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Opening Pandora’s Box

As a sequel to the three-part article Thinking for Yourself May Be the Only Regimen for Recovery (1, 2, 3) written at the very beginning of the pandemic, we are publishing this sequel which builds on the original observations and questions concerning the pandemic to take a hard and dissenting look at the elephant in the room that may well trample over the plans of those hoping for a recovery.

Few people in hospitality want to be so politically incorrect and unprofessional as to talk about the proverbial elephant in the room1 of every hospitality venue since Spring 2020, cutting across revenue, the guest experience, and staffing. Being hoteliers who are naturally cheerful and prefer to focus on pleasant subjects, we responded by putting on a bright face and working out eventually how to deal with the new reality: Go digital, do whatever we can to bring in and retain “What’s in it for Me?” staff, assuage guest fears with cleaning theater, hope our government will not shut down travel again at the next supposed variant, juggle mismatched supply and demand, oxymoronically2 improve service by reducing personal contact with guests, and so on.
To continue the elephant analogy, trying to work out what exactly this elephant is in order to deal with it properly has parallels with the ancient Indian parable of a group of blind men who each touched a different part of an elephant and shared their limited observations only to find these differed from their colleagues’ observations and so, instead of combining their observations into a fuller picture, they argued vociferously3 about what this elephant might be.
With the ongoing censorship of any information that contradicts the official narratives on various topics (Homeland Security in the US has just announced that this activity is terrorism and will be investigated by the State apparatus), we have been thrown into the role of blind men, unable to see and consider facts and make informed judgements for ourselves. What follows will be considered a “conspiracy theory”4 by some—to whom I say, “Quit reading if you must—but bear in mind this phrase was created in 1967 by the CIA to discredit anyone challenging the official findings concerning President Kennedy’s assassination—and that narrative, as with any cover-up, turned out to be patently false.”
“Conspiracy theory” is trotted out as the standard response to any information that threatens to shake the firmly held worldview a person has built to fend off the confusions of life. This impulse is understandable, but for anyone aware that only the truth can set them free from lies/misinformation, it might be a good idea to continue reading, because what appears to be on the horizon for hospitality may be a mirage/wishful thinking. In effect, whistling past the graveyard5 may not be the best strategy.
Although Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter may open the information spigots for the thousands of professionals who have been crying foul on the events of the past two years and the future that is planned for us, and thus may be a source of new perspectives for the majority, until now most of these experts have only been able to communicate through newer social media such as Gettr, Telegram, WhatsApp, and Signal, and via independent web sites. So, anyone relying on the mainstream and social media for news and perspectives may well be surprised by the balance of this article.
Let’s start with the bigger picture: There have been over 300 civilizations in Earth’s recorded history, and where are they now? Given the constant onslaught of dire situations popping up around us over the last few years, amplified by the fear-mongering media, we could well be forgiven for wondering whether this one has many more sunrises and seasons left to enjoy. It may well if we look beyond apparent realities conjured up by the authorities and instead focus on the actual realities we face. And so, here in rapid succession are statements of realities that have been hidden and which could, for the sake of argument, be considered as possibly true—this article does not have space for lengthy footnotes designed to prove facts are facts, so everyone is free to do their own research to dispel any doubt either way.
The number of unscientific mandates, fake statistics (i.e. millions will die from Covid; hundreds of thousands have died from Covid; and in the end, less than 4% of those we were told had died of Covid had actually died of Covid), and faulty management decisions that impacted our industry are legion. When all the dust/virus had settled, though, while the authorities did acknowledge their mistakes after enough experts were brave enough to speak up despite the threats against them personally, we are left with a pandemic that wasn’t one at all, but was used to generate fear worldwide and make it possible to remove every single one of the thirty Human Rights as detailed in the United Nation’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the individual rights written into the constitutions of many countries around the world; the entire world economy collapsed; hospitals were not actually overflowing, but millions were unable to receive other needed medical treatment; no more people died of Covid than die of the flu each year (which strangely enough, almost nobody died of in 2020/21 according to medical records); the mandated vaccines, which were not actually vaccines but experimental drugs to change the DNA of those injected, have resulted in millions of deaths and injuries with many more to come from delayed deaths due to the jabs knocking out immune systems and introducing diseases—just one statistic to consider: For every child who died of covid, 170 died of the vaccines. The masks, social distancing, PCR testing, and lockdowns proved with hindsight for governments—although they were informed properly up front by enough medical and other experts—to have made not one ounce/28 grams of difference regarding health and safety.
