I am so excited to share this with you guys!
I recently came across a fabulous account called @TheGirlButler, I was so impressed with her content that I asked if she would allow me to feature her here on Flightess and she graciously agreed!
She has a blog herself and I HIGHLY recommend checking it out at www.thegirlbutler.com as her life and work are impressively fascinating! Enjoy the read!
Lets dive right in! How did you get started and how long have you been a Butler?
I have been working on and off as a butler for about 7 years. The beginnings were very difficult, I received multiple rejections but I kept going. My first real butler job was in the Seychelles for a private family, it was all going great until the house manager began to show his true colors and treated me like a slave (18 hour days, no food and 85% humidity).
Since then I choose my jobs very carefully.
What training did you undergo to become a Butler?
Having finished university with a bachelors in business, I was interested in etiquette and manners and from there on it all led to butler school. There are many butler schools around the world, so I had to choose carefully which one to attend. The 1st butler school put you in real life situations but it had a hotel training approach whereas I was interested for a private family butler education.
The root of butlers come from England so what better way to receive a training from a Man who worked as a butler for Her Majesty the Queen and many other royals. It was exactly the training I was looking for.
Can you share a few of the most memorable lessons taught in Butler Training?
In butler school I was taught to be discreet as that is how you will gain the trust of your employers. My employers have all had their names and faces published in the news, sometimes not for the right reasons, but I just kept to myself and went to work like nothing has happened.
I wish that the butler schools would have taught me to be more cautious with the jobs and recruitment agencies.
These often send you to interviews where you don’t match the profile that the employer is looking for. That is also why I received many rejections.
What are the most important skills to have as a Butler?
As a butler you need to be a multitasker. It’s not just opening the front door to guests or putting a plate down, I clean toilets, dry hammam’s, iron clothes. In this industry it is best to not act “impressed” by what your Principals have, just remember that they have worked hard to be where they are now.
What advice would you give to others entering the VVIP Hospitality industry?
It is important to have a good support system around you whether it being family, friends or just good work colleagues. The days can be long and tiring but you need to look outside and just see the beautiful places you are traveling to for which you also are getting paid.
An important point is to know that you can negotiate your contract, don’t accept things that you don’t want to do. I always tell my employers that I won’t cook for them, because I simply am very bad at it.
I saw you mentioned you fly private with your principle and madam, from your perspective, what are ways that Corporate Flight Attendants can better serve their inflight guests?
Has there ever been anything a Corporate Flight Attendant has done that you felt was impressive or noteworthy?
The private aircrafts I travel on are usually A319, BBJ777, A340. There are a couple Corporate Flight Attendants on board and I am sure our job descriptions are similar. As I sit in the “front” section where all the traveling staff members sit, I don’t see the service that is provided to my Principals.
On board, the flight attendants are always willing to help me. I let them handle the service side (because it gives me a short break) but sometimes I need addresses for flowers or a supermarket, and they know it all. When it is a long haul flight, I must bring on board everything necessary for my Principals to have a shower. Along with this comes their shampoo, conditioner, soap, pajamas. It’s not just “sit back relax and enjoy the flight”
What do you love most about what you do?
My job is unexpected. One day I could be in London serving ambassadors for business meetings, the next I could be Saint-tropez getting award winning actresses ready to walk the Cannes film festival.
The best part about my job is getting a thank you from my Principals. That is when I know I am doing a good job.
What do you feel is the hardest part about working for the 0.01%?
The demands are often ridiculous. The Sheikha I once worked for wanted to update her entire wardrobe with the newest Chanel collections, at 2am. Another ridiculous demand is when the employer specifies in your contract the weight you must maintain, the hair color you must have and of course the no nail polish policy.
It is important to have connections and to network as you never know when you need Boy George or Celine Dion to perform at your Principals 50th birthday. Sometimes organizing a birthday with 200 guests overnight, is a little challenging but a butler always manages to pull it off.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
Usually when it’s Christmas or birthdays, I am the one who must go and buy the gifts. My Principals give me a budget and when I enter the shops I have had to FaceTime my employers to see which gift to buy. Usually they want what their “friend” can’t get.
One Christmas I remember I had to personalize a monopoly with all the roads on which my Principals had their residences around the world. It was in stingray and encrusted diamonds. I was very proud of myself that I had designed a monopoly which till this day, still hasn’t been used.
But above all, the respect and big welcome I get from the sales assistants at Cartier, Hermès and Chanel, will always surprise me.