Butler history Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers Journal, June 2018, Butlers In the Media

Steven Ferry

Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

The New York Daily News reports that a butler received $38,000 from the sister-in-law of George Soros for the “homophobic remarks” she made to him. In actual fact, the main issue was unpaid back wages as well as mistreatment, such as being forced to sleep on a foam mattress on the floor. The remarks were inappropriate and unkind, but they were not the main issue, even though the reporter betrayed her worldview by focusing on them. The report shows a butler fighting back against the kind of employer who (reportedly) expressed views such as: “My last name is Soros and I know some very powerful people” and: “You are nobody and I will fire you the next time you talk to me about anything that is not your f–king business” (her response when he asked for his back wages).

Articles in The Times of London and The Telegraph in London report on the salary range of butlers. See “Letters to the Editor” for a lengthy response to a concerned query about these articles, and to correct the record.

Across the pond, the New York Times wonders whether hotel butlers are worth the price and were happy to report that the ones at The St. Regis in Manhattan definitely were—and by extension, perhaps others are, too.

Ireland does not seem to have much in the way of real hotel butlers, but one does offer a Genealogy Butler and another, a Lego Butler. Oh well—maybe they’ll move beyond the marketing gimmicks one day.

And while on the subject of off-the-wall names, here is another new one: “Dogs Butler” which is a service that buses pets from home to daycare. It actually comes close to the US term “Dog robber” or “Batman” (no, not the superman one, but a valet looking after an officer in the army). And in Mexico, there now exists a “Margarita Butler.”

And another one, not new but dating back to 1937: A “silent butler” being a receptacle with a hinged lid for collecting table crumbs and the contents of ashtrays.

“The automation of customer engagement” (mentioned in this article) is an oxymoron if ever there were one.

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.