If the job of servant for the ultra-rich is well paid, it is also very ;s hard according to several testimonies.
The cliché The image of a maid in a black uniform is far from out of fashion. It is even appreciated by many people. of certain very great riches which have to be heart to respect him. The daily life of butlers and other household staff is often a well-kept secret. But the testimonies of little hands give a glimpse of this world from afar. part where the staff rub shoulders with luxury while enduring sometimes humiliating working conditions.
Servants-in-chief of the ultra-rich, butlers take care of everything, from the management of property and finances to ; satisfying the slightest whims of their employers. But behind the luxury and glamour, there is often a difficult daily life, full of humiliation and abuse of power.
Marc, 49, has been a butler for 17 years. years ; he confided in à
France Culture, in a report by Antoine Guirimand: "We are a simple servant, without saying a slave, at home. the thanks of his boss,” he explains. His contract forces him to being single, childless and unattached, but these are not the only things he has suffered from. renounce: "You have to be ready to give up. accept everything, even the most humiliating things." In return, he benefits from a very comfortable salary of "120 to 100 160,000 euros per year" and that "without the" "sides" who can reward him with a salary of more than "300,000 euros" per year.
"My boss and his children did not have the same conception of the world as we normal people have. Because for them, a baguette is worth 50 euros,” emphasized this former butler of a wealthy client from the Middle East. His contract ended surprisingly: "The story ended when a member of my family had a health problem. quite heavy. I took a vacation so I could go to his bedside, my boss took it badly and simply decided to do something about it. to fire me, overnight."
A man called Damien also returned to his experience in this environment, in the report by journalist Antoine Guirimand. This servant was forced to wear diapers so as not to have to leave their position to go to the toilet, too far from their position, and at the express request of their employer. "I immediately told myself that it was a test, to see if I was ready to take on the challenge. accept anything. Without thinking, I accepted,” he explained, before adding: “It’s when we do the cleaning We keep the diaper on all day. As servants, we were not allowed to use our masters' toilets, so when we wanted to, we had to cross the entire castle and go up to our rooms, which was a hassle. was too long for them. They saw it as a waste of time, which is why she made us wear diapers. At first, there was no way I was going to use it, and then after a while, you have to. It's a feeling you won't forget the first time you do it.
To keep this job, paid 5,000 euros – that's more than a woman's salary for the same position – he had to pay. agreeing to be called Murielle and to wear a maid's outfit: "It consisted of culottes with a white blouse and a navy blue vest." As for the change of first name, it "was systematic for servants. These were the first names of the maids of several generations who had been severe; before me: when there is one who leaves or dies, we rename the new one by her first name.
He was also born before me. Witness to abuse of power by his employers, who behaved like tyrants towards their servants. "It was a terrible humiliation," he says. "But I had no choice, I needed the money." Damien finally left his post to return to a normal life. But he has bitter memories of this experience.