24 February 2006

a temp job at a very unusual location

Today I had quite a bizarre day. I got a temp job arranging the library of this rich family on the Upper East Side. As I quickly learned, it was in the world's richest apartment building--literally. The couple had recently moved there and were redecorating. Our job (myself and two of the librarians running the staffing agency) was to arrange books into subject categories on beautiful bookshelves. It was an exhausting day (at a fairly decent salary, I must admit!) where I was teetering on a ladder in heeled boots (with booties over my feet; all of the "help" had to wear disposable booties when they were in the house to protect the floor, but not the missus and their friends), carrying boots, etc. It required quick thinking to determine where the book should be placed (not always that simple!) as well as climbing ladders, navigating small spaces, trying not to bump into insanely expensive furniture or break or stain or tear anything.

Their house reminded me of the Palace of Versailles. They had a huge staff--wearing uniforms, an intercom system, a kitchen the size of my apartment (not counting the staff kitchen and the wine room), marble circular staircases, marble floors, expensive rugs, antiques, foreign art, real paintings on the wall, paneling from France--the looked as if it were in Versailles. Words cannot even do justice at the gorgeousness of this house.

Of course, I also found photo albums of the couple at Bush Senior events (and later learned they contribued a disgusting amount of money to Bush Junior), and a book on how wonderful Dubya is and a Rush Limbaugh book. Gag.

It was so nice to check out all the beautiful rooms, but at the same time, I did not like the museum that was my temporary workplace. It seemed a waste of money, and so ostentanious. He works in the petroleum world, so I suppose what else will he do with his money? (Sarcasm)

Sigh.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tell us more about the books they had! were they reasonable 'ordinary' collection, specialist at all, Ist editions, coffee table, incanumbula? or the 'Hollywood Library specials' (lovely bindings/braindead contents). Also why by subject? - most of the rich I've come across have them alphabetically by author - when they have books that is!!!

Wish I had the room to set mine out by subject (or even just on shelves)! - have about 10,000 at last count crammed into a 1950's suburban 3 bedroom house. But it has been FUN getting them.

Anonymous said...

ostentatious

cherie said...

i've had several comments and questions about the books of this incredibly rich family. there were all kinds of books--fiction, books about africa (and safaris especially), war, biographies (probably as many biographies as the small college library i work in has!), art books, interior design, photo albums (i checked out her bridal shower album from 1996!), science books, history, politics (esp right-leaning politics), a lot of first edition signed books, among other things.

i think the thing that really hit me the most was wearing the booties. s and i are professional librarians with master degrees (and she has many, many more years on me) and p is a professional as well--and we are wearing booties? a bit insulting. it wouldn't have been if the missus were wearing booties--or even different shoes than she obviously just wore outside. it was insulting, annoying, and yes, the rich do have more books than us.

Jen said...

Oh yuck ...

That kind of excess is just gross. That is why I can't stand most organized religions - so many churches look like mansions. Dismantle and sell off the Vatican and that will go pretty far in ending world poverty...

Krisco said...

Your dirt is obviously *dirtier* than theirs.