Those new service sector jobs, and how many people can actually be good butlers?

A new butler willing to go east, to Shanghai or Dubai or anywhere else suffering an Anglo-servant shortage, can start at $60,000 a year and run his employer’s estate from the start. In the West, where standards are higher and the competition more fierce, a rookie typically apprentices for a few years and earns a starting salary of maybe $40,000. A butler in either market should hit six figures within five to six years—sooner if he learns a few dirty secrets or gets poached by one of his boss’s billionaire friends.

Here is some of what you learn at…butler school:

Ford’s lessons cover practical matters like getting red-wine stains out of a decanter (use denture cleaner) and proper placement of the salad fork (nodded off during that one). But the bedrock of his instruction is deportment, especially the stuff a butler doesn’t do. It’ s not a short list. A butler never offers his hand to be shaken. He never sits down in front of his boss. He never says “You’re welcome” to a guest. “If you have to say anything at all,'” Ford tells us, “say ‘My pleasure, ‘because “You’ re welcome” is very hotel.” And if something is “very hotel” or “very restaurant,” it’s too lax for a butler. If a butler screws up, apologies should be succinct—or not made at all. Once, when Ford served at a royal banquet, a VIP female guest abruptly turned into him, forcing his hand down her blouse. He said nothing: “Who do you think would be more embarrassed if I did?”

There is more here.


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