In other words, Much Ado About Nothing, as Shakespeare may have entitled a play he could have written were he alive today—except the original was a comedy and the pain and suffering caused by governmental responses would make such a re-write a tragedy without peer.
Our industry was the first to tank as travel was shut down and lockdowns went into effect, and it has still to recover, with occupancy down and rates up generally. While optimists work hard to bring hospitality back to life, stubbornly hanging onto their humor and sense of fun, as one industry writer opined, the pessimists hang on in general as best they can, and the realists consider how best to deal with the unfolding future.
Which is what?
We have vaccine passports already being implemented on the back of the push for them during the pandemic and planned by the WHO to be made universal requirements for travel and even to operate in society. This will prevent 90% of the world that is not fully vaccinated/boosted, as required, from travelling. As the compromised immune system of the fully vaccinated makes them 3x more likely to contract Covid and 5x more likely to die of it than the unvaxxed, those who are eligible to travel will ultimately be a dwindling demographic while the unvaxxed will be even more determined to avoid the death/clot shots (as they are increasingly coming to be known) from the spike proteins inserted into the experimental DNA drug (ask the hundreds of athletes who have been dropping down and out, including 15 of the fully vaccinated players at the 2022 Miami Tennis Open—and then check back for a final count in five years, which is the length of time myocarditis6 from these clots generally takes to kill 56% of those who have it).
As travel is being discouraged by various policies and campaigns because of claimed global warming, who except those with private airplanes and yachts will be able to travel?
As the vaccine passport is planned to be morphed into a digital passport stored within a chip under the skin and linked to bank accounts, those who question authority or fail to follow the social-engineering rules, monitored by ubiquitous cameras with facial-recognition software as in China already, as well as GPS in the chip, will have their accounts frozen (as happened to those demonstrating peacefully in Canada recently), making it hard to travel, especially once cash is removed from society and only Central Bank Digital Currencies are accepted as legal tender.
And most immediately, how do we keep staff fed and guests serviced when the supply chain continues to be sabotaged, and particularly when there is no food to transport? Most people are oblivious to the actions being taken to wipe out crops, herds, flocks, and food storage and processing centers which can only lead to an untimely end for close to a billion already living on the edge and bring the rest to the inescapable realization that food is so scarce that we need to eat bugs, weeds, and lab-grown meat, drink sewage water, and agree to a one-world government and all its programs. It would be nice if they were joking.
So next question: Who is they?
A number of individuals and groups, but directing the show is the unelected World Economic Forum and its cohorts7 of “elites,” as they regard, and even refer to, themselves. WEF is responsible for the election of most key figures in Western governments that rammed through all the Covid measures in the name of public safety—in the process cancelling the rights, livelihoods, and freedoms of all citizens. Check out the WEF web site for a flavor of their power and where they are taking us. As its leader, Mr. Klaus Schwab, pointed out, “Covid is critical because this is what convinces people to accept total biometric surveillance.” Talking of his grand plan, called The Great Reset that he has been trumpeting as the solution for all that ails humankind, he famously said, “You will own nothing and be happy,” a notion that will not gain much traction from anyone who has emerged from communist or impoverished countries; and while we may own nothing, we can rest assured he and his kind will not be joining us in such a self-abnegating8 sacrifice.
The wish of citizens to trust and comply with an authority believed to be acting in their best interests is slow to erode, but eventually the most blatant of excesses and nonsensical directives being pointed out by those with critical thinking skills and a measure of integrity, embolden the majority to start thinking for themselves, too, with mounting distrust for the motives and actions of those entrusted to look after the public good. At a WEF conference in November 2021, attendees lamented that the “common man” in all countries no longer respects them…one wonders why.

