Official Beekeeper and Other Weird Jobs at the White House
The inner-workings of the White House are often a mystery to the public. Behind those doors is a whole network of people in charge of everything from the drapes on the windows to the logistics of getting the president's groceries. Would you have guessed that the White House has a chief floral designer or an executive pastry chef? If you're curious about all the strange jobs the White House has to offer, then keep reading.
While the title harkens back to earlier times, chimney sweeps are still indeed a thing in the 21st century. After all, chimneys do still exist. Because of its construction date, the White House has a whopping 35 of them, and eventually, someone has to clean them.
A president's body man has a complicated role, which is part of the reason why the title is such a strange one. They act as a personal assistant, valet and friendly companion all rolled into one.
It shouldn't be surprising that the president runs up against plenty of ethical dilemmas during their tenure. For exactly this reason, the ethics advisor position was created to lend a helping hand in making difficult decisions. To qualify for the job, you must have extensive knowledge of government rules regarding ethics.
Executive Pastry Chef
One of the more whimsical job titles at the White House is the executive pastry chef. Don't be fooled, however, because the person in this role still has a lot on their plate. They are the one responsible for creating the famous White House gingerbread house.
Chief Data Scientist and Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy
Oof, this job title is a mouthful. The Chief Data Scientist and Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy, or CDSCDTODP for short, wasn't always a role at the White House. President Obama created the job for one man: Dhanurjay Patil.
The White House usher runs the daily affairs at the president's residence, overseeing service staff and operations. The usher’s close proximity to the president's intimate life means that sometimes, they see things they might have preferred not to. One famous example of this is what happened to usher Skip Allen during Ronald Reagan's presidency.
Presidents need their hair cut, too! This job is an incredibly important one, considering how often the president's face appears on television and in front of large crowds. They need to look their best at all times, and that means hiring some adept hands. President Obama even chose to bring in his old barber from Chicago.
Another strange job to get at the White House is the role of portrait artist. Only the best of the best are selected to do the job, and the stakes are high — if the president doesn't like it, he might just rip it to shreds.
A stenographer's job description may sound like a simple one, but it is no easy task. They are instructed to record every single word the president says throughout the day. Getting things correct is crucial, as the smallest slip-up could lead to dangerous miscommunications.
The White House engineers work in the same shop as the White House carpenters, which is located in the White House basement. Together, these workers are tasked with the upkeep and creation of White House furniture and equipment. These people are hidden away in the furthest corner of the building, and they work 24/7.
Presidential Correspondence Team
If you've ever sent a letter to the president, chances are a member of the presidential correspondence team looked at it. These are the people that sift through, read and sometimes respond to letters from the public. Oftentimes, they're letters from kids written for a class assignment.
Records Management Analyst
The records management analyst is hired to be an organizer. They're the ones that deal with the huge influx of documents to and from the White House and decide where things go. Scanning, indexing and analyzing important papers are all a part of the job description.
This is one of the more fun job opportunities at the White House. Calligraphers are employed year-round to artfully write the plentiful invitations the White House sends out on a regular basis. This handmade touch is classier and more personal than creating something digitally.
Given that the White House is the central hub of the country's executive branch, it can attract some unwanted attention. Unfortunately, all presidents receive death threats and attempts on their lives, no matter their stance on political matters.
Social aides do exactly what you think they do: aid in social functions. These military volunteers show up to swanky dinners or celebrations and are on a mission to make others feel comfortable and welcome so that they enjoy themselves. The position is unpaid, at least monetarily-speaking.
Director of Oval Office Operations
Everyone knows about the Oval Office. It's where big meetings take place and where the president spends a lot of time while on the job. You might not be aware, however, that there's someone in charge of this room besides the president. This would be the director of Oval Office operations.
Director of the Presidential Gift Office
Just like thousands of people want to send the president letters, many also want to send the president gifts. There are plenty of strange gifts past presidents have received, including a giant wheel of cheese, but the president doesn't actually get to keep these gifts.
You may be surprised to learn that the White House has its very own beehive on the grounds — and every beehive must have a beekeeper. The bees haven't been around forever, though. It was Michelle Obama who had the idea of bringing them in to help pollinate her garden.
Director of Comment Line
Even though it's hard to get your voice heard by the president, you might be able to get it heard by the director of the comment line. This position includes manning phones and listening to public input on a daily basis .In other words, it’s one of the more difficult jobs to deal with.
Where there's a garden, there's a gardener! The head gardener for the White House isn't just in charge of the flowers and veggies growing in the garden; they also maintain the glossy green lawn. After all, those shrubs don't remain picture-ready all on their own.
Digital Content Producer
When the presidency first started, there wasn’t a digital content producer, for reasons that should be as self-evident as the truths in the Declaration of Independence. As technology has improved, however, an online presence has become necessary even for U.S. presidents. Every time the president makes an official appearance or presents a speech, the digital content producer gets it up online.
Director of Video Production
Just as the White House needs people to manage their online presence, they also need someone in charge of the cameras. The president and his staff are constantly being filmed, and the director of video production makes sure those videos meet the highest standards.
If you think planning your vacation to Europe is stressful, imagine being a travel manager for the president. The POTUS is almost always traveling from one place to another, hopping between countries and paying visits to the government of each.
You might not think that being a housekeeper is a strange job, but things are different at the White House. These maids and footmen are the absolute best at what they do, and they're made up of roughly 90 employees cleaning a total of 132 rooms.
General Service Staff
The general service staff at the White House pulls off feats that other White House employees can only imagine. Most famously, these miracle workers turn over the entire White House mansion when a new president moves in — and they do it all in under six hours.
One of the hardest jobs at the White House is that of a speechwriter. When done well, it can result in marvelous speeches that ingratiate the president with the public. When done wrong, well, things go a little haywire. The most important factor in a successful speechwriter is their understanding of the current president.
Chief Official White House Photographer
Before the position of the chief official White House photographer became a thing, photographs of the president were taken by any old military photographer. For eleven years, though, this new job opening has been filled by prestigious civilian photographers that capture the day-to-day events in the president's life.
Even though everyone knows about the existence of the secret service, their job is still a pretty strange one. After all, they devote their entire careers — and sometimes lives — to protecting one person, whether or not they agree with their policies.
If there's one worker at the White House likely to know details about top-secret information, it's the head chauffeur. The driver of the president has a big job; they have to ensure the president's safety on the roads and get them where they need to go.
Chief Floral Designer
Did you think immaculate flower decorations simply appeared at the White House? Or that any old party planner picked them out from a florist? Well, you would be wrong. There is one individual whose job it is to plan and arrange the floral decorations for all White House events: the chief floral designer.