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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.»

Categorías
Newsletter Richard Ratliff

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

Professional Standards of Performance: Applications #4

by Professor Richard Ratliff

A Butler’s Wardrobe, Part 2 of 2

Informal/business wear: For most business occasions, a butler would require a conservatively cut, dark, solid-color business suit; an all-white or light blue long-sleeve dress shirt; a dark, solid-color tie (usually black for most suit colors, and dark brown for brown-toned suits); solid-color socks to match the tie, and black or brown Oxfords; and a black or brown belt to match the shoes.

For business occasions, a female butler should wear a tailored dark business suit (with skirt or slacks), a modest white or pastel-color blouse, with conservative necklace and small earrings or studs (no dangling jewelry). Pockets or a small, plain, preferably leather, over-the-shoulder purse may be used to carry the tools necessary for her duties. She should wear black or brown pumps (no more than 2-inch heels) with plain hose.

Day clothes: Today’s male butler has traded in his tails and stripes for modern business attire for his everyday butling duties. The typical modern day clothes include a simple, but well-tailored navy blazer and gray wool slacks with black or brown belt; a white or pastel blue, long-sleeve business shirt; a solid black long tie; black socks and black or dark-brown Oxfords.

Lady butlers may choose either a gray skirt or gray wool slacks. They may wear a white or blue blouse with a conservative necklace and single petite earrings or studs. They should choose plain hose with modest pumps or oxfords. Since purses are awkward for butling, the female butler may wear a dark-color light-weight blazer or jacket, or a dark-color vest with ample pockets.

Leisure wear: For leisure wear, male butlers may typically wear khaki trousers with a belt, dark socks, and Oxfords, sneakers, deck shoes, or hiking boots (depending upon the season and activity). In summer they typically wear polo shirts and in winter long-sleeved flannel shirts and sweaters. Women butlers may substitute a khaki skirt for trousers, and footlets for socks, if preferred.

Sporting attire: The butler should have appropriate sporting attire for those occasions when his or her duties require it. Of course, each specific activity determines what is needed. Choose more conservative styles and colors.

Other attire: Butlers also will require an array of aprons; sleeve covers; several sets of white cotton gloves; and outer wear, consisting of warm leisure gloves, dressy leather gloves, work gloves, a couple of umbrellas, a light windbreaker jacket, a warm leisure winter coat (such as a pea coat or parka), a trench coat for cool and rainy conditions; a dark gray, woolen overcoat for dressy occasions, a warm “barn” coat with large pockets for chores, a wide-brimmed straw hat, a baseball cap, a warm winter hat with ear flaps, ear muffs, a couple of winter scarves, and a pair of rubber overshoes.

Grooming: Of course, impeccable grooming is required for all butlers. Good clothes cannot overcome the negative effects of poor grooming.

General Note: The above suggestions are most applicable to temperate weather zones with four seasons. Adjustments must be made in other climates. The governing principles are to be practical and conservative, and remain in the background.

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.»