Money can’t buy class—and these people prove it. From unreasonable jerks to out-of-touch brats, rich people can be the absolute worst.
Someone had a heart attack on the patio of our restaurant. Paramedics came and were assessing the situation and trying to prep the guy to go to the hospital. This woman dining with her husband decided very loudly to ask my manager in her best condescending rich person tone, “Is this going to take much longer, we were enjoying lunch.” The restaurant goes dead silent and her husband looks like he’s about to puke from embarrassment. They were politely asked to leave and never come back.
I used to work as a bartender at a high-end golf club. There were many, many rude customers, but this one person really stands out. At one point the customer asks: “Did you go to public school?” So I responded “Yes.” He looks away and replies “Yeah, I can tell.” This dude was a jerk.
There was a kid at my high school. When he was 14, he had a learner’s permit, but his parents got him a Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Every day, he drove it to school and was determined to park it in the parking lot to show it off. So, he had his housekeeper drive to school with him and the housekeeper’s son drove a car behind her to take her back home—which was only about two miles away from our school.
I work at a small business. 20 employees +/-. My wealthy boss made a big speech about austerity measures and no raises this year. A week and a half later he drives up in a brand new Silverado with all the bells and whistles. Expensed to the business of course. He would hate to have to pay taxes on those profits. One of the less subtle members of the staff took a literal dump in front of his office door.
There was this incident I heard about a couple of years back about a local socialite, who married into one of the richest and most powerful families here. The story goes that she was at a bank’s main office to meet with the CEO. Instead of taking the elevator like a regular person, she had her bodyguards remove all the people inside the elevator so that she could go up alone without people bothering her.
She said something along the lines of, “Get out of my elevator.” Funny thing is, one of the people she had forced out the elevator was the bank owner’s wife, who decided to take another elevator with the rest of the people who were forced out. The owner’s wife got her sweet revenge. Once the socialite got to the office, the bank owner’s wife was already there and promptly told her to “get out of her building.”
I worked at a private villa in Bali. One guest stood out because she only drank and bathed in Evian. So one day I spent almost an hour filling a large tub from tons of Evian bottles. The same young woman complained that the path from her villa gate to her room wasn’t well lit. This was probably because she wore sunglasses at night.
I had a guy put a $20 on the table when I came to greet him and his wife and say, “This is your tip. However, every time you do something wrong, I will remove a dollar.” I thought he was joking, so I chuckled and asked, “Like, what?”
He takes the 20 off the table and replaces it with exactly $19. Who carries enough bills to do that? He responds with, “Like that.”
I once got screamed at for not opening a jar of mustard. I work in a relatively posh place, and the mustard comes in this little individual glass pot. Because I hadn’t opened the mustard for a fully grown man, he lost his mind and yelled, “I work for the local paper and they will be hearing about this! I’ve never been so offended! Disgusting behavior!”I just stood there aghast and finally said “Did you want me to open the mustard… now?” More yelling.
I interned at a production company. The CEO made me go get a new Blackberry for him. Took four hours to go downtown because it HAD to be bought in downtown LA for whatever reason. When I brought it back, he opened the plastic, turned it on, and asked “What the heck is this? Why aren’t my numbers on it?” When he was told it was new, and so of course it wouldn’t have his numbers, he threw it on the ground. Literally just smashed it. I was flabbergasted.
My elderly, very well esteemed, uncle once invited my partner and I out to dinner at an exclusive country club. We were careful to ask what the dress code was and were told we’d be in the club’s more casual dining room and to “just wear anything.” So we showed up in jeans and polos. Big. Mistake. We arrived before him, and when we walked in we immediately felt like we were peasants.
The entire staff stared at us. The host, standing behind his little podium in a tux, said nothing for a long time, and then, drawing each word out as though it pained him to even those such as us, he said: “I’m sorry, we don’t serve people in… dungarees.” It was the most insulting and hilarious thing I have ever been told. Every single syllable was shaped with contempt and derision.
We told him whose party we were here for. Suddenly they were falling over to explain that, no, no, the jeans would be no problem at all. We waited until my uncle arrived, told them to get bent, and went for pizza.
Upgraded to first class recently on a flight that ended up delayed on the ground for an hour. I wasn’t even mad. A woman in front of me turned to her husband at one point and said, “Why don’t you go have a word with the captain and see if you can get him to hurry up? Tell him who you are.” There was just one problem.
I had no clue who he was and I don’t think anyone else would have either. But at least the guy understood that that wouldn’t work even if the woman he was with didn’t. He refused.
My classmate got three traffic tickets in two consecutive days. About $700 total, including fees and whatever. His response was disturbing. He just paid the fines without batting an eye and then cheerfully said it was a good lesson to learn. Pretty sure I was more appalled and upset about the whole thing than he was.
I was invited to a graduation party, hosted by a very wealthy couple whose daughter had just graduated from Yale. Her father came out, in front of the guests, displaying his Rolex and Cartier watches—asking which one of the two expensive watches the group thought would be “the more appropriate for the occasion.” Everyone just looked at each other, silently—not quite sure what to say.
I was once a server at a high-end steakhouse in Newport Beach, California. A rich guy’s son comes in, probably in his mid-30s, with a big group. They get a private room and spend thousands on food and booze. The guy gets hammered and instead of climbing the stairs to take a leak, he just relieves himself in the hallway. On the floor.
He didn’t get kicked out, either. They just had a janitor come in and clean it up and the dinner kept going. Nice to have that kind of money, I guess.
I worked as a valet for about a year at a really classy hotel. We routinely had Mercedes, BMWs, Range Rovers, football players candy colored cars, Porsches… Think of pretty much any kind of high end car and I must have driven one at some point. One time, a guy pulled up in a decent Mercedes, not anything super high dollar. He seemed cool at first, but then he did the rudest thing I have ever seen.
After I gave him the valet claim ticket, he casually went to his back seat and retrieved a newspaper. I was still holding the driver’s door open for me and he started disassembling the newspaper. Once he had 4-5 single sheets of newspaper, he began setting the newspaper on his driver’s seat, as if to protect it from my apparently dirty self. He didn’t even have to say anything, and it was still the rudest insult I had ever received
When I was a cashier at Chipotle, I had a woman misunderstand the price of a burrito. She heard me say “that’ll be seven-twenty-eight” and without any hesitation, counted out eight $100 bills from a wad of cash that must have been several thousand dollars. We had a good laugh when she realized her mistake. She was carrying a suitcase and had a thick accent, so I think it may have been her first cash transaction in the US.
She was just so rich that it didn’t occur to her that $800 was a load of money to spend on a burrito.
I once asked one of the directors of my company to spot me for lunch because I had forgotten my wallet. He handed me two $100 bills and was legitimately concerned that it might not be enough.
I worked at a very expensive and exclusive country club, the type you’d see the Bluths at. One of the members drove her golf cart over from her house. She said the help had forgotten to buy a loaf of bread, and she wanted to buy one from our kitchen. I told her that we couldn’t sell her a loaf of bread, so she asked how many sandwiches a loaf of bread can make.
I ended up selling her 10 sandwiches with nothing on it at $7/piece.
I don’t even work at that nice of a restaurant, but last month I got chewed out over the phone because some lady left her baby’s actual silver spoon on the table. We didn’t know where it was, so it must have been long gone.
Back when I was a server, there was a woman with a group of friends at one of my tables who asked for a can of Coke. When I brought their drinks and gave the woman her Coke, she looked at me and said, in that typical rich-girl voice,”Excuse me, honey? I asked for Fanta, not Coke.” I apologized, wrote it onto my notepad, and went back to get her a can of Fanta.
