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Solving a Cable TV Emergency

Updated: Nov 14, 2018

The life of a butler is a life of solving problems quickly and discreetly, and creativity is often needed to keep things running smoothly. Here is a real-life example of an actual situation in which a butler's determination to solve the problem at hand saved the day.


Mr. Poppins' billionaire employer, Mr. Smith, returns from work at exactly the same time every day: 6:48 PM. This provides just enough time for Mr. Smith to slip into his chair in the library and turn on “Jeopardy”. This nightly ritual is extremely important to Mr. Smith. It is how he decompresses from his stressful day and enjoys a bit of private time before the evening dinner guests arrive. Mr. Poppins' job is to ensure that it happens.


Mr. Smith lives a classic pre-war penthouse on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York City. The cable reliability can be a problem. On this particular day, the cable goes out at 5:30 PM. Mr. Poppins has one hour to solve the problem. He first calls the cable company, who quotes an extended time for maintenance that guarantees the cable would not be working that night. Mr. Poppins, determined to fix the cable before Mr. Smith comes home, moves to another plan.


Grabbing petty cash, Mr. Poppins rushes into action, hitting the streets in search of a cable company repair truck. Two blocks over, a technician was just finishing up a job and Mr. Poppins sees him walking to his truck. Mr. Poppins runs to him and explains the situation, offering him $100 if he will agree to come over on his break to checking out the problem with the cable. The technician agreed, found the loose connection out on the terrace, and had the cable running perfectly in no time at all. The evening, and probably Mr. Poppins' job, was saved.


Potter Poppins Academy is a butler training school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The Academy, led by esteemed head butler Ken Horne, offers courses such as Elite Butler Training, Hotel Butler Training, classes for principals new to managing household staff, courses in etiquette and protocol for business professionals, manners courses for children and young adults, and bespoke service consulting.

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