Could it be because they took advantage of the pandemic to increase their wealth by 54% while “common people” lost their jobs and became poorer? Or because—while everyone else was locked down and masked under duress, forbidden to associate with friends and family, say goodbye to loved ones on their death beds, or enjoy social events—the elite partied without masks, flew in CO2-spewing private jets to climate-change conferences at which they complained that the living standards, energy consumption, and CO2-spewing travel-habits of common people were ruining the world. Could it be that the Nuremburg Code demanding informed consent before conducting medical experiments was being ignored in the name of public safety and that hundreds of millions preferring not to be part of a medical experiment were demonized and denied basic freedoms; or that thousands of medical experts questioning the narrative (or the other official narratives such as global warming/climate change or “Russia is bad”) were smeared, silenced, de-platformed, fired, and even murdered where they could not be bribed, blackmailed, or threatened to toe the line.

In an honest world, truthful and accurate information does not need to be enforced or protected by such dictatorial actions. So how come these people felt it appropriate to behave so selfishly and commit such a monstrous series of crimes?
As they themselves have stated openly, their intent is to reduce the world population by 90%, with the elite remaining and enough worker bees to service them and managers and soldier ants to keep the worker bees in line. A solution to saving us all that includes the death of 9 out of every 10 individuals might be considered an extreme solution by all but the barking mad. So, it is not surprising that this kind of solution is one in a long line of unethical solutions that have ended us all up where we are now and ironically provided the elite with the rationale for their actions. Humanity struggles with hunger, water shortages, disease, pollution, constant conflicts and wars, etc., and yet we have seen the same elites suppressing technologies or ideas that could improve things for humankind while enriching themselves from the resulting conflicts over shortages. Limitless free and non-polluting energy has been available for a century thanks to the likes of Nikola Tesla. Technology exists to grow all the food the world needs without pollution; or to tap into huge amounts of clean water. Such ideas are destroyed to protect the status quo and income streams of the elite; the programs they fund may claim to resolve these issues, but the results speak otherwise.
The future these people are engineering, if they succeed, will mean very few hotels, and those mostly 5* for the “lucky few.”
And how lucky are they? Not at all, actually, despite their material possessions and power. If they succeed in their plan, by their nature they trust nobody (Stalin famously said he trusted nobody, not even himself) and so will start to stab each other in the back as they are doing to their fellow citizens right now, and spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders, waiting for the other shoe to drop or the Sword of Damocles. They cannot really enjoy themselves because what goes on behind the fake smiles or the sour faces is a continuous chitter chatter internally about how horrible the person(s) they are talking to is and scheming how to undermine them. All the while, they may convince themselves they are doing the right thing, but deep down, they know that what goes around comes around, and they themselves would certainly not like to experience what they want us to experience.
The intent here is not to mirror them by wishing them ill. Some of them we have even serviced as butlers, professional to the core, determined to make their lives as comfortable and happy as possible, but that is generally a losing battle, for you may recognize these characters, whether or not wealthy, as the really unpleasant guests who make you feel small and useless, your best intentions and efforts made nothing of, even wondering whether hospitality is right for you. They have very specific characteristics that you need to know in order not to take a dive when dealing with them.
For our part, in the bigger picture, we have to ask ourselves, if all this is actually to come to pass, as one of the survivors would we want to work in hotels when most people we know had been eliminated, where we have to eat bugs, enjoy no rights, and smiling faces are replaced by sullen ones as experienced in dismal East German hotels during the second half of the 20th Century, where everyone reported on everyone else to the Stasi9? Do we really want to live and work in the kind of technological, economic rat-race, and police state that always results when people who are barking mad plan everyone’s life?
If not, then we all need to do something as a group to change the trajectory. Continuing to ignore the elephant in the room and focusing on how to make the best of the dwindling freedoms open to us will not change anything, no matter how positive we are—the universe only bends to our wishes when some action is applied to it.
These elites lording it over worker bees, enforcers and managers is not a new phenomenon—it almost seems like the natural order of things, but it does not mean it is a game worth preserving even for the elite, as they always go down in flames with each civilization they manage to collapse.
There is nothing wrong with having elites if they are ethical, respecting human rights; where we have gone wrong time and again as a race is not learning to recognize and stand up to individuals who have lost their way, especially those using their positions of power destructively for those they are trusted to manage. They exist across a full spectrum of groups, human activities, and locations, yet in small numbers compared with the rest of us—which is a key weakness for them. They are the ones who drive down individuals and whole societies by creating division and fear and engineering situations that threaten our survival and tie the rest of us up with worry and frantic activity to resolve—because as mentioned earlier, bad situations do not just happen—excepting natural disasters—but are engineered by specific individuals, often working behind the scenes.
To find out more, do your own research using the Brave browser and its search engine, as these have the least censoring of search results so you can move beyond mainstream media, social media and government censorship to educate yourself.
You can also attend free webinars listed on the home pages of Defending Humanity (on human rights) and Joining Forces (on the current agenda, how it violates human rights, and how to spot and deal with evil individuals).
As optimistic realists, we can learn from these trying times and create again the kind of hospitality that is founded on solicitous service and taking joy in helping orchestrate the happiness of others—and beyond that, in helping create a society that is founded on respect for each other, in which technical advances are not used to push down or even replace humankind, but to benefit it—every last one of us, seven billion and counting.

