Saturday, February 10, 2007


A disturbing story this weekend on NPR. The number of American millionaires and billionaires has dramatically increased in recent years and the result is a tragic butler shortage. That's right -- many of America's best and sparkliest are being forced to interact face to face with the groundskeeper, and they don't even speak Mexican.

As I see it, there are three possible solutions.

1) Drop whatever you're doing and enroll in butler school. You and all your friends. Grad school be d***ned -- the richies need you.

2) Vote Democrat.

3) Madame la Guillotine.


Belladonna said...

Great post. Actually I've been giving some thought of late about the relationship between those who serve and those who are being served.

Because of my LDS perspective I've seen plenty of former bishops/stake presidents or whatever doing some backstage support role after release from their high visibility calling comes to a close. I think that has irrevocably shifted how I define who is "important" and who is not.

Still, I live in a world that puts a lot of stock in social stratification.

I've been deliberately noting how I feel/behave with the people who pump my gas, bring me my food, sell me widgits or in some other way are in a role of service.

I've also been paying attention to how I feel/behave when I am in a role of giving service to others.

My favorite religious art is the picture of Christ washing the diciples feet.

There's much to be learned from those who joyfully serve.

Marie said...

There IS much to be learned from those who joyfully serve. Especially when they're not being paid $100,000 plus room and board!

As for the feeling of being served, the only person I feel comfortable having slave over me is my mother, dear underappreciated woman. I am uncomfortable around waiters and rarely complain about bad food because I don't want to inconvenience them or make them think I consider myself superior, which is silly, because their job is to serve in that particular setting. On our frequent trips to Oregon, land of the no-self-serve gas pumps, I HATED watching the guy pump our gas -- I was left with a feeling that my forced passivity somehow made me snobbish and weak.

I also struggle somewhat when I feel I've been asked to serve in a capacity that is somehow "lesser" in my mind. Like you, I love watching people go from high profile positions to nursery playtime director without turning up their noses or breaking their stride. I consider it the mark of a true saint, but...I am not yet one of those people, though I do my best to play one convincingly. I went from teaching gospel doctrine in my previous ward to being a rank-and-file member of the (very large) missionary committee in my new ward -- I have done all I can in the position, but I won't pretend it hasn't been a bit of a blow to the ol' ego. No doubt God helping me out with that pesky pride issue again. (And reminding me that I really do prefer callings that don't involve long hours of hard work and fighting off the fortnightly stage fright woozies :)

Carvel T. said...

My experiences learning & doing various "blue collar" & low-paying "white-collar" jobs in past years humbled me sufficiently that I find it easy to smile & say, cheerfully, "Hi, How are you" to the humble people who serve me.
However, if the greeter at Wal-Mart doesn't look my way, I might ignore him.