For most people, money isn't something that can just be thrown around all willy-nilly. People have bills to pay and mouths to feed and for a lot of folks, there isn't a lot leftover after taking care of the necessities. That's why working with the insanely rich can feel like somewhat of a culture shock – these people can spend loads of cash on whatever they want because it wouldn't make a difference to them anyway. These Redditors share their first-hand experiences of dealing with the filthy rich and disclosed who truly out-of-touch the 1% is with the rest of the world. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I dog and house sat for a wealthy family my dad worked for.
They had a MASSIVE freezer that was just full to the brim with masses of old, way past date stereotypical rich people food. Stuff like veal, lobster, caviar (this shouldn't even be frozen), etc. It was like a 7-foot by 3-foot by 5-foot freezer just packed to bursting with this stuff that had all gone to total waste.
When I asked about it, they said that that was their 'show' freezer. Their real freezer they actually put food they intended to eat out of was in the garage.
Any one-cubic-foot of space worth of food in that freezer cost more than I spend on groceries in two weeks, easy. All just so if one of their guests opens the big freezer in the kitchen they will think these people eat tons of rich folk food.
Disgusting. Totally disgusting.
It also took them over three months of my asking for them to finally give me the $200 they promised me if I looked after their dogs and house while they were gone..."
"I lived/worked in a tourist town that attracted the typical elite class.
I did retail for a cellphone company and the number of people that would cycle through phones weekly was insane to me. They'd refuse the insurance because it takes too long, yet they'd drop them off ski lifts or just plain lose them.
I had one particular customer that had me tap out for the day. A girl, about 13 years old was fighting with her mom about getting a new phone since hers was cracked.
Mom: 'I'm not paying for this it's your fault.'
Girl: 'It's fine, I'll use my account.'
Mom: 'Your account only has $8,000 left in it. Just get it fixed.'
ONLY $8k as a 13-year-old?"
"I work as hostess at a ridiculously upscale steakhouse in Manhattan while I'm in college. 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 business men and women.
Last winter while at work, we had three hostesses at the podium. One for seating people, one for checking in, one for checking coats. I was checking coats (tips are unbelievable, un-freaking-believable). It was around 7:00 pm, our busiest hour. We usually do around 300 covers per night and we have an entire bar apart from the restaurant side, so it is always hectic. Well, a lady checks in with her husband and hands me her coat. I hand her the ticket number for her coat, then proceed to hang it up and mark it with all the other coats in the closet.
In the closet, was mainly mink coats during the winter (easily upwards of $15,000 and more). Brands like Moncler, Burberry, Gucci etc. Her coat was a Moncler coat. 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. When I come back, I hand it to her. She looks at my absurdly and goes 'that’s not my coat' with a glass of vino in her hand.
I go, 'Oh okay, are you positive? What did your coat look like by chance?'
She snuffed and said, 'Seriously? Isn’t it your job to know that?'
I asked her to come to the coat room 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 name in the book. I stood there calm as could be because the money is 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 all were not hers. I was petrified at this point that I had given her coat away to someone else as many look the same. She had told me she had a mink jacket (there were hundreds of minks in the closet that night) and I didn’t remember she actually had a Moncler. Well, she 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 I need to be fired!
Finally, SHE had enough and said well since you gave my coat to someone else, give me the coat you initially gave me because I can’t go outside with no jacket. And at that point, I was like 'Forget it. Take someone else’s coat – I don’t care anymore.' She takes the coat I initially gave her, puts it on and says 'Wow, it fits perfect.' She reaches in the pockets and says, '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 now 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] and apology.'
The lady handed me her glass and a $1 tip. No apology and left like nothing happened!
I sat down on the closet floor and poured my eyes out. I had been awake since 5:00 am for school and was the closing host that night, which meant I wouldn’t be leaving until 2:00 am and getting home around 3:00 am and then waking back up at 5:00 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."
"The CEO of a nonprofit I was working for was talking to her portfolio manager or something with the door open. My desk was outside her office. They were discussing buying some stock and she said something to the effect of, 'Well, it's not that much money, it's only $XX,XXX.'
$XX,XXX was well above my annual salary.
Another time she also brought in chocolate around Christmas time. She asked if me and another coworker would like to try some, then told us it was from last year and she brought it in because she didn't want to serve it to her friends.
Oh, another time I was traveling with her and we had dinner with some of our members. Our per diem allowed us to have one nice beverage and up to $50 per dinner. We went to a fancy DC restaurant and stayed under my per diem. Then the bill came, the nonprofit picked up the check and said we would invoice later, splitting it evenly. She was asking me to pay more than what I spent on my monthly groceries to help cover everyone else's meal.
