Chinese tai-tai seeks personal nanny willing to kneel while putting shoes on her for $27k a month

Posed picture.
PHOTO: The New Paper file

Talk about waiting on someone hand and foot.

But for a fee of $27,000 a month, is it an offer that's hard to refuse?

An online advertisement for a personal nanny has stirred up some controversy in China recently, not only for the eyebrow-raising monthly salary of 140,000 yuan (S$26,848), but also for the requirements that come with the position.

Long hours (9am to 9pm) notwithstanding, the job includes putting on shoes for and undressing the employer, said to be a Shanghainese "tai-tai" (referencing the well-heeled woman), according to the ad.

"When servicing the lady, one has to kneel down. When she extends her feet, one should put on her shoes. When she shrugs her shoulders, one will have to remove her clothes," read one part of the text.

"Those with high self-esteem not needed," came the next caveat, with this following line, "one should desire to be a personal maid in ancient times".

Other requirements stipulate that the nanny should be over 1.65m in height and weigh no more than 66kg. She should hold a secondary school education at the least, "look clean", and be able to sing and dance well.

Citing a report by Chinese media outlet Hongxing News on May 13, the South China Morning Post stated that the ad was published by an agent from a Shanghai-based housekeeping service with a mostly "middle-class" clientele.

When contacted by a reporter, an employee at the agency stated that the client in question had already hired two nannies at the advertised rate.

The agent, identified as Lisa, shared that beside regular housekeeping duties, one nanny who works from 7am to 7pm has to put on the employer's socks and shoes and wait by the door 10 minutes before the latter arrives home to welcome her and take off her shoes.

The nanny who works at night, shared Lisa, would have to wash and massage the woman's feet, as well as prepare water and fruit on command.

Wang Xiaobing, president of the Chengdu Housekeeping Industry Association, was quoted in the report as stating that "it's unheard of" for a nanny to be paid so highly.


However he expressed that "just because you have the money doesn't mean you can do whatever you want".

"The requirements will have to be transparent and reasonable and one should not trample on the other party's dignity," said Wang.

The controversial ad has no doubt sparked much discussion online, with some expressing their desire to apply for the job despite the strict requirements, SCMP reported.

One commenter was quoted as stating: "If I got the job, I would hire a nanny to take care of me after work and pay her 14,000 yuan a month".

Another joked that they wouldn't mind having boss who hurt their feelings, as they "already have no dignity doing a job that pays me 5,000 yuan a month".

The expectation of the nanny to provide "kneeling service" prompted one netizen to remark of how it harkened back to a time "before the 1949 founding of the People's Republic of China", reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

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