On November 6th, 2015, I packed up my rubber-soled shoes and my conservative dress attire, and I drove to Texas for my interview of 2 days with the estate manager of a large formal estate.
I had no idea what was ahead of me for the next two days. I was excited but also had butterflies in my stomach. As I drove up to the Estate, I was met by a kind yet businesslike security person that announced my entering onto the grounds. I think my mouth dropped at least an inch when I saw this most magnificent mansion/castle. Words cannot express the beauty of this 25,000 square foot mansion. I met with the Estate Manager, who immediately made me feel at ease, and started my onsite interview. I shadowed the Estate Manager and the Cleaning Lady.
I soon found myself helping cook a magnificent brunch for guests at the estate. An important rivalry football game was this weekend. I went grocery shopping with the Estate Manager to buy different cheeses from all over the world, fruits, and vegetables. Pate is not easily bought at grocery stores; we needed to go to a specialty store. It was an experience in itself just going to the grocery stores and specialty places to get these rare items.
When we came back, the Estate Manager whipped up the most magnificent table decoration in less then than 20 minutes. Imagine a three-tiered waterfall of vegetables of all different types cascading down a mountain of lettuce, artichokes, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, and much more. It truly was a work of art. From there we prepared brunch.
After the guests were done, they made their way to the library. This gave us time to then go to their bedrooms and freshen them up. The goal for us was to be as unobstrusive as possible.
I must say everything I learned as a Household Manager through Professional Domestic Services actually truly applied to my two-day interview. From the type of shoes to wear that do not make noise on marble floors to how to set up formal tables and floral arrangements to buying specialty items for the guests.
In each bedroom was a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers that were in the colors of the football teams. The attention to detail was extraordinary. I could go on and on about my experience, but this letter would be 10 pages long.
I did want to say one more thing about the owners’ little dog Lulu. Lulu was fed when the owners sat down to eat. We had a special menu and plate for Lulu. Lulu would have duck breast sliced very tiny and thin and placed on the plate in a vertical line. On the other side of the plate in a vertical line were green peas placed, where they do not touch the duck breast. Little Lulu will eat her food only this way. Remember attention to detail in every aspect of this job!
My experience was absolutely awesome. The Estate Manager was a beautifully kind person with a wealth of knowledge.
Thank you, Carol, for giving me the experience to interview with this exceptionally talented Estate Manager and the owners of this magnificent estate. In 2 days I have learned and applied pretty much everything I learned in your online classes of a household manager. You don’t realize you will be using every aspect of the knowledge that you have gained in this course. Thank you for an awesome experience.
Thanks Ruth! To readers: please remember that every family is unique, with different needs and preferences. Not all employers live so formally, and of course many others have still larger, and even multiple, homes. It’s your job to fulfill your responsibilities according to your employer’s wants and needs, no matter what those may be. Professional employees know that providing care to meet those needs is what this type of work is all about… and satisfaction in their work comes from meeting those expectations.
(Note: the following letter was sent to Ms. Scudere by a graduate of our International Institute of Household Management & Staffing Home Study Program. Details have been changed where necessary to protect privacy and confidentiality.)