You Can’t Get the Staff (Acorn TV 2014)

You Can't Get the Staff

4 Kernels

What a great show! Ignore the bad reviews in the U.K. The people across the pond eat up this information like candy. We love to peek into the lifestyle of those who work and live in England.

This show is an absolutely intriguing look into the life of the wealthy aristocracy, successful business person, or run-of-the-mill family looking for staff or child care. You may have a manor house, castle, and hundreds of acres, but it takes wit to keep it going and staff to run it.

The series is a fascinating look into the lives of those “in service” in the U.K. Almost makes me want to apply for a job. Of course, things have changed over the years, but there is a resurgence in the need for good staff. Though it declined after World War I, those who still own their estates, which have been in the family for centuries, need people to help maintain them.

Each episode showcases a particular situation that requires additional staff. The advertisements go out, the applicants apply, and the interviews proceed. Want a job polishing silver? How about gardening? Love horses? Are you a butler with impeccable skills, experience, and good references? Of course, if you’ve worked for royalty, that’s a plus. The career choices and salaries in these positions are eye-opening.

However, after hiring, one must keep the staff too. They could leave without notice or run off with the “lady of the house.” In between applications, the show also gives tidbits on cleaning the chandelier, ironing a newspaper, polishing silver, correct way to make corners on a sheet, how to fold an umbrella properly, helping a man on with his coat, the skill of ironing a shirt, the quiet way to open and close a door, and other instruction on how to act, serve, and behave in British high-society as an employee in service.

Not only informative, but it’s also quite laughable in places. You’ll be surprised at how many aristocrats get down and dirty to do their part to maintain the estate that has been in their family for centuries. When you see the exterior, interior, and artifacts of these homes, you’ll want to pay the fee to take a tour to keep them going. There are also those employers who are successful in business and rich, with demanding personalities. They may not have the title of a earl or baron, but they are the “new” money who demand the same treatment.

Loved it! I hope there are more to come.

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