I brought the drink to her but again she turned to me and said: “I didn’t ask for Fanta, I asked for Cream Soda.” By this time, I was getting a bit annoyed, but I went back and got her a Cream Soda anyway. Sure enough, when I returned to her table, she did the same thing again. “I asked for Sprite. Should I call the manager?” Oh, honey. She should have stopped testing me when she had the chance.
So, for the last time, I smiled and I went back to the kitchen and packed cans of Coke, Cream Soda, Fanta, Sprite, Pepsi and Sparberry Soda, into a small plastic box and took it all to her and said: “Here you go, miss, take your pick.” She looked offended and almost made a scene. She started lecturing me about how I’m incapable of getting the simplest order right and that she wants to talk to the restaurant’s manager.
I told her that I can call him, and that I’ll show him all the soda types I wrote on my notepad that she asked for, and we can get his opinion on the matter. She turned and took her Sprite out of the plastic box and said “Just leave it.” None of them gave me any issues after that!
I was a sous-chef at a fancy country club and it was 10 minutes before we opened for the Easter buffet. Needless to say, it was going to be a very busy day. I was walking through the dining room and checking all the final details when suddenly a little girl of about two years old ran into the room. She had escaped from her mom who was at the front desk.
She comes to a stop about six feet in front of us and looks up with her eyes wide. I must have been quite a sight, I was wearing my tall white hat and white apron down to my toes. Her mom appears in a heartbeat, turns her daughter by the shoulder, and whisks her away saying: “Don’t talk to them, that’s the help, dear.”
I once had a customer who ordered $150 of caviar to go…for their cat.
Once I had a job as a cocktail waitress at a bar in Hollywood. It was very “A-List.” We served movie stars and celebrities there all the time. It was a very busy Thursday night and I was running drinks back and forth from the bar to the tables. One of my tables had about five glammed up women that looked like they were on a girls’ night out.
They were probably in their late 20s and they obviously had money, I could tell by the purses, shoes, and snotty attitudes. I put their order in for their second round of drinks and I’m rushing by their table holding a tray full of drinks including martinis going to another table. The one girl decides she wants to change her drink order so as I pass by her, she turns and grabs the back of my dress to stop me so she can change her order.
Of course my tray tips over when I’m jerked back and the drinks crash all over me and onto the floor. I turn and give her a withering look but she barely makes eye contact and says: “Instead of a cosmo I want a vodka on ice” and turns back to her friends as if nothing happened. I was very tempted to spill some drinks on them next!
My ex-husband worked as an artist for really rich people. He had a client who paid him in cash, but good god, the way he paid him was beyond awful. He’d wad up the bills and throw them at my ex one-by-one as he spoke disparagingly to him. The guy’s home won some awards so clearly my husband did a really good job with his work. But this guy still treated him with so much disrespect.
I can’t even imagine what is going on inside that guy’s head.
I’m an event chef for a fine dining catering company. The wealthy customers tend to treat me well and with respect. I think I get slightly better treatment because I’m the one in the chef’s coat and hat and so they know I’m handling their food. The “best” insult I’ve had was the time I got a $2.50 tip for the whole night. Somehow that was worse than no tip.
I am a cocktail server at the huge pool of a 4-star hotel. A woman once told me, in a monotone voice and without any eye-contact, “I lost my sunscreen. Find it.”
I play poker for a living and every now and then some rich guy will sit down and start going all in every hand for $300-$500 without looking at his cards. I was in a game where a guy was betting $1,000-$3,000 without looking at his cards. It was insane to me, but for him I guess it wasn’t that much money. Really nutty.
I was briefly an assistant to a CEO of a large company in my country (I live in Northern Europe), and this guy was a real jerk to everyone. I just made coffee, ran with mail, and copied things. I say “briefly” because I only worked there for three weeks. I made an honest mistake, copying the wrong documents, resulting in a brief embarrassment on his side in an in-house meeting with some of the other big guys of the firm.
I got called into his office and, knowing his history with previous assistants, I was visibly nervous. He then began absolutely shredding me for 15 minutes, completely red in the head, spit flying in my face as he stood above me, basically ripping me a new one. I started crying (This was my first job, and I was 15 at the time), and he stopped shouting. But that wasn’t a good sign.
He took one finger to my chin, lifted my face up so I looked straight at him, and then he said “You’re a nobody. Don’t you ever forget that.” And then he threw some paperwork at me to let me officially know that I was fired (which I then had to pick up from the floor), and then he yelled at me to get the heck out of his office.
I saw an American woman who seemed to be a model out for breakfast at a nice hotel in Barcelona. She demanded the waiter walk the butter over to her table. It was 4 feet away at the breakfast buffet. I actually stood up, grabbed it, and handed it to her, as she was demanding this in English to the Catalonian staff. She actually said, “No, I want them to do it.”
I said she was an embarrassment, to which she stormed out. Doing my part!
My family is pretty well-off, and we lived in a really snooty area. My dad grew up poor and got incredibly successful through hard work. He didn’t want his kids to be lazy, rich brats so he raised us to never be snobs. I worked as a dog walker in high school because he encouraged it (and because I just love dogs). One day I walked into one of my new client’s house and she commented: “I’m sure someone like you has never even been in such a big house!”
When I said I actually had she laughed and told me that “Walmart isn’t a house!” I was so baffled at her rudeness, I thought everyone who was well-off was as classy and humble like my father. Nope.
I once worked at a super-expensive restaurant in Boulder, CO. It was a beautiful place on top of a mountain that overlooked the town. There was this older couple that visited at least twice a month, sometimes weekly. I once overheard them talking about how they love coming up to the mountains and looking down at all of the “trash” in the town below. They were good tippers though.
My mom works in a family-owned business, and while the owners aren’t excessively rich they’re definitely upper class. I think the most messed up thing that I know about them is just how they treat members of their own families, let alone strangers. For example, the founder of the company fell and broke his hip when he was around 80.
Since he could barely walk around on his own anymore, let alone run a company, he finally retired and gave the company to his daughter. This was a huge mistake. She put him in a home, never visited him again for his entire life (He passed at age 92, just to give some perspective on how long that was), and almost immediately began to drive the company into the ground.
Around three years after the daughter became the owner of the company, her grandson is hired into basically the same sort of secretary job my mother has. Now it’s a bit of a long story, but he lives with his aunt who also works for the company, basically in the same job his grandmother had before she became the company owner.
So, things are going fine for a while, then eventually he comes out as gay, and is immediately fired for some BS reason by his own grandmother. On top of that, she demands that her daughter kick him out of her house or she’ll fire her too, but thankfully she wasn’t taking any of that, and said she’d sue her mother if she fired her over it. Her mother backs down, and thankfully the kid isn’t kicked out onto the streets, but he’s sure as heck not getting his job back. Then of course since he was fired, all of the work he was doing is piled onto my mother’s desk.
I work at a very expensive hotel in Hawaii. Something that happens all the time with entitled or rich people is that they will just come up to the desk and yell words at you. Like no hello or please, just “Luau” or “ATM.” It’s like they aren’t even thinking of us as people.
I delivered flowers and I had a huge vase, so the lady let me in to put it down. I said “Wow, nice place!” And she said, “If you went to college you could get one like it.” I told her I was and she said “Community college doesn’t count.” A few months later she showed up with her son for orientation day at the fancy school I went to. Her face turned bright red when I said I was a student mentor.
