It looked, at first blush, as if the Daily Mail was pulling Alf’s chain. It drew his attention to a job that took his fancy .
But he (or rather, Mrs Grumble) didn’t immediately find it on the website mentioned by the newspaper. Not without a bit of searching.
She persevered and found the details here.
Alf remains tempted although it is a somewhat menial job and doesn’t pay much.
Nor does it seem to offer the same perks and allowances enjoyed by our members of Parliament for their hard work on behalf of their electorates and to serve the nation.
On the plus side it would result in Alf working for a couple for whom he has huge admiration.
As the Daily Mail tells it
…Buckingham Palace has decided that running one’s own bath is not a task that members of the Royal Family and guests of the Queen should be burdened with.
The Royal Household is seeking to appoint a housekeeping assistant, one of whose jobs will be to put in the plug, turn on the tap and check the temperature of the water when the bath is full.
The successful candidate for the £14,200-a-year post will be ‘committed to achieving exceptional standards of service provision’.
So far, so good.
Alf has experience turning taps, including taps on beer kegs, and he is careful about having his whisky just right in temperature terms.
He also appreciates that a royal bath probably should be enjoyed at a somewhat higher temperature than a nip of scotch.
Most important, the new staffer will rub shoulders – so to speak – with her Majesty.
The job advertisement, which appears on the Royal Household website, says the post holder ‘will have contact with Members of the Royal Family, guests and all levels of Royal Household staff’.
The new recruit will join a department of more than 250 people, including cooks, footmen, butlers and valets.
The new employee will be based at Buckingham Palace but will also work at other royal residences, such as Balmoral and Sandringham, for up to three months each year and play a role in hospitality for official banquets and private entertaining by the Royals.
But the next bit of the job seems a bit more demanding.
As well as filling the royal bath, the new staffer will pack and unpack for guests of the Royal Household, iron their clothes, help them dress, look after their jewellery and arrange for tea and breakfast trays to be brought to their room.
The assistant’s main duty will include
…‘high quality cleaning, presentation and guest care in the post holder’s designated area, consisting of the personal rooms of the Royal Family, their guests’ suites, State Apartments, cloakrooms, staff and office accommodation, staircases and corridors’.
The 40-hour-a-week job requires someone with a ‘friendly, polite and approachable disposition and an ability to be discrete and maintain confidentiality’.
Maybe this calls for a job-sharing arrangement with Mrs Grumble.
It was she who tracked down the full details of the job offer on the Royal Household website.
On the plus side, she found accommodation is provided.
She also learned the successful applicant will –
• have a passion for the Hospitality industry and ideally some practical hospitality experience;
• be meticulous, with a close attention to detail;
• thrive in a busy, team focused environment;
• be enthusiastic, show initiative and be keen to learn;
• have a hard-working, flexible and positive attitude; and
• be committed to achieving exceptional standards of service provision.
But wait. There’s more.
The job description says food and accommodation is provided, “for which there will be a salary adjustment”.
A downwards adjustment, Alf suspects.
There’s not much time to weigh things up.
The application closing date is today.