London has the highest number of super-rich individuals per square mile than anywhere else on Earth. In the United States, the Income of the top 1% accounts for 20% of the national income. Countries like India, China and Canada are recruiting more Butlers than ever before.
Here are some qualities of one of the oldest jobs around.
The first thing a Butler must have is an inner sense of well-being. A Butler’s job is to project calmness and harmony – these are qualities that have to come from within. A Butler must be free of hostility, ill will, anxiety, prejudice and ego. Your employer will sometimes make a decision you don’t agree with and you must be able to accept this and move on. Your conduct must always be directed towards the well-being of the principal. Sometimes your best intentions may be misunderstood – in which case you must be mature enough not to get upset. Eventually, almost every employer will learn the true intentions of their Butler; then life will become easier. Until then, you must be patient. A Butler who is impatient or fretful cannot be mindful or wise; being able to maintain a sense of well-being despite pressure and tension is one of the Butler’s core skills, and one of the primary reasons why Butlers are handsomely paid.
Externally, a Butler’s well-being is reflected in his appearance, his grooming and the way he/she treats those who work for him/her or with him/her. He or She must have good listening skills – skills that will comfort employers and staff alike and nourish relationships.
There will be times when Butlers are overwhelmed with work; this is when value can get lost if they end up becoming a part of the regular staff. Butlers must understand that they hold the keys or precepts that ensure the efficient running of the household, and only they know how they use and apply them. Like the captain of a ship they should stay on the bridge rather than work below decks.
Most families and individuals who employ such Butlers understand these things and allow room for maneuver. But this doesn’t happen automatically, which is why a Butler must be proactive, look ahead, and stay on top of every situation.
Even the most seasoned Butler must be prepared not to be caught off guard. Unexpected events do happen and most employers understand this, and are considerate; but employers can be taken aback and may sometimes react unreasonably. These are the times when good Butlers prove their worth by keeping a cool head and dealing with events as best they can – always maintaining a sense of ease. When emotion subsides, continuity and harmony are restored.
Good Butlers enjoy their skills as much as their employers do, if not better.
The same applies to Housekeepers, House Managers and in the current day, the Personal assistants too.