What does a groundskeeper do?

As the groundskeeper for the Westley Chamber Estate in the Hamptons, I act as on-site management for the second home of Mr. and Mr. Westley Chamber, Esq. They live in Manhattan but like to spend a night or two each month at the second home, so it always needs to be ready at a moment’s notice.

Their house is near this stretch of Beach in the East Hamptons.

 So, on their behalf I hire in-home cleaning staff to clean and launder every surface and textile every three days. I manage the grounds crew to ensure that lawn and gardens are always pristine and the pool/hot tub is always at the ready. I initiate and oversee any home maintenance that may be required.

 I do laps, visiting each room each day to monitor, observe, improve. I dust, fluff pillows, turn door knobs, open and close drawers, shuffle my feet, massage out the creeks in the floorboards, run my fingers down the drapes, sit on the arm of the armchair, clink together the bottles on the bar, flicker the lights. I haunt the house. Benevolent ghosting.

 All of this is communicated to the man of the house via a shared google document and I maintain the finances with access and full usability of Mr. Chamber’s second home checking account. He trusts that I have as much passion for the house and grounds to do this work proudly and honestly.  His trust is not misplaced. And on top of passion, he like hella pays me.

 As a lawyer, Mr. Chamber certainly earns a salary. However, his husband is a quirky, indie fashion designer who makes an ungodly amount of money. He’s one of those nouveau riche guys who earns millions and millions of dollars based on his social media presence. He’s also done a fine job of not becoming mainstream so that they can continue to convince themselves that they live a “normal life.”

If you want more information, here’s a lovely wikipedia article about groundskeeping.

November 8, 2016

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