Leave it to Jeeves at £75,000 a year
Published 28/10/1999 | 00:11
DEMAND for household servants is soaring in America, particularly in New York and Silicon Valley, the twin engines of America's decade-long economic boom, where the classless new rich are pining for butlers in the Jeeves mould as never before.
With annual salaries for top butlers in Manhattan reaching £75,000, butler schools are thriving, especially those teaching household management in its most traditional form.
Lessons include how not to look smarter than your employer, how to organise proper dinner parties for a boss used to eating pizza straight from the box, and how to tip-toe around marital indiscretions.
Demand for experienced ``household managers'' now easily exceeds supply, according to placement agencies in New York, Washington and Los Angeles. At the Starkey International Institute for Household Management in Denver, one of the country's elite butler schools, there are long waiting lists for the two-month butler course.
The course costs £4,500 and ranges from the importance of plucking your nostril hair to how to deal with your employer's trophy wife.
Students watch Anthony Hopkins's performance as the butler Stevens in the 1993 film The Remains of the Day as a model of butlering. The school plans another branch in Washington.
Keith Greenhouse, president of the Pavillion Agency in Manhattan, says of the butler boom: ``People don't want to deal with vendors, they don't want to cook, they don't want to hear about bickering and jealousy among the staff. They want the butler to deal with it.''
(Daily Telegraph, London)