1 Elephant in the room: An obvious and major issue that people avoid acknowledging or discussing
2 Oxymoronic: The combining of words with opposite meanings that create a seeming contradiction but which actually point out something that is quite sharp—deafening silence is an example
3 Vociferously: Spoken in a loud and forceful manner
4 Conspiracy theory: Identifying the secretive coordinated actions of a usually powerful group as the cause of some harmful event, contradicting the official narrative
5 Whistling past the graveyard: Ignoring, or attempting to stay cheerful and hopeful of a good outcome in the face of, an upcoming hazard or dire situation
6 Myocarditis: Inflammation of the heart muscle
7 Cohorts: The individuals who support a particular person, usually a leader
8 Self abnegating: Renouncing one’s own interests
9 Stasi: East German secret police

Categories
Julius Smith Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2021, My Butler Julius

Julius SmithMy Butler Julius

by Julius Smith

Christmas for Butlers

As we approach the holiday season, please spare a thought for all the butlers and private staff who will be working over the festive period. I am not so sure it’s the most wonderful time of year for us who are responsible for making it a magical time for our principals. I am sure I am not alone in missing out on spending time with my own family because I have to serve another at Christmas, not to mention birthdays and anniversaries etc.

However, this, to use a cliché, is what we signed up for.

On the other hand, there is a tremendous sense of satisfaction when everything passes off smoothly and your principal and guests have truly had the most wonderful time of their year.

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.

Categories
Koby Gutman Newsletter Rick Fink

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2021, Creative Corner

IIMBCreative Corner

Featuring Butlers who Apply their Creative Talents to their Art and their Profession

 

 

 

 


Rick Fink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copy of National Geographic magazine’s green-eyed “Afghan Girl.”

Mr. Rick Fink has been in the butler profession for over six decades, is the principal of the Butler Valet School in England, and a venerable member of the International Butler Trainer Alliance. He started painting four years ago and before that, when he was in his 20‘s—during the time in between those years, he was too busy butling to paint!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Kobi Gutman
 
 

 

 

 

 

With the winter holiday season upon us, Mr. Gutman naturally provides guests with classic motifs to elevate their experience with his creative touches. This Father Christmas is a tree ornament, the water melon needs no explanation; and the relief of the reindeer started with a base made of tree bark to create the general shape, a clay cradle added on top to support the relief, and then a mold created of the whole piece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Kobi Gutman is one of  the most accomplished hotel butlers in the world, currently working as the head butler at a private resort in Florida; he can be reached via the Institute.

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.

Categories
Christopher Carter Sanderson Culinary Tips for Butlers Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2021, Culinary Tips for Butlers

IIMBCulinary Tips for Butlers

by Christopher Carter Sanderson

As breakfast is the purview of the butler, I retain an interest in it beyond general cookery as I am sure we all do. By this time, for instance, I am sure that all of my sister and brother butlers have been instructed by Sir Ian McKellen’s excellent short instructional video on the perfect scrambled egg.

And I may be late to the party on this tip, but I have recently found that gently warming the cream cheese before serving it, either on the side or on a bagel directly, has an extraordinary impact on the flavor.

Since I have been bringing cheeses of various kinds to room temperature to serve for decades, I suppose I should not be surprised. I never had applied this dictum to cream cheese. Now that I have, I find the effect on the flavor, subtle though it is, makes a big difference. There is also the added benefit to the palate of the residual warmth being transmitted to the smoked fish, if that is being served on top of the cream cheese.

My technique is to place the requisite amount of cream cheese into a ramekin and then microwave it at a high setting very briefly. 10 seconds seems to do the trick for most microwave ovens. The texture of the cream cheese is also affected, making it easy to spread evenly or to mix in order to distribute the warmth before service.

With the usual fresh dill and/or capers, the effect of warming the cream cheese when served with smoked fish can bring the whole together in a way that the refrigerated ingredients just can’t when served cold.

Bagels and cream cheese are a very American dish, I know. Since I have seen them served in breakfasts and very lux breakfast buffets as far afield as Dubai, the UK, and California, I thought that a note concerning their service might be of use.

All my best wishes now and throughout the holiday season.

Mr. Sanderson is a butler and longterm member of our Institute and profession.

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.