I was opening a bottle for this table when I started getting chest pains. I was scared because the last time that happened I had a seizure. The pain hit so quickly that I almost dropped the bottle, so I put the bottle down on the table. One lady said: “Honey are you okay?” because it was clear something was wrong. The man who ordered the bottle said “We aren’t paying $50 a person for you to die here.”
After a couple of seconds—which felt like it lasted forever—the pain gradually went away and I apologized and explained what happened to me the last time. Then the man replied with the cruelest words: “At least you didn’t drop the bottle—it costs more than your life.” Tears started to well up in my eyes as I poured their drinks. I never went back to that table.
The lady who asked if I was okay came up to me later and apologized for the man and gave me a $100 tip. But still I remember feeling completely worthless at that moment. The bottle cost $300.
Spending $50 on food a day is not normal. College girl got cut off from her parents (drinking and not going to class) and had to get a job. She put on Facebook about how she’s gonna go hungry and needs money. People offered her food and offered to make her dinner. She said, “That’s okay I just need about $40 to get through the day, I don’t like to grocery shop.”
Somewhat distant relative spent all of his university years and twenties partying hard with the ~$100-120K allowance his rich company-owning father gave him each year. He’d travel the world each year going to Bali, Thailand, Europe, every year Oktoberfest, just rampaging. At 32 or so he decided to settle in an upscale ski resort area of the US and open a business with his hot gold digger fiancé.
When he went to transfer his money to his US bank account, he noticed it only came to a few thousand dollars. He angrily asked the bank worker why she hadn’t transferred the entire amount only to be told that that was the entire amount. His father had cut him off without saying anything and he just hadn’t noticed. Absolute flatline.
My uncle who is really rich told me that if I wanted to change careers, I should just take an unpaid internship or beg to work for free. Well, I need to pay the rent, so I don’t really have that option.
I was a host at a local mom-and-pop breakfast place in San Francisco for 7 years. Despite being small it catered to a lot of high-end people like the Mayor and professional football players. So we’d end up with an hour or more wait sometimes on busy brunch days. My favorite thing that people would do is pull the “I know the owner” card to try and get a table. But there was just one problem.
They were totally unaware that the owners both worked the line everyday and were right next to us. So I would respond by saying: “Oh, let me get them. I’m sure they’d love to say hello!” The looks on their faces when the owner would come out and say: “I’m sorry where have we met?” was priceless. It was one of the only restaurants I’ve ever worked at that cared more about their staff than the customer always being right.
I worked as a waitress at a fancy bed-and-breakfast when I was 20. We hosted a date-night special and it was completely packed with couples. There was an older married couple that was in my section and the husband was super nice. He asked how my night was and even postponed his order so that I could clear a nearby table.
His wife had a permanently angry face and glared at everything I did. After their meals were cleared, it was time for dessert and champagne, as per the date night feature. She orders a brand that technically isn’t champagne, it’s a sparkling white wine. I didn’t want them to feel ripped off so I told her: “That’s a great choice but just so you are aware, this is sparkling and not champagne. Is that okay?’
She looked at me for an uncomfortable amount of time. Her husband is looking at her with an expression of mild concern. Well, her brain must have been going into overdrive trying to think of something insulting, because after a long silence she says the meanest thing: “Sweetheart, I see how hard you’re working. Have you considered getting some work done? You wouldn’t have to work so hard if you were a little prettier. Just a thought…”
I could not even process what she said until I got to the kitchen. Her husband’s face was what made me cry. I can take an insult but the mix of embarrassment and shame on his face just made me lose it. I comped his dessert and made her drink with mostly apple juice. I hope that $27 glass of 80% cheap apple juice was good.
I used to work as a valet at the Fashion Show Mall on the Las Vegas strip. I remember accompanying this old lady (who was wearing one of those stereotypical “old woman with old money” hats) to her Lexus. The wind was gusting a bit and she looked at me and said: “This wind is unacceptable.” I nod in agreement and then she just stands there and gives me this look like “Well?”
So I say “Well, unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do…” She glares at me and repeats: “UN-ACCEPTABLE” and then gets in her car and drives off.
I have some very wealthy extended family. One of them recently purchased an $80,000 violin for their teenage son. I remarked that it seemed pretty excessive, especially because he had exactly zero plans on playing it after he was through with high school. Her only response was, “Well what else was I going to spend it on?”
In high school, this one rich kid was bragging that he got in his third fender bender in his “old” car (three years old) that his parents gave him, but he hated, so his parents were buying him an entirely new (current year) car to incentivize him to drive better.
I had a classmate in college who was apparently some wealthy diva. Marries a guy whose parents were millionaires as well. Both eventually flunk out and tour the world on mommy and daddy’s account, soon getting married and have a child. They lived with his parents in a mansion at the time. It seemed like a dream, but it was actually a nightmare.
She gets tired of living with them and blackmails her mother-in-law to buy them a house or she will never see her grandchild again. His family refuses. Weeks of tantrums, Facebook and Twitter rants, eventually she moves out…to her own parents’ vacation home…oh, but it turns out she was actually just getting started.
A few years go by, and she is about to get cut off. So she has a brilliant solution: She gets pregnant again then goes back on social media to complain about how her family would abandon a pregnant woman and her child. Her parents crack and continue pouring money in. Husband’s family cracks and buys the home.
Now years down the line, I still see regular social media updates from her about overcoming adversity, triumphing over hardship, beating the odds, chasing your dream etc. etc. The married couple to this day has never worked or gotten a paycheck.
I used to live in Whistler, BC, so we saw a lot of athletes during the winter and summer, and offseason when they did training camps. I don’t really follow sports. One run-in with a guy, I’m assuming pro snowboarder by the looks of him. I think we accidentally bumped into each other in a club or something. He pulled the, “Do you know who I am” thing at me, and I just responded with, “Do YOU know who I am!?” right back.
He looked shocked. I added, “Half the people in this town are famous, bud. Get over yourself.” The look on his face was priceless. I am essentially a nobody but my facade seemed to work.
When I was working at a public library, we had a few local celebrities come in from time to time. Most of them were nice, but one had a real stick up his butt. He would whine about having to stand in line, about late fees, and about everything else. We would just say, “Sorry, those are the rules,” or, “Thank you for being patient,” even though he wasn’t.
One day, he and I were apparently both having a bad day, and when I told him there was a limit on how many DVDs or video games he could check out at a time, he slammed his hands on the desk and raged, “Do you know who I am?!” This is a fully grown man, mind, and I was a little college student who barely looked old enough to drive—so I finally just snapped.
I was sick of his low-key teasing, so I looked at him and said, “Yes, I do, Mr. X, and the rules still apply to you. Which of these would you like me to put back?” He was stunned. I don’t think anyone had ever actually told him that the rules for everyone else did in fact apply to him as well. He was a little nicer after that. Not a lot nicer, but still.
The rich guy I know was completely delusional. He walked around and bought items like he was a prince. Spent $1,000s on clothes in one sitting and would buy drinks for people at the bar. His bills were examples of the “rich and don’t care” attitude. Then one day he asks me to print out his banking info and credit score. Turns out he was $100,000 in debt, despite pulling in a six-figure salary. His spending habits were insane.
I worked at a 5-star hotel. A pretty normal looking guy came in one day and inquired about the price of a piece of art on our wall. It cost $200, 000 and he bought it on the spot, all within 20 minutes.
This insult came from a fancy lady in a nursing home I worked at. It wasn’t directed at me, but at one of the other old gossips she would hang out with. One of them must have said something that set her off, so she replied: “I would call you a dog, but that would be an insult to the loyal creatures everywhere.” Call the burn unit. Woman down.
