Letters to the Editor Newsletter

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

PostBoxLetters to the Editor







“Regarding the South African school and how displeased the students are with the behaviour there, it is a sad, sad thing when students spend their own money and someone just robs them of it. I myself am unhappy to see that such trainers can start training when basically they are unfit to take on such a task. Standards are so important and need to be kept up all the time. I’m just so disappointed with the standards and it is good that you have spent a lot of time and energy in trying to see that these so-called trainers know about it. Thank you for what you are doing.” RF

Ed: Thank you for your kind words. As someone who himself has been a butler far longer than most of us, you must have seen quite a lot pass for butling that was questionable, and which would have made those who trained you raise their eyebrows rather considerably. Anyway, thank you for continuing to embody the standards from which the profession sprang.

“The claims [regarding SABA] are true: Discrimination, unworthy treatment, giving grades to unworthy participants and obviously too much talk of job offers but nothing to show. They are too proud.” DG

“Maybe SABA will refund people their hard-earned money.” PN

Ed: It would certainly be appropriate and standard business practice, where a student or graduate felt what they received had fallen far short of what they had been promised.

If you would like to join the joint class action, please contact Ms. Lin Yang via the editor. She will provide advice on how to proceed, including a sample affidavit. 

Questions regarding care of leather

“I have encountered soft leather couches that have been in storage for a few years and built up a thin layer of mold that a hard rub with a dry cloth removes to the eye. Should one use vinegar to remove the mold completely or will this dry the leather out too much? In this case, I suppose one can use a leather cream to return the moisture to the leather? Is it best to apply these creams out in the hot sun? Please advise on best practice for this situation.” AJS

Ed: If vinegar is indeed removing the mold and you have tested it on a part of the sofa that is somewhat hidden, then I would continue to use it, as in terms of mold remediation, vinegar is a fairly mild solution. The fact is that the sofa is not usable if it is moldy, so you have nothing to lose by ruining the sofa as a worst-case outcome, but then there is no need to ruin it. And yes, I would apply some saddle soap and when it has soaked in (not in the hot sun, please, which can crack the leather), then apply the properly colored cream. When you say “soft leather,” I assume you mean leather with some degree of shine on it, not analine/unfinished, Nubuck or similar?

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.