Categories
Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2021


Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

This is not a goodbye… for two truisms come to mind when I sit down to write this last edition of the Modern Butlers’ Journal: Without change, life would be boring; and the more things change, the more they stay the same. The fact is that the Journal has been published without break for 15 years, well into the age where quick and easy-to-assimilate information delivered on smartphones and social media has become…

Read more »


Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

No mentions of note about butlers in the media this month, but a noteworthy web site has appeared from Mr. Jim Grise, well worth a read…

 

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Letters to the Editor

Serveral letters from our readers this month!

“I still had this [encouraging Chairman’s message about dealing with hostile environments] in my inbox and I am so glad that I did, as I needed it today! Thank you for all of the invaluable insight and advice you share with us.” AH; Ed: So glad it proved useful—and you are welcome;

“I returned from a 6-month contract on a cruise ship and currently…

Read more »


The Wisdom of Butlers Past, Part 55: Proper Behaviour

by Steven Ferry

Proper etiquette at the kitchen table for staff meals was covered in the last issue, and the book then swings into 22 pages of how staff should behave toward each other, as well as with family and guests. The advice begins with sentiments that we would find most acceptable today, and which are most timely as we enter the holiday season of good cheer: “The more you endeavour to promote the happiness of those around you, the more you will secure your own. Consider that you must live with fellow…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 74: Santa Clausmopolitan

by Amer A. Vargas

Ho ho ho, dear readers!

Christmas is around the corner and Santa Claus and his helpers are working hard to prepare the presents for all children everywhere!

On this occasion, we pay tribute to big man dressed in red with his own cocktail. As you will see, the Santa Clausmopolitan is not only delicious, but also reminds us of Father Noel’s outfit. And, as is often the case, it is really easy to prepare, and much easier even to enjoy! These are the ingredients you will need for

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My Butler Julius: Christmas for Butlers

by Julius Smith

As we approach the holiday season, please spare a thought for all the butlers and private staff who will be working over the festive period. I am not so sure it’s the most wonderful time of year for us who are responsible for making it a magical time for our principals. I am sure I am not alone in missing out on spending time with my own family because I have to serve another at Christmas, not to mention birthdays and anniversaries etc.

However, this, to use a cliché, is what we signed up for…

Read more »


Paying Attention to Details

Because one image can say more than a thousand words, click on “read more” below to find out how good (or not so good) someone’s attention to detail can be, and be left speechless….

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Care of Leather Goods, Part 14: Leather Furniture

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

Leather furniture either has a protective layer or is unfinished: Unfinished (aniline) leather is full grain leather that has been dyed the whole way through and does not have a protective coating on it, so while on the plus side it ages well, developing a patina, it can stain more easily.

This is simple enough to manage: Apply saddle soap with a damp cloth to any lighter stains; heavier ones, such as ballpoint marks…

Read more »


Coming Soon… Online Hospitality Butler Course!

by Amer A. Vargas

IIMBBeing a butler is not just a profession. Some say it’s almost an art; it’s definitely a philosophy and a way of life.

Whether your company be a hotel, a resort, a cruise ship, rental villas or time-share properties, if you require training of your butlers, the new IIMB Online Hospitality Butler Course could help improve your butler team’s skills. The course provides a deeper look into the butler’s soft skills, including how to manage themselves as a true butler would. It teaches butlers new and old skills such as the right demeanor, proper communication, the right way to approach service, the butler’s Etiquette & Protocols…

Read more »


Culinary Tips for Butlers

by Christopher Carter Sanderson

As breakfast is the purview of the butler, I retain an interest in it beyond general cookery as I am sure we all do. By this time, for instance, I am sure that all of my sister and brother butlers have been instructed by Sir Ian McKellen’s excellent short instructional video on the perfect scrambled egg. And I may be late to the party on this tip, but I have recently found that gently warming the cream cheese before serving it, either on the side or on a bagel directly, has an extraordinary impact on the flavor….

Read more »


Creative Corner

ft. Rick Finck & Kobi Gutman

We continue featuring butlers and ex-butlers who, not surprisingly, given the level of creativity the position requires, enjoy skills in the fine arts. If you, or any butler you know, are a creative artist in no matter what genre, please feel free to submit your/their works to the editor of the Modern Butlers’ Journal. This month we include a new creation by Mr. Rick Fink, a retired butler with over 6 decades of experience and currently the principal of the Butler Valet School in England, and a venerable member of the International Butler Trainer Alliance….