This story happened while I was working on a yacht in South America. A lady had helicoptered in a bunch of stuff for a party, and I guess her helicopter violated someone’s air space. The coast guard followed the helicopter to the yacht and boarded the vessel looking to arrest someone. She tossed her checkbook at them and as she walked away she said: “Fill it out, then go die and be forgotten.”
I worked at this fancy event center where a bunch of yuppies host their weddings. My job was so easy; I literally just opened doors or clicked buttons on the elevator. One time, a man who I had previously opened the door for had come back to talk to me. He proceeded to ask me where I am from and what I thought about him adopting a daughter from Korea.
I am an Asian American, born and raised in the United States, so I responded with something along the lines of: “Yeah that’s really cool..good for you.” He kept asking me uncomfortable personal questions about living in Korea and made offensive comments. For example, he said the fact that I could fluently speak English was amazing.
The funniest thing is that I’m not even Korean, I’m Cambodian! I told him this, and that Korea and Cambodia are very different places even though they are both in Asia. I come from a very educated and upper middle-class family and in times like these, I literally feel like they think I came straight from the slums or something.
I live in Florida so this table I was serving asked me how I fared during Hurricane Irma. I told them that we just had some minor damage to our roof but were lucky that none of the oak trees in our backyard fell on our house. This lady goes on to say something on the lines of “Well, I hope your landlord is taking care of that soon”.
I go on to tell her that my fiancé and I own the house and her mouth dropped. She says, “Wow aren’t you lucky to be with someone who makes enough money to own a house.” I simply replied by saying “I actually make more money than her” and walked away.
I once told a customer that he would have to wait an extra 10 minutes for his food. He replied: “I have 7,000 followers on Twitter!” I stared at him blankly for a moment and responded: “Did you just threaten me with a tweet?” 7,000 isn’t even that high!
I was flying a private jet, and the caterers forgot the owner’s sandwich. He graciously said, “No big deal” and I replied that I’d call when we landed because they charged us $100 for it. He said “Is that a lot? How much does a sandwich normally cost?”
The president of my company asked me if I thought I could live on $100 per day. I told him I did every single day. I was probably making $13-$14 an hour at the time.
I worked for the University Mail Services in college, it was mostly just sorting mail but I occasionally helped out with deliveries and pickups on campus. One day I was running the route and picking up mail from one of the admin offices. There was a FedEx package to pick up, and for those, I had to sign the paperwork, note the time, and leave the carbon copy.
I had left my pen in the van, so I asked a couple who were passing by if they had a pen I could borrow for a second. They both looked at me like I’d asked to take his Ferrari for a spin. The guy looked down at his pen and then up at me before handing me the pen in the most condescending manner I’ve ever seen. Yes, he managed to make the act of handing me a pen condescending.
Then the lady said: “You should ask your boss for a raise so you can afford your own pen.”
I used to work in this totally yuppie bowling alley. You might laugh at that, but an hour and a half of bowling and a pitcher is about $90 for two people. I went to check on a lane when a group was getting set up. They were a couple of well-dressed older white ladies with two Asian ~six-year-old girls, both in fancy little kimonos.
I greeted them warmly and asked, “Can I get y’all a pitcher of soda?” And one of the ladies gave me a dirty look and sneered: “You mean you all. I already worry about the girls growing up with an accent, and I don’t want them learning bad grammar as well.” I couldn’t believe it! She also made the girls practice their ‘bow’ for me and I was just generally weirded out by almost everything that happened.
I was 21 and bartending in a snooty restaurant often frequented by yachties. One customer commented: “Oh you look about my daughter’s age, except she’s away at college. A career is really important to her.” Little dd they know, I was graduating that year and off to grad school the following year. I just smiled and said, “Wow, that’s great. Can I get you another cocktail?”
I grew up in a very well-to-do suburb, and there was a family who had an extremely bizarre habit. They would buy cedar clothes hangers for their closets, but then once the cedar smell “wore off” after a month or so, they’d buy new ones and take the old ones to Goodwill. Apparently just lightly sanding them to refresh the scent was too much trouble.
I work at a ridiculously upscale steakhouse in Manhattan as a hostess while juggling being a college student. We have some of the most demanding and exclusive clients come in daily and I have a lot of stories. Our guests range from Michael Cohen, Steve Madden, Anderson Cooper to lesser-known Real Housewives stars and just filthy rich businessmen and women.
Last winter while at work, we had three hostesses at the podium. One for seating people, one for checking in, and one for checking coats. I was checking coats (tips are unbelievable) around 7, when our place is incredibly busy and hectic. Well, a lady checks in with her husband and hands me her coat. I hand her the ticket number for her coat and then proceed to hang it up and mark it with all of the other coats in the closet.
In the closet, it was mainly mink coats during the winter, easily upwards of $15,000 from brands like Moncler, Burberry, Gucci etc. Her coat was a Moncler. It’s easy to remember in the moment who had what coat, but after checking in 200 other coats I totally forgot what kind of coat this woman had, and she was not a regular client so I didn’t make a special note.
Fast forward two hours later, they’re leaving. She hands me her ticket and I go to get her coat. I come back to hand it to her and she looks at me puzzled and goes, “That’s not my coat.” I go, “Oh okay, are you positive? What did your coat look like by chance?” She sniffed and said “Seriously isn’t it your job to know that?”
So I asked her to come to the coat closet with me so we could locate her jacket. She wrinkled her nose and told me I was a joke for not being able to do such a simple job! I apologized and walked her to the coat closet. We searched high and low for about an hour for her coat and at that point, she was screaming at me, every nasty name in the book.
I stood there, calm as could be, because the money was worth it. I finally decided to involve the manager because I just did not know what to do. He didn’t know what to do either, he said we would reimburse her for the cost of her coat and we would write a check but she refused. She must have tried on all 200 coats in our closet and claimed that none of them were hers.
I was petrified at this point that I had given her coat away to someone else, as many look the same. She then told me I would be getting a bill personally from her lawyer and I was actually scared because I knew how expensive those coats were. She berated me and degraded me in front of the manager and told him that I need to be fired.
Finally, she had enough and said since you gave my coat to someone else give me the coat you initially gave me because I can’t go outside without a coat. And at that point I didn’t care anymore. So, she takes the coat I initially gave her, puts it on, and says, “Wow it fits perfect.” She reaches in the pockets and asks, “How did this coat happen to have my wallet and keys in it too?”
I looked up and literally had no words. I wasted about two hours being belittled by the woman, when I was right the whole time. The lady was like, “I don’t know what to say” and my manager said, “You owe her [me] an apology.” And the lady handed me her glass, a $1 tip, no apology, and left like nothing happened!
I sat down on the closet floor and cried my eyes out. I had been awake since 5 AM for school and was the closing host that night, which meant I wouldn’t be leaving until about 2 AM, getting home around 3 AM, and waking back up at 5 AM for school! She wasted what little energy I had left and made me feel so worthless. My coworkers were awesome though, the bartender made me a drink and they all gave me a hug.
My dad and I worked for the owner of a big beverage company. The owner’s wife was yelling at my dad for tipping the garbage man $20 while I was carrying a $20,000-dollar lamp she just purchased.
I worked in the VIP area of a now-defunct stadium. I was in high school and was working a summer job washing dishes. We served various VIP staff including the stadium owner. The owner was actually okay. He even thanked us one time, which was more than we usually got from our guests. His relatives, however were another story…
One day we hear a shriek coming from one of the guests, it sounds like someone was being attacked. My boss, the head chef, runs out to see what just happened. Turns out there was some dressing on the handle of the label. And one of the owner’s relatives was shrieking like a rat had just popped out of her food!
