Letters to the Editor Newsletter

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


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.