Careers - Manners maketh a 'cultured mentor'

28th February 2014 at 00:00
Are you `dignified' enough to be an etiquette teacher in Dubai?

Do you stand up straight? Are you rarely flummoxed by floral arrangements or nonplussed by table knives? Do you know who first thought to put jam on a scone, or whether it goes over or under the cream? If so, you could be the ideal candidate for a job as an etiquette teacher.

Maison Imperiale, a soon-to-open finishing school in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is looking for someone to fill that role. Someone, as the TES Jobs advert phrases it, with "the required mannerisms and persona of a cultured, well-exposed and dignified mentor".

The job will involve imparting the secrets of high society to "ladies, gentlemen and corporate houses" in the Gulf. Suitable candidates (who are "preferably female", although male teachers "may also apply") will demonstrate their social acceptability and general cultivation in a range of ways. No slouchers will be considered: candidates should demonstrate "correct posture". They will also be adept at "making lasting impressions".

The role will involve teaching students to cultivate "dining decorum" across various cultures, and to pronounce menu items from a variety of cuisines. But those teachers looking forward to classroom choruses of "potato, potahto" will be disappointed: Maison Imperiale instruction covers only "luxury and exotic brands and gourmet foods". In case this is insufficiently clear, the advert clarifies: "caviar, etc".

But man cannot live by canap alone. The successful etiquette teacher, therefore, will be able to expound on the history of the afternoon tea. And because petits fours may not be visual treat enough for the crowned heads of Arabia, she will also offer instruction in flower arranging and table dcor.

It is not the first time that TES Jobs has been used to find a teacher who would impart culture and refinement. Last year, a businessman in his thirties advertised for a private tutor - with a salary of more than pound;120,000 a year - to teach English, jazz piano, an appreciation of opera and an understanding of Shakespeare. In other words, a typical day's work at your average comprehensive school.

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