I once worked at a country club in Texas for four months. I asked a customer, who I should mention was fairly intoxicated, if needed anything else besides his next apple martini. Even though I’d dealt with smug business men for ages, his words made my jaw drop: “Some air that lacks the stink of welfare.” I’d never heard that one before!
Just a couple of days ago I was serving a very important business meeting, important enough that one of the gentlemen flew in from Hong Kong. I guess they left some documents on the table that got thrown away and they came back in a couple of hours later and was frantically looking for them. He pulled me aside and said the most entitled thing I have ever heard: “Look, I make more in a week than you do in a year. Find me those papers or I’ll have you shining my shoes just to make a little extra.”
I work at a pretty high-class seafood restaurant in Rhode Island and one evening I had a table of people who had all ordered a lobster dish. I went to clear their table and one of the men complained that the lobster was not fresh and was frozen. I politely informed him that the lobster was never frozen, but he was very adamant.
So I said I was sorry and walked off, and I passed my manager and mentioned it to him. He stormed off and came back five minutes later with a cardboard box full of live lobsters and said: “Go show them!” I walked back out to the table and set down a box full of 10 or so lobsters and said “See. Fresh.” The guy’s dumbstruck face was so satisfying. The tip…not so satisfying.
I umpire little league baseball and was calling a game between a couple of pretty snooty leagues. After I called strike three on a kid, the mom yells from the stands: “Don’t worry honey, he’s just some fat loser with nothing better to do!” I looked back to see who said it and saw that she was a young, rich looking mom, probably about 35 years old.
I knew then that I’d make her regret her words. This woman clearly prided herself on how she looked, considering she was pretty dolled up for her kid’s little league baseball game. So between innings, I leaned back against the fence and said to her “Ma’am these are children. I’d expect a woman in her 50s to have a little more class than that.”
When I was a supervisor for Starbucks, we had a regular who ordered the same (extra modified) Frappuccino every day, three times a day. She had to have it all the time and only liked getting them from a few stores. When she would go on road trips to her cabin, she would come in the night before and we would pre make a whole bunch of Frappuccino’s and not add ice or blend them.
This would be so she could blend them in her car on the way there and back. Did the math, she spent over $8,000 per year on this stuff. For the record, she was an heiress and only stayed home all day watching soap operas.
My wife and I had a gift card for this high-class restaurant that we got as a gift from a well-off friend. So we go to the restaurant and have a lovely meal. But when our meal was over, things went sour. My wife wondered out loud if we’re supposed to pay at the front or at the table. The waitress comes by and overhears us talking about our gift card and she says, “You can give your COUPON to the gentleman over here.”
Then she ROLLS HER EYES. My wife and I felt really embarrassed and we sheepishly left our table. We went to the gentleman at the front, and he was very polite and gracious. I can tell from his behavior that she does this a lot. We left a standard tip to the waitress, but we left the gentleman 25 bucks and the chef 50. Too bad for her!
I used to work in a “high-end” tea room, and we had this regular who was absolutely awful. I was on my knees cleaning up a drink that another customer had spilled and the woman needed to get past me. I said “Sorry, I’m almost done!” and she said, in the most condescending way possible, “That’s quite alright, I like having people at my feet.” It took all my self-control not to trip her.
I was cater-waitering a very elite wedding in Manhattan. A young boy asks his grandfather why someone might choose to be a waiter as a job. The old man’s reply was horrendous. He calmly explains that some people choose not to get an education beyond high school and so they can only get jobs like these. They were both fully staring at me like I was too dumb to understand them. I was less than five feet away.
I work in a snooty people grocery store, so hopefully, this counts. Once when I was ringing a rich lady’s groceries, she took a look at my nametag (I’ve got a fairly normal name, but it’s spelled… let’s say creatively, and she said “It’s surprising you could get a job at all, with a name like that.” Look lady, I know I’ve got a stripper name. It wasn’t my choice.
I was working as a server, and one night I brought water and menus to a table and asked if the guests would like to order drinks right away. The man glared at me and told me that I’d have to do better than that if I expected a tip. He wanted the best service. I was a little befuddled, smiled, and said that I’d do my best to make his visit an enjoyable one.
He said loudly: “Do you know who I am?!” When I admitted that I did not he was really offended. He then informed me that he was a professor at the community college the next town over. Seriously. The community college. His wife was shushing him, turning beet red, and face-palming the entire time. That poor, poor woman.
We had a famous guest in our private dining room once, he would come to our place every time he was in town. One of my server assistants, who was pretty young, was pushing a cart of bottles when it accidentally fell over right in front of him. He said “Hey you. Why don’t you pour me another drink before you clean up that mess you made.”
His tone was awful and it really irked me. She started crying out of embarrassment and he just turned to me and said: “Well, why don’t you pour me a drink then.”
I was working a catering job for a 4th of July party at an exclusive yacht club. I went about my business and was clearing used plates from tables. After stacking as many plates as humanly possible, I turn and start walking back to the kitchen. Next thing I know I feel something hit me in the back of the head. It was a chicken bone.
A grown man had been watching me the entire time, with his four-year-old son at his side. Apparently, he decided he didn’t want to wait the five minutes it would take for someone else to come by and clear his table, so he chucked his garbage at my head. And then he pointed at me and cracked up. I calmly set down my tray and just walked out of the restaurant without saying a word.
For my first job, I worked at a banquet hall that hosted a lot of weddings. Once a guest called me “an imperious cretin.” I can’t remember what I did to upset him but it must have been bad! Although I’m not sure he really knows what the word “imperious” means!
I’ll never forget this nasty woman in NYC. Her party was so loud and obnoxious that other guests keep giving them dirty looks. I remember her friends trying to shush her and her laughing “What do I care? I’m rich!” Just a vile, vile woman. I was taking her order and she said something like “..makes my head feel like it’s in a sieve” then glared at me and said: “Before you even ask, a sieve is a device used to drain fluids.”
Please! That was the day I learned money can’t buy class.
I work in auto parts and a really flustered woman came in last winter. All she said was that she couldn’t see clearly anymore cause the things weren’t cleaning the glass. I go out to look at her wiper blades. It’s a newish Mercedes, and the rubber is torn clear off the frame. So, I go back inside and while I’m getting her replacements, I’m explaining to her how you need to free the blades from ice before you turn them on, or they’ll tear like that.
She gives me the most puzzled look I’ve ever seen on a person: think puppy hearing a weird noise for the first time, head cocked and all. She asks me what I mean… I said before you get in and turn them on, just give them a gentle pull so they’re not attached to the ice anymore. Her response made my blood run cold. She gives me that look again and says, “It’s cold, you can’t expect me to seriously touch it.”
Now it was my turn to be a little puzzled. She says, “I thought the car took care of that nonsense, you can’t expect a regular person to work on it like that.” I said ma’am, the only way to prevent this happening again is to ensure the blades aren’t stuck in ice…that’s it. She huffs out loud and says, Fine! I guess ill have to talk to the help about being on top of that from now on.
Then she pays and leaves before I can process and say anything else.
I worked at a nice restaurant in downtown Portland, and one day a lady called to make a dinner reservation for a large group. But first, she starts asking all these questions about “security” (we had none) and how I thought the staff and patrons would handle a “celebrity” dining there. Is there enough space to be private? They like to be private. Would it be okay if they brought their own security, to stop people from taking pictures and such? But of course, she couldn’t name names.
