Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The Hollywood Reporter peels back the curtain on the fascinating world of domestic help for super rich celebrities and LA types, and the report is just as dishy as one would hope. First of all, these jobs can earn major bank. Estate managers can earn $100,000 or more with 10% yearly cash bonuses and access to travel, gym memberships, cars, and even college tuition.
Nannies can earn $30 an hour with health benefits, housekeepers can earn $20 an hour, and private chefs can earn anywhere from $70,000 to higher than $120,000. These gigs come with a lot of responsibilities, of course, and here are some of the more over-the-top demands by Hollywood clients of their household staff:
Pro-level skills in all things. "Clients ask me if I could find a nanny who may have been a pro-level tennis player. You'll have parents asking for a ballerina if their daughter is into ballet," Westside Nannies' Katie Provinziano told the Hollywood Reporter.
Invisibility. Reporter Sharon Swart writes that some clients (reportedly including Angeline Jolie) expect nannies to get out of the way so they don't end up in paparazzi shots at LAX. Others, reportedly Gwyneth Paltrow included, have personal assistants doing double duty as nannies, in order to maintain the impression of "doing it all."
The ability to cut carrots correctly. One chef was reportedly fired for cutting carrots "wrong," while another's employment was terminated over his pancake skills.
Room fragrance management. Estate managers have been asked to make sure a different scent wafts from each room of the house.
Designer heel break-in duties. One male estate manager was required to wear his female client's Manolo Blahniks around the house to break them in, since they had the same shoe size.
A trendy uniform for household staff. "Everyone may wear khaki shorts, polo shirts and espadrilles as a household look," according to The Grapevine's Rachel Sheer.
Around-the-clock availability. "The word 'flexibility' in a job description means they want you overtime 24/7, but for a flat salary," an anonymous staffer told Swart.
Total devotion. "You need to give up your life a bit, do anything necessary to make this family's life happen," said Provinziano, the founder of one of LA's most prominent nanny agencies.