Read more »


Update on SABA

Legal actions being taken by Ms. Yang Lin and 18 students against the South African Butler Academy (SABA), Mr. Newton Cross, Guild Recruitment (GR), Mr. Willem Adriaan Coetzer, Butler Training Pty Ltd, and Butler Holdings Pty Ltd, have attracted overwhelming response from the hospitality industry around the world.

Ms. Lin provides an update stating that, after her attorney served…….

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Experienced Head Butler Sought for Resort in Bora Bora

High level of knowledge of Butler Services, both implementation and training.
Excellent reading, writing and oral skills in English and French. Additional languages are a big plus.
Candidates on this position will be asked to start as soon as possible. Consult with us to find out if you are eligible for the position, depending on your vaccination status…
 

Read more »


Recent Hospitality Graduates

In this edition we say hello once more to the butler team from Raffles Meradhoo in the Maldives. In the photo featured in this article, IIMB President Mr. Amer A. Vargas is shown with some of the butlers, as well as the Training Directors, the Front Office Manager and the General Manager, following the refresher training they completed last month.

To all of you, thanks for all your positive energy and support!

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In Their Words: How Those Trained by the Institute’s Trainers Feel about Their Experience

To end the year on a happy note, we feature the inspirational feedback from the Jadugars (butler “magicians”) from Joali Maldives and Joali Being in the Maldives, as well as the butlers from Rosewood Little Dix Bay, following the training delivered there by Mr. Vargas, who is rapidly becoming internationally recognized for his work and the positive motivational effects his training has on the staff who attend his courses. Read some of his students’ comments here…

Read more »


The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world. Contact us for all your training needs via email at enquiries@modernbutlers.com or via telephone: USA 1-813- 354-2734. We invite you to also visit our website www.modernbutlers.com for more information.

Please email the editor of The Modern Butler’s Journal at newsletter@modernbutlers.com with any article ideas, concerns, comments, or suggestions.

Categories
Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2021, Message from the Chairman

Steven FerryMessage from the Chairman

This is not a goodbye….for two truisms come to mind when I sit down to write this last edition of the Modern Butlers’ Journal: Without change, life would be boring; and the more things change, the more they stay the same.

The fact is that the Journal has been published without break for 15 years, well into the age where quick and easy-to-assimilate information delivered on smartphones and social media has become the general preference.

At the same time, Mrs. Ferry and I are not just well past retirement age—like so many of the leading lights in our profession—and needing to turn over to the next generation to carry the torch of knowledge, but we are also heavily involved in supporting human rights organizations as well as developing real artificial intelligence that can be used to improve our lives, rather than replace us with cyborgs and control us within an inch of our lives.

While these are amongst several projects vying for our attention, we will always remain a part of the butler community and help out where we can.

That is why Mr. Amer Vargas, who has been with us almost from the beginning, has been taking over the reins of the Institute and bringing it up to the 21st Century. He will also be the editor for the MBJ. Yes, the MBJ will live on, not as a journal but as a regular series of short posts on LinkedIn and other social media where appropriate.

You will see some of the same columns, including from myself, from time to time. And you will see new material.

Why?

Because the Institute is opening up the MBJ, as the longest running publication in the profession, to the Alliance of Professional Butler Trainers, to be the journal that represents the entire profession, not just the Institute. That means you will receive the benefit of the wisdom and perspective of multiple professional butlers and trainers and be part of a much larger community as the members of the Alliance send out posts to their members, too.

If you have not already done so, follow the International Institute of Modern Butlers in Linkedin so you can receive notice of the posts as they are published and remain part of this privileged community of butlers and household/estates managers.

With gratitude for those who have walked this unique road for so long with us and wishing you continued success and happiness—starting with the 2021 holiday season and your decisions for 2022 and onwards.

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people- skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.

Categories
Butler standards Newsletter SABA South African Butler Academy

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2021, SABA Update

IIMB logo

Update on Litigation against the South African Butler Academy

Legal actions being taken by Ms. Yang Lin and 18 students against the South African Butler Academy (SABA), Mr. Newton Cross, Guild Recruitment (GR), Mr. Willem Adriaan Coetzer, Butler Training Pty Ltd, and Butler Holdings Pty Ltd, have progressed.

