HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT: BASIC LIST OF SERVANT TITLES & DUTIES

Large households that employ staff must hire for various jobs. Each job has its own duties. And these duties vary according to the household, its size, the number of staff, and the needs of the employers. Here is a brief list of household jobs and their titles.

SENIOR HOUSEHOLD STAFF

Butler: Responsible for the pantry, wine cellar and dining room and manages the footmen; usually reports to the master of the house.

Housekeeper: Responsible for the house and its appearance; in charge of all female servants, but can sometimes be the lead servant in a household.

Cook: Responsible for the kitchen and kitchen staff and usually reports directly to the lady of the house but sometimes to the housekeeper.

SUPPORT HOUSEHOLD STAFF

Valet: Performs personal services such as maintaining his employer’s clothes, running his bath, laying out his clothes, properly arranging and tidying clothing once it is put on.

Lady’s Maid: Responsible for her mistress’ appearance, including make-up, hairdressing, clothing, jewellery, and shoes; removes stains from clothing; sews, mends, and alter garments as needed; brings her mistress breakfast in her room; and draws her mistress’s bath

JUNIOR HOUSEHOLD STAFF

Footman: Serves meals, opens and closes doors, carries heavy items, and moves furniture for the housemaid.

Maid: Performs domestic chores such as laundry, ironing, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, cooking, and caring for household pets.

HOUSEHOLD STAFF IN AMERICA

America has few homes that can compete with the large households found among the aristocracy in Europe. Homes are smaller with even smaller servants’ quarters. So, many who can afford household staff tend to employ people who can perform the duties of multiple titles. For example, the titles: housekeeper, maid, (meal) server, and cook can all be held by one person. The titles: footman, gardener, and car washer can all be held by one man.

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