Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ask Jeeves gives Jeeves notice

The famous butler icon is getting fired from the Inter-Active Corps house.

It seems to me that he had enough work on his hands, just keeping up with Bertie Wooster's antics, but some of my friends tell me he handled their inquiries quite well, also. But, according to the experts, the poor fellow didn't seem to be able to make it clear to some users that Ask Jeeves was more than a simple answer man, and that the service was able to do all sorts of search work.

Personally, I blame the culture which eliminated the demand for butlers and majordomos. Throughout history, men buttled, and the job involved complete capability -- running the house, managing schedules, running background checks on guests and employees, and, generally, knowing all there was to know about everything. They were the trusted, intelligent, leading workhorses of the service industry.

In my mind, the perfect man's man will always look a little like a cross between Ted Cassidy and Stephen Fry.

According to the BBC article: "In line with a series of changes made to the Ask site last year, Jeeves got a makeover which saw him get slimmer and more tanned."

It looks as though he's going to have plenty of time to get a deeper tan, now. I hope his retirement is comfortable. P.G. Wodehouse would have wanted it that way.

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