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Best of Vin Narayanan
Tale of the Tape: Butler vs. Chef3 July 2012
The $1 million Big One for One Drop tournament at the World Series of Poker reached that point around 6:43 p.m. local time Monday, when the tournament had 16 players remaining. Between 6:43 and 9:54 p.m., only one additional player exited the tournament. Yes, there was a dinner break. But even with the 90-minute break, only one player busted out in about 1.5 hours of play.
So as I waited for players to bust out, and occasionally stood up to either see an interesting hand or restore circulation to my legs, my mind wandered to Richard Yong and his butler.
Yong, a businessman currently living in Malaysia, brought his butler with him to the World Series. Jong's butler generally hovered close by, doing whatever was needed to keep Jong happy.
After discovering Jong's butler made the trip with him, my first thought was "That's so cool. I want a butler." Who wouldn't want a person to make sure all the little details of your life were taken care of? But then I started to think about food. I hadn't eaten all day and I was hungry. A chef would have great meals for me to eat. I'd never have to cook again. And I started wondering if what I really wanted was a chef. Chef or butler? Butler or chef? You can only pick one. Time to go to the tape.
This is where the chef is going to come in handy. The primary job of a chef is to cook. They create a wide range of tasty dishes for you to eat 24 hours a day. Some butlers can handle snacks or sandwiches. But cooking isn't in their usual repertoire. Advantage: Chef
Most chefs won't leave the kitchen. Butlers, on the other hand, roam the house, making sure everything is neat and orderly. Papers get put away, coats get hung up and bills are piled neatly on the desk. And if some heavy cleaning is needed, butlers will find the right person for the job. Advantage: Butler
Chefs might be interested in shopping for their own ingredients. Better ingredients means better food. But butlers help run the household. So they're more likely to shop for key household goods. They're also the person who's willing to go out in a pinch for a critical item. But what's more important -- shopping for food ingredients or shopping for household goods? Advantage: Push
Doing the dishes
Chefs will clean the pots and pans they used to cook the food. And they'll make sure cooking surfaces and counters are clean. But their job ends when the meal is served. After that you're on you own. Unless you have a good butler who doesn't mind rinsing the dirty dishes and starting the dishwasher. Advantage: Push
The morning routine
This is a tough one for chefs. There are only so many ways to cook eggs or create healthy breakfast concoctions. But this is where butlers shine. From laying out clothes in the morning to making sure your coffee is hot, your cereal is crunchy and your briefcase is ready to go, butlers can help ease you into your day. Advantage: Butler
In the tale of the tape, the butler barely edges out the chef. And that seems about right. While the chef provides an extremely valuable service, the overall ease of life the butler provides wins out.
Best of Vin Narayanan