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Thread: How to Wake Up a Stranger

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    Default How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Part of a butler's duties are to wake up an employer. For hotel butlers, this can mean waking up someone you've just met the night before, or may have never met at all. However, in cases like this, it is always at the guest's request. This procedure will also work for house guests. Here is how we're trained to do it.

    The most important thing to remember is to alway announce yourself using a calm tone of voice. Use their name (if you know it) and do it often. My last name is Anderson, so for the purposes for this discussion, that's what I'll be using. We're also going to say, for this exercise, that the person has to be woken up at 8 a.m.

    Knock lightly on the door and announce (calmly) "Good morning, Mr. Anderson. It 8 o'clock." When entering a dark room, your eyes can take a moment to adjust. If you don't want to wake them up by knocking into things while entering (perhaps while carrying a tray of coffee and a newspaper) it is best to close your eyes for a few seconds before knocking and announcing yourself. This gives your eyes time to adjust to the dark room you are about to enter.

    Enter the room, QUIETLY, place the tray on a nearby table, credenza, whatever, stand about two feet from the foot of the bed and announce again, " Good Morning, Mr. Anderson. It's 8 o'clock."

    From here, it is all about gradually raising light/noise levels in the room. Start by opening a curtain. Make sure that the outside light won't be going directly into the sleeping person's eyes. Announce, " Good Morning, Mr. Anderson. It's 8 o'clock."

    Stir the coffee. Announce. " Good Morning, Mr. Anderson. It's 8 o'clock."

    Turn on a lamp. If there is adjacent bathroom, begin to run the shower. Return to the foot of the bed. Announce. " Good Morning, Mr. Anderson. It's 8 o'clock."

    If you've gotten this far and the person is still asleep, go ahead and turn lights on in the room to about 75%. Announce again. "Good Morning, Mr. Anderson. It's 8 o'clock."

    So, by this point, it is clear that the person is not going to wake up. You are going to have to touch them. But, it is never acceptable to touch an employer or a stranger (or perhaps your houseguest). So how to touch them without touching them, or at least without them knowing they were touched?

    THIS IS A LAST RESORT. THIS IS ONLY TO BE DONE WHEN ALL OTHER ATTEMPTS TO CALMY WAKE THEM HAVE FAILED.

    This is when it is handy to be wearing white gloves. In your case, hopefully the bed sheets will be covering them. Okay, standing at the foot of the bed, reach down and.....

    Wiggle the big toe. You heard me. Do it. But do it gently and quickly. Step back. Announce. " Good Morning, Mr. Anderson. It's 8 o'clock."

    They will wake up. They will have no idea what has just occurred.

    Serve the coffee. Serve the paper. Mention that the shower is running. If it is acceptable, begin to lay out their clothes. It is important not to ask them any questions. "How are you feeling today?" How would they know? They just woke up.

    Go about your business in the room. If things have shifted in the night, if any delicate parts have been exposed, do not look. They are aware that someone else is in the room and this will be something they check for. It will (or maybe, intentionally, will not) be covered.

    Once you've got them up, and gone about your business in the room, ask if they will require anything else (again, no HJ jokes please). If no, then go ahead and exit.


    And that is how you wake someone up. Good job! You did it.

    Seriously, try the big toe thing on the Missus at home. Looking forward to reports back.
    Got some cash
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    Took it out
    'Cross the fields
    Lost Control
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    But we're alright

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    I wish my drill sgt had done that for me. All I got was a trash can thrown into my room:(
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    I wish my drill sgt had done that for me. All I got was a trash can thrown into my room:(
    Perhaps if you paid his salary...
    Got some cash
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    Took it out
    'Cross the fields
    Lost Control
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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    this is a good way to get a job offer
    if you'd want to go back to butlering
    unfortunately, i couldn't afford you
     

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Do you ever have clients startle when they wake and you're in the room? Try to fight you? Knowing myself, I'd have the magazine in and the slide racked by the time you got to "Good Morning, Mr. Ander- HOLY GOD NO."

    I'm sure it becomes normal over time. Unaccustomed as I am to butlers, though, a stranger in the room (who didn't come home from the bar last night) means KILL KILL KILL.
     

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Very interesting. My children, 14 and 12, boy and girl, respectively, get the window shade opened, accompanied by a nice "it's time to get up", i return a few moments later if I don't see/hear movement and turn on the light. Returning in 5 minutes with either a squirt from the ironing board spray bottle or the covers pulled off of them ala Edoz's DI father. They only get nice dad twice, then it's time to get the hell out of bed.

