Is it strange to be creeped out by the idea of butlers/maids/nannies?

I sure as hell can’t afford household help, but even if I could I don’t think I’d want to for some reason. It seems pointless and awkward, there was a rich woman who used to come to post office my wife worked at with her nanny carrying her baby, I was always baffled by that like why hire someone to carry your infant?

The whole idea just seems weird, I guess I’d be ok with it as long as they don’t come in my bedroom. I remember reading about some butlers or maids saying they didn’t think anything was going on sexually between some famous married couple because there were no semen stains on the sheets. :eek:The idea of someone seeing my laundry and noting semen stains is the perfect example of why this idea creeps me out o…my…god.

Dunno, if you figure that the idea of the “housewife” is on the out, then hiring people to help with the housework becomes a good idea, particularly if you have kids.

I feel the same way about it. It just wouldn’t be comfortable, it would be like having guests all the time, only kind of reversed. But I think some rich people don’t feel that way because to them the help doesn’t really count, it’s more like having a pet around than a real person, so it’s just as comfortable to them as being home alone.

I wouldn’t even want an occasional housekeeper because I wouldn’t trust them to do it right. They’d probably use the same rag for cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, or things like that. And surely they’d go through my stuff and I hate people going through my stuff.

A cook would be better because they’d stay in the kitchen and only be here a little while (even if I was rich I wouldn’t have sophisticated taste in food). Even still I’d rather they cook somewhere else and drop the food off once a day.

If I had a ton of money to burn and wanted to give a few people jobs I’d rather pay them to go do something useful in the community.

If one has been brought up with staff, then one is quite accustomed to sharing intimate details with them. They treat it in confidence because their current and future employ depends on their discretion.

However, one imagines that for the nouveau riche there is some period of adjustment required and a good butler or valet would assist in that transition.

If I had the money I’d hire some specialized person to do each different thing. They wouldn’t be “beneath me” OR “guests” in my home. They would be co-horts in the machinations (is that a word?) of my daily life. I would pay them more than well but we’d know that’s not what it’s about; a lasting work relationship would be based on respect and an understanding between us. I would dance with the cook and make the gardener my child’s godfather. I would attend their childrens’ graduations and they could help me cope with a family death. Our lives/families/histories would be meshed to make stronger stock of us all.

If I were a rich man.

If I were rich, I would be quite happy to pay someone to do all my cleaning and cooking and gardening, all the chores I hate. I would trust them to be professional enough not to search through my stuff.

Nannies, on the other hand…I don’t understand why you would bother having children, if you were just going to dump them with a nanny, and have no part in their upbringing. Paying someone to look after your children implies that they’re just another chore.

(I’m not talking about parents who send their children to nursery while they’re at work, by the way. I’m talking about situations like the OP, where the mother is choosing not to look after the child.)

You make it sound like you think it would be a relationship of basically equals, and it wouldn’t. If you have enough money to pay several people “more than well” just to clean up after you and cook your food (as opposed to paying salaries to people where you see a monetary return, like working for your business), then you would have to be extraordinarily rich, and they’re a working class prole who’s not going to want to be BFFs with you.

Yeah, that wouldn’t work at all. Would you be paying them enough of a salary that they would mix in the same social circles as you? And if so, why would they want to carry on washing your underwear or cooking your breakfast?

A thread on butlers from a year ago.

I don’t know what a “prole” is but yes, we would be equals. As human beings. I’d have to be extrodinarily rich to have a staff. (This is a fantasy-thought thread, right?) But people are people. It’s not hard for me to imagine giving someone gainful employment while “sharing” thruout the day. A good job is good both for the employee and the employer.

My wealth wouldn’t be from current business. (Too demanding.) I’m thinking old money with antiques weathering out on the porch.

It doesn’t creep me out to think of butlers/nannies/maids, but it does bother me when people have their personal assistants doing really personal things. I remember watching a reality show where Betheny Frankl had her personal assistant going through her underwear for her. I’m not sure why I draw the line between maid and personal assistant, but I do…

They should be impersonal assistants, perhaps? :smiley:

I know what you mean though, and I think the root of the discomfort is a class thing. We come from a class which thinks you should go through your own underwear. We’re in a class, or at least around it enough, that we’re okay with business related personal assistants (heck, I was one, and yes, there was some household stuff that crept in there, but that was a complicated relationship anyhow), but we’ve not had enough exposure to real life butlers and nannies to really grok it.

