The “Ghost” and The Dinner Party

Butlering at your employer’s dinner party is certainly more demanding (and yet more exciting!) than the usual slew of duties that you’re charged to look after.  As guests arrive, you may be called upon to take coats, help serve beverages and hors d’ouevres, to clear plates and stemware and to perform any number of other minute duties that, while small, go a long away in giving guests the very impression of disinhibition, cleanliness and abundance that they came to experience!

Generally speaking, professional butlers are taught discretion, calm body language and unobtrusiveness.  At no time are these qualities more appreciated than at a gathering of your employer’s friends and associates.  It’s important that you draw as little attention to yourself as possible so that the guests feel no obligation to do anything but relax; their empty glasses and dirty plates disappear and a fresh supply is always on hand and you make it so.  The counters are spotless and the patio furniture is eminently inviting, and you make that happen, too.

This attitude, or way of being, might appropriately be called ‘the ghost’.  The ghost is there yet his presence is felt, not seen.  The ghost moves coolly and unreactively and does his job in an efficient, quite manner.  At the end of the evening, when all the guests are departing and commenting on how “right” the night felt and how carefree their night had been, you and your employer will know the truth – that it was you who took the tacit action behind the scenes to ensure that everything ran smoothly and don’t be surprised if your employer decides to thank you in some special way.

Filed Under: Butler SecretsDomestic Staff InfoFINE LIVINGOn The Job

Tags: dinner partyetiquettepresence

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