After months of repeated delays and request for Ms. Yang Lin to grant them indulgence, the Defendants finally served their discovery. Their discovery documents show Newton Cross received six weeks of butler training at the South African School for Butlers and Household Personnel in 2002 and it is the only credential Mr. Cross presented. He admits in his affidavit that the facts of the matter concerning his claimed training are as follows: The Buckingham Palace training was a fabrication; he worked as a waiter on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, not as a butler, and Cunard’s work appraisal shows Mr. Cross delivered “Standard” work performance, notches below “Exceed Standards” and “Outstanding”.

Contrary to Defendants’ publicity, the discovery documents confirm the research done that Mr. Cross has never been hired by Fancourt Hotel, and he never worked as a butler, as claimed, for the line of celebrities and four presidents.

The discovery documents further show that SABA has made proposals to some hotels to train their staff in exchange for free accommodations in their hotel and no further payment. Based on SABA’s hotel training videos posted online, it is believed that SABA used these training videos to add credits to itself, and further pitch its training to other hotels.

Some discovery documents seem dubious. See: Ms. Yang Lin’s Notice in Terms of Rule 35(3) dated 21 October 2021 and Defendants’ reply

In the meantime, the Protection of Personal Information Regulator has also started investigating Ms. Lin’s complaint about the Defendants’ publication of her residential address and their illegal use of her images to mislead consumers (Case No.: CDR334-21). We are told the National Consumer Commission’s investigation is at an advanced stage.

Due to lockdowns in 2020, high court cases are back-logged, the trial date has been delayed to 2022, with long-awaited justice finally expected to be served.

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.

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Amer A. Vargas Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2021, Coming soon!

IIMB LogoComing soon… Online Hospitality Butler Course!

The new Online Hospitality Butler Course

The New IIMB Online Hospitality Butler Course; picture courtesy of Piqsels.com

Being a butler is not just a profession: Some say it’s almost an art; it’s definitely a philosophy and a way of life.

Whether your company be a hotel, a resort, a cruise ship, rental villas or time-share property, if you require training of your butlers, the new IIMB Online Hospitality Butler Course could help improve your butler team’s skills. The course provides a deeper look into the butler’s soft skills, including how to manage oneself as a true butler would. It teaches butlers new and old skills such as the right demeanor, proper communication, the right way to approach service, a butler’s Etiquette & Protocols and even how excellent butlers expertly handle very difficult situations with their guests.

The new IIMB Online Hospitality Butler Course allows butlers and butlers-to-be to study at their own pace at any time of the day or the week. The course consists of more than 12 hours of short video-lessons and we will test their understanding with multiple, automatically corrected exercises and instructor-graded assignments.

If you would like more information, contact us at the International Institute of Modern Butlers; we will be happy to respond to your queries and answer all your questions.

Mr. Vargas is the Institute’s President—feel free to contact him via email, AmerVargas AT modernbutlers.com

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.

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Butler standards Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2021, The Wisdom of Butlers Past

Steven FerryThe Wisdom of Butlers Past, part 55

by Steven Ferry

Proper Behaviour

Proper etiquette at the kitchen table for staff meals was covered in the last issue, and the book then swings into 22 pages of how staff should behave toward each other, as well as with family and guests. The advice begins with sentiments that we would find most acceptable today, and which are most timely as we enter the holiday season of good cheer:

“The more you endeavour to promote the happiness of those around you, the more you will secure your own. Consider that you must live with fellow servants like yourself, made up of imperfections, which will give you an opportunity of exercising your patience and forbearance towards them, as they will have to do towards you.

“Be not hasty in passing judgment on any one, as we are called on to act with Christian charity towards each other; that is, to do unto others as we would they should do unto us, were we in their situation and they in ours: if this were to be attended to, our lives would pass more pleasantly with us than they do; but how different is the practice in general to this I have no need to say, as observation and wo[e]ful experience will soon teach us what domestic quarrels families are too often the scenes of.

“There you will see envy, malice, duplicity, dishonesty, misrepresentation, and every other evil, to the tormenting of each other, instead of dwelling together in affection and unity, and living in peace and happiness, and making their home a little heaven, as they might if they were so inclined; instead of which they make it a hell on earth, by their wicked ways and disagreeable tempers, and wishing to tyrannize over each other: this seems to be the great bane in families, as I have known places where the servants have had every necessary good to make them comfortable provided by their employers, yet are miserable and wretched through not agreeing one with the other; thinking, I suppose, that happiness and respectability consist in having rule and authority over our fellow servants; but this is quite a mistake, as it consists in performing the duty which is allotted us, and doing unto others as we would wish they should do unto us: herein lies our true happiness.”