I rolled my eyes, gave her the go-ahead to do whatever they needed to do, and booked the date and time. Yes, I was super curious who it would be, and stayed past my shift to see who walked through the doors when the big night came. The group arrived, and it was…no one. Not one of us who worked there recognized a single member of their party.
They sure acted like they were someone, but all we saw was a loud group of douchey-looking twentysomethings. They actually did bring a “bodyguard,” who stood in the corner with sunglasses on the whole time. The only attention they got from other diners was the occasional side-eye because they were being such rude and obnoxious nitwits. Shock of shocks, they treated our staff horribly and tipped even worse. I will never know who that person thought they were.
I used to work at an upscale hotel restaurant and one of the regulars there would always order very expensive bottles of wine. I’m talking about expensive, rare, and delicious stuff. He would always go through the same routine. He orders the first bottle, tastes it, and declare it either corked or just plain bad.
He would then call the manager and tell him he would still pay for the bottle on the condition that all the serving staff would take turns at his table with a glass to taste it and “learn what makes a wine taste bad.” We’re talking about wine bottles worth in the hundreds if not thousands. He would then order his own bottle and drink the new one.
The thing is, the first bottle was perfect! The sommelier and the waiters were in on it. Only the manager didn’t officially know about it—but he probably did. So every now and then, we could have a taste worth a couple of dozen dollars a sip just because this guy knew his vintages, wanted to share the pleasure with us, and was loaded with money.
I knew someone who traded in his Porsche and bought a new one every year. His parents were wealthy, died when he was in his teens and left him a multi-million-dollar trust fund. What was sad was that he felt that he couldn’t pick up women without flashing his cash and expensive sports car, but he would dump them all in a couple of weeks because “they were only into me for my money.” Loneliest guy I ever met. He is not Batman, by the way. His parents died in a car accident and his butler’s name is Davin, not Alfred.
I live in Hong Kong. Back in the early 2000s, a local gym/fitness club changed their regulations so that only people with paid up membership could enter the premises. Why? Because tai tais (a colloquial term in Hong Kong for a wealthy married woman who doesn’t work) were bringing their maids to the gym to help them undress and dress.
The (mainly) Filipino maids would sit in the changing rooms for an hour or more while their employer did a class, then help them dress (dry hair, etc.) when they came back. The gym basically wanted to get rid of the Filipinos sitting around in the change rooms, but the tai tais simply bought them memberships!
Someone once ordered the dessert on special—it was tiramisu that day—and sent it back, saying that “Mascarpone cream doesn’t go along well with coffee and your recipe should be changed.” That is literally the original and classic recipe. Then get this. She asked for tiramisu with Victoria sponge. First, we had no Victoria sponge, second, just because someone asks for it we are not going to make something we won’t end up selling, and third, I think the chef would’ve rather carved his own eyes out with a fork.
Just because you have the money to pay for a 200€ meal doesn’t mean you are entitled to whatever you want. We are workers who want to turn a profit at the end of the damn day, not your personal staff of cooks and waiters.
I worked as a busboy at a restaurant in a hotel that was at the end of its life. The owner, a reputed mob boss, and his eccentric wife lived in a top floor suite that was two stories tall and lined with white marble, Italian statues, a red carpet, etc. The wife would do her grocery shopping from the restaurant’s kitchen, and it would be us busboys who took it up.
However, she made very specific demands on how the food should be prepared. Once, she asked for seven pieces of American cheese, and it needed to be on a plate in a star pattern. Another time, she wanted five raw eggs, each wrapped in a napkin and then wrapped in plastic, placed inside a large Styrofoam cup. Failure to prepare the food to her exact specifications meant being fired.
On top of all that, she never once met us when we brought the food—she would buzz us in and instruct us to put the tray in their private elevator, and send it up to her. I was once berated because I put a plate of bread on the left side of a tray instead of the right. After the husband died, they closed the hotel. For a couple years after, she lived in that penthouse alone, and it was creepy to drive past at nights and see this 14-story hotel completely dark except for her couple lights on the top floor.
I drive a limousine, often for wealthy clients. My least favorite are the children. One of my spoiled trust fund clients once insisted on picking up four friends from different areas of town. He convinces these people to go to the bar with him, but when we get there, he kicks them out and has me drive him to the airport, where he picks up a last-minute flight to Vegas.
A very wealthy couple I was friends with some years ago offered to take me to a legendary, top star Italian restaurant in the city with my best friend and her husband. They offered to foot the whole bill since there’s no way that I or my friends could afford that kind of place. I didn’t think my best friend would be so affected by the experience.
She told the waiter she didn’t understand why she needed a menu when they should just “intuitively design her food experience for her.” I thought I would die of embarrassment. I had to hand it to the waiter though, he said “Very well ma’am”, took the menu and came back with a plate of spaghetti and meatballs for her. We all laughed out loud.
I’m a server now, but I started off as a server assistant and food-runner at a real ritzy steakhouse. I was super nervous when I first started and one time I asked to clear a guy’s plate. His plate was empty so clearly, he was done. I said, “May I clear your plate, sir?” The guy looks up at me and says, “You got any other bright ideas?”
I took his plate and smiled. Then I went to the first aid kit in the back for my burn wounds.
The father of a friend I grew up with is the department chair in a prestigious field at the nearby university. It’s publicly available that he makes over $400k a year and all of his children went into successful careers straight out of college. One day the friend walks into my restaurant, looks at me, looks around the restaurant, and says, “So…this is your life now?”
I bartend at a Ritz Carlton. There was this solo businessman from New York sitting at my bar. He was deep into his work so I left him alone. This other gentleman came up to me and held out a 20, asking me to make change for him. Without missing a beat, the businessman looked up at him and said, “That is change.” I love that guy.
The worst insult I ever received wasn’t in words. I used to work in an expensive seafood place. I had a long ponytail and an older gentleman pulled on it to get my attention and order another drink. I just smiled and opened my eyes very wide, practically twitching from trying to keep calm. My boss saw it and totally lost it.
I used to work for a company hosting luxury car driving events, where the customers came for a week or a weekend to learn to drive the latest models on ice. Most of the customers were polite or even nice, but whenever we hosted the Russian groups, everyone knew all bets were off.
These guys had never heard a “no” that couldn’t be turned into a “yes” with a wad of cash. The most memorable incident was when two of them flew in three (assumed) Russian prostitutes, and had their driver drop said prostitutes off at the airport the next morning just before picking up these guys’ wives from the same airport. I was told by the cleaning staff that the room they’d used was covered in blood and waste, amongst other things.
My wife used to work at a high-end clothing store in Manhattan—the kind with really expensive pieces of clothing you had to make an appointment to just see. She said 90% of people there would return all kinds of clothes. Saying rich people are the cheapest or would get it just for show. One guy got in a huge argument and rudely called her fat, because she wouldn’t accept 6-month-old satin socks that he wanted to return.
My wife was clearly pregnant at the time, the manager was a sassy dude that wouldn’t tolerate that and cursed him out into the street.
I worked a summer camp for a few years when I was young and the trees were greener than the trees you get these days, and the grass was more potent. My final year, I was the assistant manager, I forget what the title was (Events coordinator or something stupid like that). The camp had campers for ten days, then four days off.
Pay was given at the end of the ten days, except your first pay also included the four days of training before the first campers came. I had nothing to do with hiring, but I figured Princess Peach Pitt was going to be a problem when it came to the first day of training. She was about as useful as a handsaw on a space shuttle and as bright as a candle with no wick.
