On Being a Mansion Steward

June 29, 2013 Posted by: Mahin Jalalkhan

This morning, Dylan, Evana, and I set up the mansion; we were assisted by Ranger Jim and our mentor, Amanda, who prompted us when we forgot the location of a light switch or to turn on a fan. A Mansion Steward – another job title by which we addressed – sets up the aforementioned mansion in the morning, and assists the ranger giving visitors a tour by turning off fans to an inaudible volume, by collecting large parcels and bags from visitors (that may accidentally break an item), by admonishing (albeit in a courteous manner) visitors from  whipping out their mobile phones at every opportunity and to refrain from taking calls, by asking visitors to refrain from photography, and lastly, by having a hawk’s eye trained on the visitors at all times to best serve them and protect our resources. Tour rangers, for whom I have immense respect, are tasked with talking about the lengthy yet illustrious history of the Marsh, Billings and Rockefeller clans, and the surrounding Woodstock area. Consequently, the two tasks of informing visitors and maintaining a controlled environment – which are of the utmost importance – ensure that is quite challenging for rangers to juggle those two priorities alone.

However, this morning – unlike the previous one – I was not to complete the exhaustive list of the tasks a mansion steward must perform until later today.

Instead, Dylan, Evana, Amanda, and I, went roving – a new experience for us.

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Last updated: July 10, 2013

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