Extracted from the 1823 book, The Footman’s Directory and Butler’s Remembrancer, re-published in hardback by Pryor Publications. You may obtain your discounted copy (with free s&h) by emailing the publisher: Mr. Pryor (alan AT pryor-publications.co.uk).

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.

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Letters to the Editor Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2021, Letters to the Editor

PostBox

Letters to the Editor

“I still had this [encouraging Chairman’s message about dealing with hostile environments] in my inbox and I am so glad that I did, as I needed it today! Thank you for all of the invaluable insight and advice you share with us.” AH

Ed: So glad it proved useful—and you are welcome

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“I returned from a 6-month contract on a cruise ship and currently am on vacation. I received very good feedback on my performance and was offered a third contract to open the next ship. I will never be able to thank you enough for all your teachings and tips for excellent service.” A.

Ed: Really good to hear from you again and even more so to hear of your good news and accomplishments!  You are certainly welcome for the information I passed on, and I have to tell you, your caring and inquisitive mind were always an inspiration for me. Carry on! If you happen to see any of the old team, please give them my fondest regards.

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“I am so grateful that a reputable institution such as yours makes the time and effort to support our cause. SABA Class of April 2017.” FS

Ed: Of course!

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“Sorry to bother you with this trifling information, but as a long-time subscriber to your excellent newsletter and a devoted butlerphile, I would like to share a rather exciting discovery: I came across an obscure American television show from the late 1980s called “Marblehead Manor.” It featured a butler named Albert Dudley who was played with energetic efficiency by English actor, Paxton Whitehead. The show only lasted one season and a mere handful of episodes have made it to YouTube. It’s exceedingly farcical and silly, especially since a pre-Seinfeld Michael Richards also co-stars in it. Butlers in films and television have greatly influenced my fascination with that dignified vocation. We’re all familiar with Jeeves and Mr. Belvedere and Mr. Carson, and it was thrilling to see a butler take such a prominent starring role in a television series, no matter how short-lived (and, yes, Jeeves is a valet as we all know).” JW

Ed: Thank you very much for sharing your discovery with us. We took a quick look at it on YT and it seems we will have to go back to it to have some good laughs. Since you are a butlerphile I am taking the opportunity to make another amusing/farcical recommendation: a 15-minute skit called “Dinner for One” from 1963. Here is a link for the colored version, as the original was black and white. I hope you enjoy it! Also, and as you mentioned you are a loyal reader of our monthly newsletter, you probably may have read in our previous edition that we are moving to regular publications in Linked in, where we hope we will keep delighting your “butlerphilia.”

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“I am a long-time reader of your website from the UK, having held an interest in becoming a butler for a number of years, and I have also just purchased a copy of your Serving The Wealthy Volume I book. I would like to start by thanking you for all of the wonderful resources you provide for those in the profession, and those of us who wish to join it.

“I am desperate to pursue my dream of entering service but have always been unsure of the best path into butlering; I have considered many different schools and courses over the years, but have never felt confident enough to jump in and commit to one. I have up until recently had no experience working in any form of hospitality, but have just managed to secure a part-time position as a waiter at a private member’s club in the countryside to run alongside my day job. I am learning the art of fine dining service and enjoying it immensely. Thus I have decided to take a Level 1 wine course in London in January in order to improve my knowledge in that particular area and improve my service.

“I am thinking my goal for next year will be to use the experience I am gaining to obtain a full time waiter role in a London private member’s club or a luxury hotel. My question is, ‘Do you think this can be the first step in a career path to butling or would my time and money be better spent training at a school and aiming to go straight into butling?’ I understand the role of a butler encompasses so much more than the skills waitering provides, but after a decade of being confined to office cubicles I feel like I am finally having a taste of service and it’s very exciting. As always, the dream remains big but the road unclear!” EB

Ed: Thank you for the lovely enquiry. You do have options, either way is viable, but the advantage of pursuing the current waiter course is gaining experience and practice in high-end service. Doing a butler course in a school would then be a next step that you could manage with some background to support you. The downside of going from office to butler is lack of experience that makes the resume look a bit thin to putative employers and also makes the butler curriculum a bit more challenging to grasp, whereas with F&B service, wines, and service itself as strong cards in your hand, you would be half way there. And who knows, from a waiter position one might well be hired directly to be a butler or under-butler, if one were to impress, by the by, one of the patrons. And that could be a path to employer-sponsored training as a butler. Does this help?”

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.