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Butler training Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, November 2021, Butlers In the Media

Steven FerryButlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

 

 

An almost complete black-out on butlers in the media this month, with just one mention of a resort chain that should know better, because they have proper butlers and yet are now downgrading that concept for their guests by introducing «pizza butlers.»

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 training Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, October 2021, Butlers In the Media

Steven FerryButlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

 

 

Trust a psychologist to twist reality into their own negative world view, turning a butler’s ability and desire to finesse a situation into a comfortable one for all concerned, into the assertion that the butler is lying—and from this negative evaluation, creating a new term according to this Psychology Today article, of Butler Lies that are defined as «lies we tell to avoid social interaction.»

Otherwise, there were three instances this month of the butler being used in commerce:

Dobson the Butler—how some of the world sees our profession!

Then there is The Butler, a red wine of undetermined composition.

And the Car Butler—a «Wood Vehicle Clothes Hanger» that sits on the back of the driver’s seat headrest. Although we are not sure how many «Wood Vehicles» are on the road that could benefit from such a hanger.

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 training Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, September 2021, Butlers In the Media

Steven FerryButlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

 

 

An interesting article entitled «What Will Success Actually Take For Estate Managers of the Future?» from one of our own, Mr. Jim Grise.

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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Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, August 2021, Butlers In the Media

Steven FerryButlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

 

 

A well-written and interesting article by a butlerphile on the case of the disappearing butler in books, films, and TV series—with a few ideas offered to explain this observation.

One intriguing piece of equipment: a «butler pan used to collect crumbs and ashes from the table.» This one made in Japan of porcelain.

 

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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Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, July 2021, Butlers In the Media

Steven FerryButlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

 

 

A welcome change for the butler profession to be in the background again in the media—just one mention of butlers this past month, and this applying to bathroom accessories that some bright spark decided to call a Bathroom Butler.

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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Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, June 2021, Butlers In the Media

Steven FerryButlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

 

 

Apart from the usual ex-butler dispensing his opinions publicly about the private affairs of the British royal family, there was really just one butler mention of note in the media—an examination of why New Yorkers, at least, are paying a lot more for their domestic staff—figures like $150,000 for nannies, not including bonuses are mentioned, and $200,000 for chefs.

It appears it is an employee’s market currently, given the shortage of qualified staff created in part by employers becoming increasingly picky about who they want to hole up with in their mansions, as well as about their performance, as they are stuck inside all day and more likely to observe how exactly the staff perform their duties.

On the other hand, it does mean that candidates can also be picky about whom they agree to service. The exact same problem existed in New York City and elsewhere a century ago, when few people wanted to work in domestic service after the major societal changes following the First World War. As ES Turner notes in his book What the Butler Saw, «The shortages of help had never been more humiliating. At the registry [agency] interview, the tables were turned: The mistress sat politely in the cubicle and the maid asked her the questions……If the mistress’s assurances were not satisfactory, the maid would nonchalantly say that she was not interested.»

This is happening even though thousands of wealthy people have reportedly fled New York’s irrational lockdowns and soaring taxes—but from the information we have, so have their staff, which could in part account for the scarcity. Similarly, businesses are finding it difficult to hire staff in the US because the socialist government is paying more in unemployment benefits than businesses can afford to pay their employees. The Institute is also witnessing bidding wars between clients chasing the few available qualified staff.

Why so few qualified staff? We are experiencing, in the US at least, a dumbing down of the more recent generations in schools focused more on social engineering, not education in the basic skills of life. Part of this trend is the entitlement mindset that sees those newly entering the work force not accepting the need to work, but rather focusing on negating anything to do with the culture they grew up in. Even though plenty of wealthy who might employ butlers support such socialist notions, it seems they are now being hoist by their own petard (have their efforts to cause trouble for others backfireas they experience the concomitant (resulting) qualified staff shortages.