When she found out that counselors had to do some light cleaning after campers ate, she nearly had a conniption fit. I found out that she got the job because mom and dad were good friends of the CEO of the organization that ran the camp, and they wanted her to have some “real world” experience before she went off to university.
Well, we made it work. She got easy to deal with campers, had the most experienced partner, and the only downside for her was the Events Coordinator kept a close eye on her to make sure she did her fair share of the work. On the last day of camp, the campers left and the head of the camp had to leave early, so had me distribute the pay envelopes.
So, I do so (staff of 30, took no time) then went to the office to finish off the paperwork. There’s a knock at the door. It’s Princess Peach Pitt. “My pay is wrong.” She says. “I’m sorry to hear that, unfortunately (head) had to leave early, so it’s something we’ll make sure is corrected on the next cheque. What is the problem?” She replied, “It’s short by, like, $300! I don’t think I got paid for the training.”
“What?!” I exclaim. She says, “I’m supposed to make $9/hr at 80 hours plus four days training, which comes to over $1000. This cheque is for less than $700. I have plans for this money, and if I don’t get it, I will sue.” I wanted to say, “Welcome to the real world.” I wanted to say, “Oh my sweet summer child, why couldn’t you have been taken by the faeries, as this world isn’t for you.”
What I did say was, “Okay, so after income taxes are deducted, that sounds about right.” What followed was a declaration that we had no right to take taxes from her. I suggested she should write to the prime minister and perhaps talk to her parents about her recourse from here, but there was nothing I could do to help her. I did hope she wouldn’t return in a fit of pique, but she did come back and worked the rest of the summer. And she never sued the organization.
For a couple of years in high school, I went to this super expensive American private school in Switzerland. The company my dad worked for paid for almost all the tuition, so it was an amazing opportunity for me. Most of the kids in this school were either State Department or from American families living in Saudi Arabia (the Saudi government provided ex-pat kids with school up until 10th grade, so you had to go to a school abroad to finish HS).
There were, however, a few Saudi kids that were there, mostly so that they would be able to speak flawless English to help out their future careers. One of these kids, who I will call The Prince, was somewhere in the line of Saudi succession, but honestly, he was like 1,455th in line for the throne. Not a real contender for King, but his family was rich. Like, rich in a way that most of us can’t even imagine.
This school had some rules, like you couldn’t have a car as a student, even if you were old enough to get a license in Switzerland. This rule was a real buzzkill for The Prince, but he made it through the year somehow. Over the summer after his Junior year, he drove back to the school from Geneva in his Lambo, probably just because he could do it outside the school year.
On his way up the mountain (the road is like an endless series of hairpin turns) he managed to flip his Lambo into a vineyard while trying to navigate one of those tuns. I’m guessing a Lambo has a lot of power, and he took it way too hard. His parents, furious at what he had done, decided to punish him by replacing his Lamborghini with a Porsche.
Of course, The Prince was SOOOO angry. He complained about it bitterly when the school year started up again. The rest of us kind of just looked at each other in amazement. Same planet, different worlds I guess.
At my old school, there was this kid who thought he was hard as nails just because his parents were rich and on the school board, despite being very average physically and an idiot. Dude tried to pick a fight with me when we got off the bus to satisfy his ego, and I picked him up and threw him on his butt like a sack of bricks.
When he whined to his mum and dad, there was jack they could do because it was outside of school hours. This guy kept going at me for the rest of the year, and each time I’d wave him off, until he got so freaking annoyed he started beating my head against the table, spewing race-based and anti-gay slurs at me in the middle of the cafeteria.
Never before have I seen my PE teacher tackle someone so freaking fast. It was impressive.
I work at a classical music and theater venue. It’s in the middle of the city so we ask a small fee for parking. It’s significantly less than what you would pay to park in the street and it’s clearly marked at the entrance. A guy came up to me with his parking ticket and the first words out of his mouth were “Paid parking? Do you know who I am?”
I did not, none of my colleagues knew, and to this day it’s still a mystery. But he was parked in our parking lot, so yes, paid parking.
A friend of mine was dating a super-wealthy girl in college. Not sure how they got together, it was some internship thing or something. He grew up pretty poor, and he told me a story about how they were at Wal-Mart and he was considering buying a pair of flip-flops, but they were like $10 and he wasn’t so sure it was something he could afford at the time.
Apparently, she said to him “What do you mean, you don’t know if you should get them? Whenever I want new clothes, I just ask my daddy for the money card.” She literally used the phrase “The Money Card,” as if it was some weird artifact that magically made all clothes free for her (which, I guess it kinda did). He also told me she felt the need to take a full shower every time she pooped, which… I mean, that’s a different thing, but still funny.
I repair bathtubs and showers. I’ve been in poor homes, middle-class homes, wealthy homes, and super mansions. So, we were at this mansion, the kind where there’s a tennis court and pool in the back yard. The kind where the foyer and first room of the house had 16×16 black granite tile with subfloor heating. Just this magnificent house with its three-car garage; but in the garage, there were three lifts to literally stack their vehicles. These guys were loaded.
They are “updating” the house to sell so they can move back to North Jersey. They replaced the soaking unit in the master. The granite in that bathroom was absolutely breathtaking. It was blue, and under a certain light sparkled like there were lights built into it. The deck was cracked at the caulk line. So, we’re in there fixing it, being as anal and meticulous as possible because we know we’re in probably the most expensive house ever.
The wife comes in to chat with us and basically states that they just got the same kind of soaker as before because it’s the only thing that fit in the spot. Eventually, she says something like, “It’s okay though, it was only $8,000.” If I was drinking something, I’d have choked on it. She said it like the tub was a piece of trash that she settled for because it was cheap. $8,000 was a drop in the bucket.
I worked at a nice little shop that sold fresh house-made pasta and ready-to-go sauces. We got the stereotypical rich people due to our location in the middle of Marin County, California. This was in the late 80s and food trends were plentiful and rapidly evolving. Many people were very interested in being on the cutting edge of the latest trend, be it the latest hot restaurant or that month’s fabulous must have menu item.
Not that they were actually into food, but just to be “in the know” and brag about how you simply must try the most fabulous tiramisu at the buzziest place in town. We regular folk would stoically refrain from rolling our eyes in their presence and carry on. So at the pasta shop one evening, a typical Marin matron arrived in her gemmed slippers, clattery jewelry and a cloud of perfume.
She pushed past the other patrons in front of her and said she needed some squid ink pasta. “I’m sorry,” I replied, “we don’t actually make a squid ink pasta, but you may be able to find it at another fancy grocery store in the same plaza. They carry several quality imported items.” She gaped at me and started moaning, “OHHHH NO NO NO NO NOOOOO.”
Of course, now everyone in the place was staring at her. She then told me that she had to have squid ink pasta because she had her “gourmet friends” coming for dinner and they had to have squid ink pasta. I apologized again, explaining that we didn’t make squid ink pasta and again suggested the fancy grocery store, only to be cut off by her loud wailing “OHHHH NO NO NO,” again.
I just stood and watched along with everyone else in the place as she paced up and down before the display case, clutching her head and repeating, “Squid ink pasta…gourmet friends! SQUID INK PASTA…GOURMET FRIENDS!” over and over at the top of her lungs, as if this incantation would magically call forth a hidden cache of squid ink pasta.
Needless to say, we could not provide said squid ink pasta, so I don’t know what she served to her gourmet friends that fateful evening. The whole thing was just so bizarre and over the top. Anytime we encountered some delusional, entitled weirdo, we’d mutter “Squid ink pasta!” and cackle to each other.
