthly payments and if they didn't find someone to marry just keep going from place ot place ..or back to the village with what ever money and gifts they'd gotten over the years
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:02 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Is the OP distinguishing between a "servant" and a "service provider"? Ordinarily, those two things have very different connotations. If I can afford it I will gladly hire a professional cleaning service and professional a lawn care service, in the same way that I might hire a professional plumber or electrician or auto mechanic. But I don't consider any of these to be servants.
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:05 PM
BeepKillBeep BeepKillBeep is offline
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I enjoy cooking, but I really enjoy a great meal and a professional chef would, of course, blow me away in terms of overall quality. I would almost certainly hire a personal chef if I had the money.
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:08 PM
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I would, but I might be embarrassed about it too, because I am very OCD about my habits and I would hate to impose my OCD demands on someone else who is cleaning/tidying etc. Maybe I would hire one such assistant, but pay the assistant a huge salary to compensate for my never-ending nitpicking about how the laundry should be done or which thing should go here or how to arrange things.
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:24 PM
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I'd hire help that lived off site, but I'd pay extra for their gas and mileage.
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:31 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Originally Posted by Ají de Gallina View Post
Here in Latin America, even lower-middle class people have maids, even live-in maids.
Once you're firmly in the class, your house/flat has a "cuarto de servicio" were the maid lives.
I had a maid/nanny plus a nanny/maid when my three kids (born in a four-year span) plus a replacement for Sundays. Now I "only" have one five days a week, live-out. All my kids are in their mid to late teens, so they can help more around.
I've never washed my clothes nor cleaned my house.
I've never been anything close to wealthy. I cannot imagine being rich and vacuuming.
Here in Panama I have a cleaning lady who comes in every two weeks. She does the washing and ironing and some superficial cleaning. My apartment has a cuarto de servicio but I use it for storage. (Interestingly, although the other two bathrooms in the apartment have hot water, the maid's quarters, which has a private bath and shower, only has cold water.)

If I were wealthy, I would have a bigger house and a garden. I would have a housekeeper and a gardener, but not live-in. I value my privacy, so I would only have them come in on a schedule. Considering the traffic in Panama City, I would probably also want a chauffeur on call. A personal assistant to take care of annoying errands and chores would be handy too.
  #44  
Old 04-14-2018, 03:45 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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I have a guy who mows the lawn once a week all summer and clears the driveway of snow whenever it snows and I pay him a fixed monthly rate. And we have a woman who comes to clean every second week. As a bonus, her husband does home handyman type things of the sort I used to do myself when I was younger.

But if I were really wealthy, I might not change the above. The idea of a live-in maid I find slightly decadent. Of course, if I get really older, I would prefer that to having to live in a care facility.
  #45  
Old 04-14-2018, 03:49 PM
yellow sausage bandit yellow sausage bandit is offline
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my servants would have servants
  #46  
Old 04-14-2018, 03:51 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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Yes, but I would think of them more as a team, they would in most cases have a second skill or attribute that would contribute.
  #47  
Old 04-14-2018, 04:28 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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I live in a small apartment that I certainly don't keep as clean as I'd like, so I'd certainly hire someone to keep it clean, although if I were wealthy, I'd almost certainly live somewhere nicer and with more space. And a personal chef would be nice too. One thing I'd want the chef to do is to visit my mother and learn how to make all of my childhood favorites. My mother gave me some recipes, so I can approximate some of her stuff, but it would be nice to have someone who knows what they're doing figure out how to make her food.

And a chauffeur seems excessive, but were I wealthy, I'd definitely use a private car service all the time. Like when I visit a friend and they serve wine. I could indulge knowing I'm not driving home. Or rather than taking a door-to-door shuttle from the airport, I'd be met by one of those drivers holding up my name on a sign.

As said, though, none of these would be servants in the traditional sense but instead would be hired service pros.
  #48  
Old 04-14-2018, 04:52 PM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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God no. I can barely put up with my own family at times - the thought of some strangers puttering around my house is like nails on a blackboard for me. I suppose I can have someone come by once a week to clean if my house is too big to do it myself, but a cook? If I'm rich enough for a live-in cook, I'm rich enough for a good restaurant or expensive take-out every day.
  #49  
Old 04-14-2018, 05:14 PM
Grrr! Grrr! is online now
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I remember watching one of the Justice league cartoons. Lex Luther had a female body guard. She was huge and totally kicked ass.

So yeah, I'd want to hire some six foot tall female body builder trained in martial arts to be my body guard. Lol

Last edited by Grrr!; 04-14-2018 at 05:14 PM.
  #50  
Old 04-14-2018, 06:32 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is online now
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I'd have an entire army of Oompa-Loompas!

Actually, just a driver would suffice. Or a car-service on speed dial. I hate driving, but don't have a problem with other household chores.
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