Letters to the Editor Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, September 2018, Letters to the Editor

PostBoxLetters to the Editor

An email was sent to the editor relaying an unfortunate article that was published last month. It conveyed the idea that luxury hotels were stalking their guests in maintaining a guest database. This idea is disconcerting, given that both private and hospitality butlers are encouraged to compile such guest profiles in order to wow their employers and guests.Suffice to say, the examples given were of the actions by owners and employees not trained in the sensibilities of the butler, and the author was quite correct in showing that they had overstepped the boundaries. Perhaps it would have been better if she had put the weird efforts to wow guests in context, making it clear that they represent a minority of overzealous actions taken in poor taste, or not thinking the thought through in terms of the effect they would likely have on the target guest or their family/friends.

Where one oversteps the bounds regarding not just privacy, but also the product or caper one does produce, it draws attention to the inappropriateness of what was noted about the guest and done in order to impress them, so ruining the wow effect.

There is a difference between a) active spying followed by hitting them over the head repeatedly with one’s use of the material garnered; and b) careful observation of things that guests say and do, and acting discreetly to please them. Perhaps governments today set a bad example with their “Total Information Networks” and these personnel slid down a slippery slope, becoming creepy spies instead of respectful and solicitous service professionals. In essence, there is no substitute for a fine sense of sensibility.

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.