Note I say class, by which I mean socioeconomic group, by which I mean here in urban America. I totally understand that middle class people have domestic help in Indonesia and other parts of the world, but here in our middle class, domestic help is temporary or intermittent.

I can stretch my imagination enough (or maybe I’ve read enough historical fiction) to understand that back when labor was cheap and machines expensive, it made a lot more sense to hire a laundress than a washing machine. I can even appreciate that the lords and ladies were giving a whole lot of people not only jobs and money, but room and board and in some cases clothing. In some times and cultures, your lady’s maids *were *your friends of lesser means, and you’d hire them so they could stay close to you, hang out with you and socialize with you. But I don’t know if that happens in any culture today.

I’m by no means rich, and we have a daily nanny/maid (not live-in), and before she retired last year, we had a domestic maid two days a week. You don’t have to be extraordinarily rich to afford it here, though. Just middle class.

And I don’t have any class reservations - I see it as spreading the wealth around. I wouldn’t be BFFs with our nanny, but that’s cultural, not classism. I see her as the same class as me (in that we pay her enough that she’s also employing a child minder in her turn - not a trained nanny like she is, but it makes her a nanny-employer too.)

Heh, oops. :slight_smile: Yeah, maybe this is it. Whenever I hear those outlandish stories about personal assistants doing all this random stuff for their celeb bosses, it does creep me out – maybe for that reason. Or in another thread, we had someone asking about whether an assistant should be expected to help keep their boss’s affair a secret and the idea of entering into someone’s life to that extent just seemed wrong to me. I want to keep my working relationship and personal life completely separate.

ha, I like the word machinations; sounds like you are doing something right.

lovely idea, all the way around. I used to clean people’s houses for a living and turns out I rarely saw them but this *would *have been a lovely thing.

I’d be too uncomfortable over privacy issues, but that’s me. OK, some people CAN be trusted, but I’d still feel funny about the deal.

My wife, MrsG and I owned a hotel together before we married.
The head housekeeper, M and MrsG became very good friends.
M cleaned our house in town occasionally when needed but we lived at the hotel most of the time.

M was a bridesmaid at our wedding.
Later, I became the godfather of three of her children.

When we sold the hotel, M came every week to clean the house assisted by MrsG.
And when MrsG came down with that bad old blood cancer thing, she came over almost everyday because MrsG was her friend.
When MrsG was very ill from chemo and I had to work, M was there.

And, yeah we paid her for her hours, but that wasn’t WHY she was there.

I was lucky.
M is still my friend even though we live 4 hours away from each other.
I think I’ll call her.

You should read Orwell’s 1984, it’s a good book.

Your view on this is so rosy and unrealistic that I’m surprised you aren’t super rich old money.

And Jesus, obviously I’m not saying you’d be a more worthwhile human being than them, but your socioeconomic levels would be so vastly different–to the point where you’re paying them their entire income just so you don’t have to clean your own toilets–that you’d never be friends. You might make friendly small talk, but that’s a world away from being actual friends.

If I were rich I 'd definitely hire someone to clean the house, also a cook, probably a chauffeur and perhaps a part time gardener.

So I guess that I’m ok with the idea.

I often think that I was born to be wealthy, instead of having to work for a living.

I once stayed in a place that came with maids and butlers, scurrying about the place, raising and lowering blinds against the sun, and serving tableside, etc. At first is was a new experience and felt quite posh indeed. But it got old really quick, the lack of privacy became unbearable I was delighted when we moved on from there.

Think of Will and Kate, tons o’ money, but doing their own marketing and cooking/housekeeping. Yes, they require personal assistants for their engagements, but somehow they seem to make do without the rest. Yet Will, at least, must have grown up with butlers, maids, cooks, hell, footmen!

I think the need for complete privacy would trump everything for me.

Now if I could hire a housekeeper to come in and clean the house and do laundry - only when I’m not home, that might work for me. Cooks? I’m not so sure. Maybe a steady supply of plated meals, from someone nearby, delivered to my fridge, very early every morning, give them a key. Between eating out and ordering in, I suspect I could muddle through quite well.

Of course I would over pay them, give them great benefits, and help their kids through college, because I am filthy rich!