Newsletter Richard Ratliff

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, March 2018, Professional Standards of Performance

Richard Ratliff

Professional Standards of Performance: Applications #4

Bodily Essence

by Richard Ratliff

Scenario: We need not look far to find a butler neglecting his physical condition—perhaps a little slow of step, taking sick days more often than otherwise needed, not quite up to par many days. Nothing too serious, perhaps, but noticeable. On the other hand, the problem may be more serious, even jeopardizing the butler’s overall performance and the welfare of the household, when the solution may be little more than paying greater attention to good health.

The Professional Standards of Performance: Section II.c of the Standards state that one of the critical attributes of a butler include good levels of “health and energy.” Certainly, butling generally requires long days of mental concentration and physically hard work. It is virtually impossible to sustain the rigors of the profession without excellent bodily and mental health.

Poor health compromises the operation of an employer’s household as well as the butler’s well-being. Good health and energy constitute a professional responsibility.

Health Maintenance Plan: Good health maintenance comprises several components:

  • A healthy diet. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, ample clean water, whole grains, and healthy protein. Avoid excess calories, all harmful chemical additives and drugs, dangerous drugs (from any source), tobacco, and excessive alcohol.
  • Diligent weight control.
  • Consistent adequate rest.
  • Consistent moderate-to-vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes, three to five days per week. Interval work that alternates longer moderate and shorter vigorous bursts of exercise during a work-out have been found to work well.
  • An orderly and clean living environment.
  • Good personal hygiene.
  • Good personal, family, and professional relationships. Poor relationships have been shown to harm one’s physical and mental health. Healthy relationships have been correlated with a healthier body, longer life, and happiness.
  • A good health care team.
  • Good posture (more important than one might think for mental attitude, physical health, as well as professional appearance).

Benefits from a good health maintenance system increase one’s career span, improve job performance, lower medical costs, greatly increase quality of life, and improve mental as well as physical health. There does not appear to be a down side to this aspect of professionalism!

Professor Ratliff is a retired butler who co-authored Volume 1 of Serving the Wealthy and has published three other books and over thirty articles.

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.”