BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Butler

BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Butler - Name: Steve Harrison

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Name: Steve Harrison

When did you become a manager?

A year and a half ago I became butler and estate manager of a 600-acre estate, 58-room manor house and five-bedroom farmhouse in rural Oxfordshire.

The employer stays at weekends - I've signed a secrecy agreement so I can't say who.

What does management mean to you?

This is a common-sense job; it's the same as you running your house but on a larger scale. I don't tell people what to do - they should know that - I just tell them when and where. Having worked my way up from handyman, I never expect people to do anything I wouldn't do myself. My place is as 'go-between'. Rather than the bosses talking to everyone, they only have to talk to me. I've had jobs where it's been 'Yes sir, no sir', usually with lords and ladies. Here, it's a semi-formal situation, although we put on airs and graces for parties.

What do you love/hate about it?

I'm on call 24 hours a day. If the alarms go off at 2am, that means I've got to get up and do my job. But it pays very, very well.

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