She had two kids my age and had no concept of money, or that not all of us got support from family. Her loser kid lived with her rent-free in San Francisco. I had just finished my master’s degree and was living on my own.
I loved that job and the mission of the organization but couldn't stand that lady and I'm super salty."
"I worked at a ridiculously high end spa/restaurant/resort (named after a certain famous boat) as a server for New Years. They had this awesome jazz band playing all night. Pretty early in the night, I complimented them on how good they were, offered the band drinks or w/e they wanted, just to wave me over when needed. They have me their drink orders and I kept them coming.
At the end of the night, they all excitedly waved me over, which took my by surprise when they said my name on the mic after close. They all pitch in a couple bills, I don’t even look at how much it is, and say, 'Late merry Xmas kiddo hope that’s enough. Can ya still bring us a coffee?'
'Of course!' and then I just shoved the money in my pocket.
I went into the kitchen and raided the pantry. A co-worker asked me if I had change for a $20. I did. I reach in pull out a wad of cash – they were all $100 bills. 10 of them. I’m so confused...where did this come from? And it hits me. The band made a mistake and gave me too much.
I go back all awkward and say to them, 'So you guys gave me a thousand...was there a mistake?' The piano player waves me over hands me another $200 and says 'Sorry, our lead is a cheapskate.' He smiles and goes back to doing whatever. I didn’t know how to say, it was too much.
So I storm the kitchen, unwrap what the baker put away, and put it in the silver trays and came out with this HUGE cart filled with all types of pastries, coffee, tea, etc. I could have gotten fired for bringing out the fancy stuff, but the lead chef and floor manager were out schmoozing some guests as per usual. I never saw the band again there."
"I was once working in the boxes at the Etihad Stadium as a server. One time, I specifically had just one box with some of the chief financiers of the Manchester City football/soccer club.
Now I don't really follow football much at all, but when I was in there I was catching glimpses of the game and chatting about what little I did know to the people in there when they would talk to me while I was serving them their food, etc. At the end of the game, when they all left, I got a tip from one of them saying, 'Well I know you didn't get too much chance to properly sit down and watch the game, here this should cover some drinks for if you wanna watch it later.'
They gave me 95 quid.
They genuinely thought that was the price of a quiet night in with a few drinks. It blew my mind. I can get a four pack of ciders for £3.50 and have a great time. How on earth did they think £95 was a fitting amount of money for that?"
"I used to work as an office admin for this family owned company. The family was stupid rich with money like I've never seen before. Among other things, I was in charge of balancing all the bank accounts and paying all the bills, and part of that job included paying my boss' adult (30 years plus) sons' allowances.
So one day my boss walks over to my desk with his youngest son (still at least 30 years old) and says, 'Can you write him a check for $100,000 from my personal account?'
The son was going on a trip to the Netherlands. He looks at his dad and say in the most exasperated voice, 'I guess...'
So his dad looks at me and says, 'Okay, $300,000.'
This was on top of the $50,000 he gave to each child every month. This is also the same job I had to work for five years and beg them for $15/hour wage, yet my boss spent $50k a month on a few bottles (like 3-5) of vino.
Needless to say, I don't work for that company anymore."
"One of the owners of my company spoils his kids. Their family has been wealthy going back at least four generations, so not one of them has ever struggled financially.
I, working as a laborer for them in my 30s, was looking to buy a car after finally getting my license back after a few years without it. I was looking for rebates and good deals because I was living paycheck to paycheck.
As I was browsing cars online and talking to a co-worker about deals and loans, one of the rich boys said to me, 'Why don't you just buy the car with cash so you don't have to make payments?'
When I told him I can't afford that, he replied, 'Why don't you just have your parents buy it for you?'
It didn't seem to occur to the teen that I wasn't working for fun, and how I didn't make enough to just buy a car outright. To illustrate how it wasn't just a one-time occurrence, his brother casually explained to me a few weeks later how he was giving up his pilot lessons because he was choosing to take up yachting instead. When I said how I'd love to be able to take flying lessons, he told me it was 'only' $200 per hour. He seemed shocked when I told him I don't even make $20 an hour.
They're good kids, but goodness are they spoiled and sheltered."
