Monday, April 13, 2009

My Royal Job

I've been working at the Château de Versailles for two weeks now and I must say, it's very surreal.

Of course, I don't really have an office in the palace since I am merely a lowly caissiere / controlleur, but at times of calm throughout the day, I still find myself shaking my head in disbelief when I'm reminded that I, a 23 year old hailing from a tiny village in Scotland, am working in the Palace of Versailles. The irony that Princesse Ecossaise is now working in this royal château has not escaped me, either. What's more - and I know that this might change many expat's views of me but I'm going to have to admit to it at sometime or other- I'm a fonctionnaire, working for the state! Life is crazy.

Something I love about working at the palace is that I have access to all areas of the chateau, places where no tourist is allowed to go. It's so amazing to travel underneath the palace in the cellars where servants used to go about their daily duties back in the 17th century, although I have to admit that, being the biggest wussy scaredy cat that I am, I never go down there alone.

With my badge, I'm allowed unlimited free access to the chateau, and the exhibitions that are shown at the time, as well as being able to have one person accompany me for free. And so I made the most of this opportunity when my mum came to stay with us for a few days last week. Look.

Things I love about my new job:

  • My Badge with it's French flag and authoritarian status!

  • Surprising American tourists when they realise I'm not French.
  • Eating my lunch in the gardens.
  • Popping into the hall of mirrors at lunch time, just because I can.

  • Ripping off the stubs of tickets.
Let's hope the novelty doesn't wear off any time soon!


Ksam said...

Does that mean if I come visit you, you'll give me a private tour?? I promise I would love you forever and ever!!

T.D. Newton said...


I am totally jealous of your sweet job. Congratulations! Perseverance pays!!

(word verif: terbo ... yeah just sounds like a funny word or misspelling)

Stavroulix said...

i'm so jealous too! congrats! it's great to have such a beautiful working environment! wow

Emily Marie said...

I'm so jealous! How wonderful to work in a place with so much history(and how cool is it to see things the tourists aren't allowed to see?!) Even if you are just a caissière, what a great experience!

Anonymous said...

wicked! although, I must admit I shuddered when I saw your badge. I think the Education National has traumatised me...when I see the logo, that's all I think of.

Seeing this does give me a prevervial kick up the fesses though to hand in an application form for a summer job....

Thanks for sharing the photos x

Kim said...

WOW! Yay! It sounds so exciting and glamorous even, fancy working in a palace! I'm glad you are enjoying it and having fun shocking tourists.

Princesse Ecossaise said...

Ksam why of course my poppet! With pleasure!

TD That's soooooo coooooool! I finally have a job that American people call 'sweet'! I always wanted a sweet job, or a cool job, or any job that was a little bit different and special.

Stavroulix It really is such a great working environment! Very surreal, but very nice.

Emmily Marie Yeah! And I'm hoping that after my contract is done, I'll either get the opportunity to stay on there doing something else maybe, or will at least get a great tourism job elsewhere thanks t the newest addition to my cv!

Emmy Haha I so knew lots of expats would be horrified to see the badge! I love it!!!

Kim I met some angry New Zealanders the other day at work! Well, the woman was angry but the husband was very calm. I escorted him to the caisses because he'd queued for hours without realising he needed a ticket. He was very grateful. It made me think of you and your cook accent!

T.D. Newton said...

Better than working in some lame office, innit? Eh?

Yeah, totally sweet job. I hope the pay is as sweet as the other benefits, but a job is a job.

Loth said...

So cool! I used to get a kick out of being able to wander in and out of the Court of Session with my pass but Versailles is WAY more impressive!

Lindsay said...

What a brilliant job! I'm moving to France in September for my year abroad as part of uni. I'm slightly upset that I'll be a boring language assistant for the year, I want to work in a chateau.

Micah D.L. said...

You do have the raddest job imaginable. I mean, who works in a PALACE?!?! Very bad-ass indeed.

I am wicked jealous.

(an extra helping of American slang for ya!)

Anonymous said...

Came across your blog on expatwomen and decided to take a visit.
Congratulations on your new job!
I am in a similar situation to you, though much more newly expatted than you are.
I have been in Paris 3 months and like you, moved over from London to live with my Parisian boyfriend. My petite chat avec 3 legs has come over too so we have a bit in common!
I have enjoyed reading your blog and relate to a lot of your experiences on missing friends and family.
Also starting my new job in Opera tomorrow and filled with peril about having to speak french 5 days a week... all day!!
Anyway, good to read someone going through a similar situation to me.


le kutz said...

Must say, my dear, jealous! I work in the Marais, so theres an abundance of hipsters, gallerists, paris icons and models (right next door to an agency!) but I would give my left arm to work where you do.

Love from an American in Paris!

Anonymous said...

Holy crap ... and here I was, thinking I'm all spiffy for working off Wall Street. Pft, can't touch this! Very, very cool!!

Zhu said...

My my, I'm impressed! Although I'm a little bit worried we leave English walking around freely in our castles, an invasion happens to easily! Remember, Napoleon and all these battles :D

Just kidding. I would be proudly showing my access pass and all to everybody. I mean, Versailles is quite something!

We almost visited last week but the weather wasn't great. I regret now, I would have seen you!

Zhu said...

By the way, I tagged you on my last post, if you feel like it...!

The Duchess said...

Wow, how cool! Imagine being able to eat your lunch in the gardens at Versaille everyday! As a princess, you were obviously born to be there!lol

Sebastien said...

Hallo!!! It's been forever...

I'm so excited for you, that must be amazing working at Versailles, I would love to get to see the servant passageways and the hidden places.

My sister will be in Paris at some point this summer, if you are interested I can give you her info, she is your age, and we have family there, so if you want a family meal with nice French people I bet my sister could hook you up :)

Anyhow, it looks like you are well, I'm very happy to see that you are enjoying la France!


Lesley said...

Saw this article today and thought of you - hope you don't urinate in corners of the palace. Versailles by Tony Spawforth et al reviewed by John Rogister TLS