    I've never had to wake anyone I worked for, but if I ever need to I feel completely prepared. If I'm ever wealthy enough to have a butler or stay somewhere with a butler I will still use the alarm clock. I have no desire to be awoken by a stranger, HJ or not.
     

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    If I didn't respond to "wake up", my dad shot me with a squirt gun. He was a good shot.

    ***

    You can't tell us about the procedure without telling us how it goes wrong. Procedures are only interesting because the confidence they provide one with can set the stage for a horrific, gut busting result. So... what are your top three failed wake-up calls?
     

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Jayzus you are a pro. Mad respect. I love the toe wiggle. No doubt this will come in handy.

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Jayzus you are a pro. Mad respect. I love the toe wiggle. No doubt this will come in handy.
    Since I can't make D2R2 this year, I fully expect you to go around wiggling everyone's toes before they hit the group showers.
    Got some cash
    Bought some wheels
    Took it out
    'Cross the fields
    Lost Control
    Hit a wall
    But we're alright

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Quote Originally Posted by chasea View Post
    Since I can't make D2R2 this year, I fully expect you to go around wiggling everyone's toes before they hit the group showers.
    That group shower would be an river. Just sayin' ;)

    So, have you ever woken an dead man or been bitten by a dead bee? Need to know.

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    Do you ever have clients startle when they wake and you're in the room? Try to fight you? Knowing myself, I'd have the magazine in and the slide racked by the time you got to "Good Morning, Mr. Ander- HOLY GOD NO."

    I'm sure it becomes normal over time. Unaccustomed as I am to butlers, though, a stranger in the room (who didn't come home from the bar last night) means KILL KILL KILL.
    No, never had that happen. Anyone I've woken up (professionally) has requested it. I'd say about half were international business travelers who were accustomed to this kind of service. Its big in the middle east and in Asia. The other half were vacationers who wanted the experience. The occasional hot mother-daughter combo in the same bed (as a matter of fact, my second professional wake up). Plenty of people are uncomfortable with the idea and opt for a phone call or the alarm clock.

    But, I will say this about the service. It is not an unpleasant way to start your day. You feel taken care of the moment your eyes open. Sip your coffee and hit the shower. When you get out, your clothes are set out for you (including a nifty little trick that gets your socks on faster), ad you can go from being completely asleep to being suited-up and out the door in 15 minutes flat.
    Got some cash
    Bought some wheels
    Took it out
    'Cross the fields
    Lost Control
    Hit a wall
    But we're alright

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Chase, I wasn't doubting the wonderfulness of the service, just thinking how I might react to it.
     

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    Chase, I wasn't doubting the wonderfulness of the service, just thinking how I might react to it.
    I figured. So what time do I need to start calling you in the mornings? Will you be requiring a 15-minute follow up call?
    Got some cash
    Bought some wheels
    Took it out
    'Cross the fields
    Lost Control
    Hit a wall
    But we're alright

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    My wife opens the door quietly, doesn't say a word, and places a steaming hot & aromatic latte on the nightstand next to the bed and that is how I wake up.

    Well, it was until we got dogs. Nowadays the door bangs open and I get a chocolate lab at 40 miles an hour to the testicles.
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Archibald View Post
    My wife opens the door quietly, doesn't say a word, and places a steaming hot & aromatic latte on the nightstand next to the bed and that is how I wake up.

    Well, it was until we got dogs. Nowadays the door bangs open and I get a chocolate lab at 40 miles an hour to the testicles.
    Now that is a wake-up call!
     

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    I enjoyed reading this thread. With a house that sometimes feels like a hotel, I usually just tell my wife to go wake the guests up. Now maybe I'll have something to add to the process.
     

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Archibald View Post
    chocolate lab at 40 miles an hour to the testicles.

    HOLY SHIT I just woke up my kids laughing. I have a boxer. I know the feeling.
    Insubordinate. And Churlish.

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Quote Originally Posted by quickag View Post
    HOLY SHIT I just woke up my kids laughing. I have a boxer. I know the feeling.
    +1
    I get Dos Gatos to the sack.
     

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Chase, I just finally had a chance to read your OP. Very nice writeup. Thanks.
     

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    Default Re: How to Wake Up a Stranger

    Quote Originally Posted by chasea View Post
    (including a nifty little trick that gets your socks on faster)
    Is this a trade secret or are you willing to share?
     

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