The figure of the butler, in the collective imagination, is that of a middle-aged man in a cutaway, white gloves who carries a tray and has a British accent. In the cinema there are thousands of references, marked by clichés, of this character. For example, everyone knows alfredBatman’s butler, who was in charge of having the mansion and the Batcave ready, as well as the gadgets that the dark knight used in his adventures, including the famous Batmobile.
In the case of series, the nearest reference is in Geoffreythe butler who shared the screen with Will Smith in The prince of Bel Air in the 90s. A refined character, also with a British accent, who was characterized by always having an acid humorous response to everything, adding the finishing touch to the dialogues. Also in the world of video games there are references to stewardship. Anyone who has lived their adolescence in the 90s has locked up Winston in the fridge of the archaeologist’s mansion.
The fact is that the stewardship profession continues to exist and there are many centers that currently offer training in this area. The stewardship school of reference worldwide is the International Butler Academyin Holland to which is added, also, The Royal Butler in the UK or the International Butler School in Spain.
But the figure of the butler in the current era is far from that figure of early 20th century easement that fiction has been in charge of perpetuating. Today, the private butler is conceived as “a house manager”, explains the founder and director of the International Buttler School, Juan de Dios Orozco, and has changed the silver tray for a tablets and is in charge of organizing everything so that his boss does not have to think about anything.
Orozco says that mayordomos today “charge a lot of money, are university graduates and they speak several languages” and the people who hire them are people “who have everything and don’t mind paying those salaries.” In this sense, Orozco assures that these wealthy people “the only thing they can’t buy is time and the butler what it provides is, precisely, quality of time”.
In Spain, for example, a junior stewardship professional “can be around between 45,000 to 50,000 euros net per year and, in the United States, a senior can be around $160,000 net per year“, explains Orozco. But this is not the only thing since, within his contract, a bonus of 20% per year is included plus other benefits “such as housing or maintenance, since these personnel usually live on the farm, in a separate residence Of course,” says the director of the International Butler School.
They no longer clean silver
Returning to fiction, in the cinema it is shown that one of the main functions of these characters is, in addition to serving, to polish and shine the silver of the gentlemen they serve. Juan de Dios Orozco is clear about this: “a current butler does not clean silver, servants no longer exist, this is a term that must be abolished. Today’s butlers have an outlet for positions in luxury hotels, yachts or private homes,” he says.
The main function of a stewardship professional is “to make sure that, during the process of getting up until you get in the car to go wherever, you don’t worry about a thing”. I mean, this person is Responsible for everything being up and running on a day-to-day basis of his boss or boss, “from the medicines, the sports bag, the flights… everything,” he says. For example, when the person leaves the house and gets into the car, “the driver and security already know where he is going and the stops he will make that day, because the butler has already explained it to the staff,” says Orozco.
Expert in luxury management
In both UK and Dutch schools, training is still geared towards making the butler a servant. On the other hand, here in Spain, at the International Buttler School, they have given him a turn to this concept and what they teach is an Expert Experience Management, luxury and hospitality training program.
The training is based “on an online program of 120 hours of work, divided into 30 seminars of four hours each, which offers a 360 degree view of what the client of the butler service or the luxury client needs”, explains the director and founder of the school.
This study plan, which will begin its seventh edition in September, is aimed at a very specific profile of people: “It is for people who are working, who have extensive professional background and experience in the world of luxury customers and who want broaden its horizons in this field of dealing with the most VIP clientele”.
Between the training they provide in these master classes from the hands of great expertsthere are different subjects that range from how to obtain information from the people with whom their bosses are going to meet, through maintenance of works of art, silver serviceorganization of acts, trips or events.
Added to this are several cultural workshops, that is, knowledge of the Arab world, russian or asian culture“focused mainly on China and Japan”, so that these professionals know perfectly how to act in the event that they have to go to work in these places around the globe.
Other subjects taught in the course are: home economics of large estates, leadership and team management, safety and hygiene at workroom management, sommelier and cocktail service, etiquette and protocol.
The basis of this profession “is very focused on contacts and being decisive,” explains Juan de Dios Orozco. In this sense, this type of professional “must be capable of charter a private plane in a few hours or get the most exclusive chocolate in Belgium and have it arrive in time for dinner, all this without skimping, because let’s remember that the person these people work for has a lot of money,” he argues.
Professional profile and exits: ‘For this you have to be worth it’
Juan de Dios Orozco recalls that “for this you have to be worth it.” The expert reiterates that time to admit someone in his program “we are very selective”. In this sense, the fundamental reason why they do not accept someone may be because “there is no maturity, a fundamental quality for the position, and because this is a very vocational profession and not to earn money, which is earned, but it is not That’s the goal.” For this reason, they discard the profiles that seek to enrich themselves with this.
Question of ‘feeling’
What is surprising in the labor market for this profession is that “it is not the boss who chooses the butler, if it is not the butler who chooses his boss.” In this sense, being a profession with so little offerpeople can choose whether or not to work with a certain family.
In addition, “here the gender does not matter,” explains Orozco, who emphasizes that the profession ceased to be exclusive to men years ago. “The important thing here is feelingthe private butlers, in the first 30 minutes of contact That’s when they win the job,” he says.
That is to say, it is useless to have the best resume in the world, “if you don’t marry the person you are not going anywhere”. In the end, it’s all about the person who hires “feeling comfortable with the person and vice versa” because the butler “knows everything about his boss” and has to build that trust through personality.
Take note, because this profession has a long journey.