"When I was in high school back in the early 2000s, I had a summer job mixing concrete for a pool installation company. The client had purchased a lot outside of town and had us putting in a new pool. We had removed his old pool and spent all summer on this luxury vacation resort style pool in this guy's back yard. It was heated throughout, had an island in the middle with two jacuzzis, palm trees, sun chairs, a BBQ pit, and two cascade waterfalls. It had a bridge to the island, a swim-up bar, a state-of-the-art sound system, a light system, and a huge projector so they could watch movies in the pool. It was a massive job.
The client arrived a week early as we were getting the pumps set up and putting in the finishing touches. He had been born into extreme wealth, but had made his own fortune too. That afternoon, he had his house staff make lunch for all of us. I sat down to eat and the client sat right next to me. He asked me why I was working since I was only a teenager. I told him I was saving up for a car. His eyes lit up and he said, 'Hey, I just bought a new car! It's really fast! Come look at it!'
Of course, I followed. He had a brand-new white Porsche sitting in the driveway. He started rattling off specs about the car and urged me to get in so he could show me how fast it was. We went over 100mph several times down the farm roads, then he turned around and we went back to his house. He said, 'When you get your car, you should test drive a Porsche. My son talked me into getting this one. They drive like a dream.'
I laughed, but he seemed confused, so I clarified that there's no way I could afford a Porsche. I asked, 'What did this cost, anyway?'
He shrugged, then told me the bill of sale was in the glove box. He had paid $140k for the car.
I told him it would take me like 10 years to be able to buy a car like that, and that's if I didn't eat or pay rent. Right then, we were pulling into his driveway and stopped, so he looked over at me incredulously and said '10 years? Come on, how much are they paying you for this job?'
I told him I made $8 per hour and was expecting to get around $4,500 from the job. He said 'So you worked outside all summer for $4,500?'
I nodded. He just stared ahead for a few seconds, then turned off the car and said, 'You should probably get something reliable.'
I could tell that he learned right then how much money poor people made."
"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, told her whatever they need 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 20-somethings. 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 people.
Shock of shocks, they treated our staff horribly, and tipped even worse.
We even tried to add 18%, but the party threw a massive fit about that, complained about the service (which I'm sure was fine, it was a well known place) and refused to pay it, so the manager took it off so as not to create a bigger scene. Left the server in tears. I think everyone just wanted to get them out by that point.
Will never know who that person thought they were."
"I had a business dude rent one of our apartments for three weeks at this fancy hotel I worked at. On the second day, we get a maintenance call – he wants us to remove to the TV. Not replace it, just remove it entirely.
As housekeeper, I head up with maintenance to clean up any mess from the move and got to see it all. The guest is removing our TV - because he's gone and bought his own. It was bigger, flashier, and brand new. There was also a brand new (I cleaned up the packaging) PS4 he was hooking up to his new TV. We had no idea if this was against policy, so we left it. The guy's paying for the room and he hadn't broken anything, so I didn't care.
At the end of his stay, he leaves it all behind. The maintenance dude took the TV (easier to smuggle out the service entrance for him) and I took the PS4 and sold it for more traveling funds. Thanks, ridiculously rich business dude! You paid for two weeks of traveling!
Another time, this seriously loaded addict who hired our penthouse, played Dungeons and Dragons for three days and painted every inch of it black before doing a runner."
"I was working nights at a hotel many years back. It was not super high class, but certainly no budget hotel either. A lady came in to reception. I say 'lady' because she definitely was – she just reeked of old money. She had a guy in tow, wearing a gray suit. This was about midnight on a Friday. I immediately clocked him as a chauffeur/aide type deal. No problem, I've seen that before.
She asked if we had a room for the night. 'A decent one, please. A suite, ideally.' No problem, we had a suite available. I told her the price – as night manager, I had the freedom to charge pretty much whatever I liked, if it meant making a sale. For her, I charged full price because she looked like she could afford it. She didn't bat an eyelid.
Then it came to her chauffeur guy. 'Do you have a servant's quarters for my driver?'
'Um, no, sorry madam. Just the standard rooms.'
I gave her the price for one of our standard rooms and she gave me a face. 'Oh no, that's too much. Don't you have, like, a staff house or something he could stay in? I'd really rather not spend money on an actual hotel room for him.'
All this with the guy standing right next to her. I felt really bad for the poor guy and wondered if this was usual for him.
After a few more questions and her considering whether to have him sleep in the car (yes, really), we eventually settled on him having a standard room for rock bottom price (I think about £30 or so). That was as much as she was willing to spend on him, and less than a tenth of what she was paying for her own room. To be honest, I'd have given him a room for free rather than having him sleep in the car, but clearly I had more compassion for the guy than she did."