In college, as I was making dinner one night, my wealthy roommate expressed surprise that you could get vegetables in a can—like totally in shock at the idea of canned vegetables. It turns out that in his house the cook simply went down to the market every afternoon to pick up fresh veggies, and he’d never known it could be done any other way.
This was not a post about the virtues of canned vegetables, but about the idea of someone so isolated by money that they had never been in a grocery store.
I work in local theater, and we have a lot of rude, awful women from the nearby ballet schools come through our venue; they’re generally the mothers of the dancers so you know, those awful controlling rich dance moms you see on TV. Once, this woman rang up wanting seats to an almost sold-out ballet performance that had been on sale for four months the day before the show. It did not go well.
She did nothing but scream at me for five minutes because she left buying them too late, whined about how she shouldn’t have to pay to see her kids, whined that we should get a bigger venue, then put me on hold while she rang three of her relatives to see if they wanted seats too. She was positively horrific to me.
The seats I was about to sell her were the only ones in the theater left, and they were actually good seats. While I’m on hold, a grandma of one of the ballerinas comes to the desk and asks nicely if we have any seats left, as she’d been in hospital and couldn’t buy them earlier. She said she’d understand if we were booked out.
This awful woman still has me on hold, so I put the phone down and sold this old lady the last seats for the show, then gave her an invite to our next year’s dance season so she’d know exactly when all the important dates were coming. She thanked me over and over, and she’s now one of our regulars and brings her grandkids to our shows. Meanwhile, this other lady…
Two minutes after the old lady leaves, the witch on the other end finally takes me off hold and says she wants the remaining seats that we have left, I tell her “Sorry, we’ve just sold out while you had me on hold I’m afraid, better luck next year, anything else I can help you with?” She was choking with rage on the other end of the phone, it was fantastic.
I may or may not have carried a heavily intoxicated girlfriend and a large amount of substances out of my boss’s house (CEO of a very large company) while she was covered in her own filth so his wife wouldn’t catch him as she arrived home from her sister’s house a day early. How did this happen, you ask?
My old boss regularly cheated on his wife with any number of women. Well, he calls me one day, because we are friends away from work, and asks me to come to his apartment ASAP. I drive over there, and he’s blitzed, and this chick is laying naked in her own filth mumbling about something. He says he has to shower and clean up because his wife is ten minutes away so please “Get that out of here.”
I grab the girl and help her to her feet and cover her up with a t-shirt. As I’m walking her out, he yells for me to grab the party bag. The only bag is a Dopp kit. I grab it, jump in my car and drive off. This girl is blasted! She doesn’t know where she lives and is sure she’s having a heart attack. So, I calm her down somewhat and reach in her purse and find her ID.
Luckily, she has her current address on it, and I take her home. I drive back to my house and pull into the driveway and remember the Dopp kit. I open it up and there’s a LOT of illegal substances in there. I got a steak dinner and a few beers later that week from the boss. Needless to say, I no longer work there.
Two sons of a really wealthy couple go to the family lawyer to have their recently deceased parents’ will read. The lawyer is super nervous because he has known them both since they were kids. One son gets the entire inheritance, and the other gets nothing. The explanation was that it should be passed through to blood relatives only. So that was the day he found out he was adopted.
When I was a poor college student my wealthy cousin and his wife went on vacation and offered to let me house sit to give me a break from my three slovenly roommates. They live a few towns over in a very nice house with a huge front lawn and a fancy, tall iron fence with double gates. The fence and gates are about 11 feet high. You have to have a remote to open the gates.
That first night I slept so well! I breakfasted like a king and then drove to school. I got back around five, made a supper fit for a king, and settled down to write an Econ paper. My cousin has a warning system for when someone driving turns off the road and comes up to the gate. There’s a chiming sound and you can look at screens in a couple of different rooms to see who it is so that you can buzz them in.
I was deep into my paper when I heard the chime. I was confused at first and check my phone before I realized what it was. I looked from the sofa and could see a movement on the security screen. I stood up and got closer and had a clear view of two women getting out of a white car. One tried to squeeze between two bars of the gate—impossible—and then the other woman tried to boost her over the top of the gate—hilarious.
The top one fell and even from the house I could hear swearing. I was about to press the intercom button and ask WTF was their problem but I was chuckling at their antics and just watched silently. They peered at the house intently from between the bars like a couple of jailbirds for a while. The skinnier one actually stripped down to her bra and panties and tried to squeeze through the bars again. No dice. Butt and boobs were not allowing that to happen. More swearing.
Then, as the skinny one got dressed again, the bigger one went back to her trunk and got out a tire iron. As soon as she started with the hinges of the gate I was calling 9-1-1. The authorities took too long and the women left. I showed the officers the video but they couldn’t get a license plate number. When my cousin and his wife returned the next week I told them what happened and we watched the tape. He said that he had no idea who the women were but his wife looked pissed. I packed up, thanked them for my “vacation” and left.
She divorced him that summer.
I worked as a nanny for a 1% family. The stuff I saw haunts me. I remember having one parent complain how rude it was a friend hadn’t offered to fly them to Miami on a private jet for a weekend getaway, and they were “forced” to go first-class. Had the other parent tell me they thought it was really “sweet” I was happy to help others and never be wealthy.
They would also spring last-minute trips on me and their kid all the time, so I’d stay in the main house with their child while the parents were country-hopping. Poor kid never had any sense of who was going to be where. There were business-related videos of the parents on YouTube, so it got to the point where I’d play them on an iPad so the kid had some sense of consistency.
Just to be clear, the kid was absolutely adorable and very sweet (which made it really hard to leave, I felt terrible), but it was pretty disheartening to think they’d probably turn out like their parents in a few years. The best part about the parent complaining over the first-class flight was when they asked me if I thought they were overreacting.
Literally asked me “Wouldn’t you be upset? Don’t you think that’s rude? They’ve been doing better [financially] now that they have Company X money they could have sent a plane etc.” and I’m thinking, well I’m pretty sure my entire year’s salary couldn’t pay for one chartered flight, so you know I’m probably not the best person to ask.
I used to work as a front desk agent at a boutique hotel. A guy who was obviously very full of himself came in with an online reservation that he had booked at a shockingly cheap nightly rate. He proceeded to give me a hard time about EVERYTHING, from telling me he shouldn’t have to give me his credit card info since he had prepaid his reservation, to telling me “Um yeah, I’m pretty sure I can find the elevators, I’m not stupid.”
He was just being an all-around jerk. About 10 minutes after checking him in, he came down and demanded that we give him a bigger room with a king bed and a view, even though he had booked a standard queen bed online. I complied, as we had extra king beds available. 10 minutes later, he came down again to complain about the size of the room.
He told me, “I’m only going to give you one more chance to make me happy,” and asked for the general manager. After much arguing between him and my manager, we ended up giving him our nicest suite AND free parking since we had “Given him trouble.” He got all this for a way cheaper rate, like $40 per night! Oh, but he outdid himself.
Get this: He informed us shortly after the ordeal, while on his way out to dinner, that he was not even going to be in the room for the majority of his stay, as he was visiting friends and would be staying at their home. What the heck! So I made it my personal mission to make his life a living nightmare from that point on.
I reset his room keys every time I saw him leave the hotel—which was quite frequently, 3-4 times a day. It was particularly funny when he came back tired from a night out and had to come all the way down to the front desk to get his keys fixed. Needless to say, he was very frustrated by the end of his stay. I doubt he’ll be staying with us again.
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