As the saying goes, history repeats itself, with variations: A century ago, for instance, the butler might be paid $80 (20 GBP) a month at the top end; today, it is more like $20,000 a month. The loss of the value of the USD since the Federal Reserve took over the money supply in 1913 would account for maybe a 95% loss in value or purchasing power, meaning the salary expected today is still about 12x higher than a century ago.

Where does that leave us? We need to keep holding the standard for superior service and providing it because it is very much needed and wanted; and because someone needs to be able to pass on the skillsets and mindset when the pendulum ultimately swings back and newer generations look for guidance. 

As for this photograph, it was part of an ad concept created by David Gianatasio that we thought might be a prescient statement of the next logical progression in butler service for the general public: Vending Machine Butlers «for a quick fix,» or as the ad posits, «for more sophisticated snacking.»

Or maybe you have a better caption?

On a related topic, here are three new examples of business people and product developers piggy backing on our profession’s reputation: As might have been expected during a lockdown, home food is now being delivered by «butlers;» «Bin Butler» as the English version of a similarly named US trash/rubbish removal service; and «The Thirsty Butler,» who offers sandwiches and burgers.

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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Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, May 2021, Butlers In the Media

Steven FerryButlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

 

 

 

The term Business Butler is the latest use of our profession to denote something of superior quality.

A very good article by Mr. Jim Grise looks at the relationship between a lack of a recognized educational path for our profession, and the need during job interviews felt by some in the profession to name-drop who they have worked for in order to assert their qualifications.

A positive article about the profession from one ex-royal butler, and another from some other, unnamed ex-royal butler that speaks badly of the private lives and mindset of one of the  royals.

Any butler who feels it is acceptable to betray the confidences they are exposed to as a result of their close personal contact with the private lives of their employers, automatically disqualifies themself from being a reliable witness, because they know they are not being true to the code of their profession, loyal to their employer, nor true to themselves. It is a bit rich to be paid by, and receive kudos for working for a royal, stay on for 24 years, and then complain. If one doesn’t like working for a particular employer, it is easy enough to hand in one’s notice. Such dishonest butlers are also making it very difficult for other butlers to find positions when employers see that butlers cannot necessarily be trusted, whereas that should be the #1 quality we present.

So flunk to the second ex-royal butler, and thanks to the first, Mr. Grant Harold.

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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Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, April 2021, Butlers In the Media

Steven FerryButlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

 

 

 

 

Other than the «rice and fork versus fingers» fracas (see Message from the Chairman), it has been a quiet month for butlers in the media.

So this might be a good time to report on an interesting interchange amongst butlers concerning a short video I shot in 2007, and which the Director of Training at The American Butler School unearthed and put on LinkedIn recently.

As one individual said, watch it until the end—there is a punchline.

As I explained at the time, just in case you may be wondering why I shot this less-than-conservative short, the backstory is that I was asked by a Hollywood company to shoot a video of myself in action so the producer could decide if I were a good fit for the lead role in a TV series. As Al Prayitno spotted, it was shot at One and Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives where at the time, I was on a training assignment with Mr. Frank Mitchell. I happened to have a rinky-dink video camera with me, so we spent an hour rolling and ad libbing and having fun on our day off (Frank pitching in gamely despite having no experience shooting). In the end, the series never saw the light of day, which was probably just as well, as we were way too busy with training assignments at the time.

 

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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Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, March 2021, Butlers In the Media

Steven FerryButlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

A quiet month for butlers in the media, with just one billing of a «Book Butler» who delivers books selected from a menu by hotel guests.

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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Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, February 2021, Butlers In the Media

Steven FerryButlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

Both mentions of butlers in the media this month referred to gadgets called butlers: An improved robot butler which is essentially just one arm, can help with various chores around the house, such as loading a dishwasher or pouring a glass of wine. It also has eyes that change shape to mimic emotions. This butler is obviously vastly superior to a Wall Mounted Bar Butler shot dispenser, which has no arm, no eyes, and is not programmed with any artificial intelligence that enables it to pretend to have an emotion.

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.