"I went to a college with a lot of wealthy kids. My roommate freshman year was one of them. She was awesome and humble as anyone but her family was loaded. We went to her condo in Cabo for spring break and our return flight was delayed by a day. Her dad was SO close to paying $10,000 for a private jet to fly us back because I had two lectures the next day and my roommate had one. I wasn't planning on going anyway so I'm very happy we talked him out of it.
They ended up getting their own jet a couple of years later and I see a lot of pictures of their dogs with their own seats and tables on the plane. It's actually pretty cute."
"A very wealthy family invited me to play piano for a party they were hosting at their home (an English Tudor-style mansion).
The 'music room' had two Steinway 'concert grand' pianos, one on each end of the room, worth perhaps $150,000+ each.
No one in the family played these beautiful instruments. They were just there for show and used by a pianist they'd hire for special occasions."
Ryan Jorgensen - Jorgo/Shutterstock
"I distinctly remember one guy in my class 'popping into Apple' to buy a new iPad, rather than walking back to his flat to pick up the one he had left on his desk. He did this more than once.
He also paid £4,500+ per week to live in a London apartment (above a post office no less) less than 100 steps from the uni, yet claimed he 'couldn't get to class in time.' His father had ties to David Cameron's government, which led to him being almost untouchable at the uni, despite his utter ignorance of the subject."
"My ex-employer is very wealthy Arab dude. Complete jerk. Biggest waste of money I've personally seen is:
$7k on bubbly, he doesn't drink, bought it, took a Snapchat picture and then left.
$50k for three days in Dubai, he didn't come back with any sort of luggage or anything.
$1.5 million in three failed businesses, opened within months of each other.
Cars he doesn't drive: Maseratis and Ferraris. He bought a brand new top of the class Ferrari, had it for like three weeks and I never saw it again.
But mostly just the way he does things, like he'll buy a super expensive coffee from Starbucks, take a sip, then throw it away. He buys expensive clothes from expensive stores; never wears them. He has real gold on these shoes that come in a big fancy wooden box.
The stupid jerk, walking around a grocery store once, asked me if you can get 'Mcdonald's flavor' for food.
All of his money comes from his father who owns a few companies, construction, and real estate, mostly.
He spends most of his time in his house or he'll drive his car to some random place and sit in it for a couple hours, 100% addicted to social media. I felt bad for him at first, because all his 'friends' were only in it for free stuff, so I tried my best to be a friend to him and not accept any of the outlandish offers he'd made. We chilled and played Mortal Kombat and I showed him how to put a duvet inside the cover and how to make a bed, but on the business side of it he wasn't paying salaries or overtime and he was taking company profits all for himself.
He once asked why I complained about working hours, saying I only worked 'half a day, 12 hours.'
In the end, no matter how much I tried to be his friend, he was just a jerk."
"My friend is married to a plumber. He was once hired to set up a special room for a famous composer's wife's tortoise. It was a huge room in their mansion that his company set up to be arid all the time, like a desert. I believe it even had sand and cacti in it and sunlamps. I don't know how much it cost, but it was more than most people spend on their houses. All for their spoiled tortoise."
"I worked for a hotel for years. It was not a fancy hotel, nor was it in a rich area. But a long-term guest of mine wanted to take me and my friend to the casino on his dollar. I had known this man for two years by this time and considered him a friend, so we both agreed to go.
When we got there he bought us all a drink and then he proceeded to hand us both a STACK of hundred dollar bills. Like, $1k each. He told us to gamble until we dropped. All he asked is that if either of us won the jackpot, that we would split the winnings with him.
Coming from a modest upbringing it felt like such a waste to gamble that money away. But we all ended up having a great time. He never expected anything questionable in return. He was a very cool guy."
"I built a house for a guy. He bought a $3 million property, had it totally leveled and builds a $9 million home in its place. We were almost done and he didn't like the height of the ceilings in the kitchen after the HVAC was installed. He tells us to add more height to the house, take out what's there and make the kitchen taller. That alone cost him almost $2 million. In total, the project was just over $11 million. The home includes an elevator to his 22 bay car garage on the lower level and a 12-foot long fireplace that looks like it belongs in Game Of Thrones."
"I worked for the founder of a multi-level marketing company once. She was no longer in charge of it but still collected her quarterly residuals. I was hired as a pilot but ended up helping other employees around the house because it was too much sitting around.
She had just moved and we unloaded six full-sized Uhaul trucks of fur coats and stupidly expensive clothes into the 25,000 square foot house. There were not enough closets to store them all so we built rods in the attic and hung them all up there. I honestly doubt she remembers that they are up there. Most of the clothes still had the price tags on them.
We filled three storage units in town with priceless art and antiques that I'm sure she forgot to pay the $100 a month bill on and they were probably bought at some auction.
She bought a $30,000 dog for her 11-year-old son, who was a spoiled brat. It was a personal protection dog that was trained in Dutch. The trainer and his assistant flew down from Canada to drop the dog off and transition him to his new owner. They were less than pleased when I informed them that the new owner was an 11-year-old sociopath, but they did their best.
The dog was amazing and obviously extremely well behaved and would follow whatever command was given in Dutch. A few days later they, had a birthday party and invited 80+ kids from their school. I watched from the far corner of the house as the 11-year-old told one of the unpopular pudgy kids from school to run as fast as he could. He gave him about a hundred yard head start before he sent the dog after him. I grabbed the card with all the Dutch codes on it frantically from my pocket and gave the 'down' command as the dog was about 3' from the poor kid. The little sociopath just laughed and walked away. That dog would have torn the kid to pieces.
The place was just pure chaos all the time. I never did get paid. After about two months, her attorney came in and convinced her that we were all stealing from her and let everyone go. Honestly, it couldn't have been farther from the truth. Everyone was trying so hard to keep her from imploding. Came to find out a few years later that the attorney was embezzling from her the whole time.
Rich people live in an alternate reality because no one tells them no."
"I used to work for a high school in an affluent community. I managed textbooks, iPads, Chromebooks, computers, etc.
I was told to order a giant recycling box to put in old books and have them removed. Okay, cool. It's outside for a few days and some teachers or whoever threw some perfectly good books in there. Brand new. I thought it was weird. It turns out, they were sample books from publishers who were trying to court teachers/the school into choosing their books. The ones in the recycling box were ones that they decided not to go with. I took out my phone and scanned them into eBay and Amazon to see their worth and then instantly grabbed a cart and pulled them all out and put them in my car and sold them all online for a hefty price. Ended up funding a Hawaiian vacation off of it.
Even if teachers didn't know how much they were worth, even if they didn't want to use that textbook, I wonder why they wouldn't want to still keep it and use it as an extra resource. If it wasn't going to be their textbook, there could still be something decent worth using or photocopying for the kids to use. So freaking wasteful.
At the same school, they also age out old iPads and laptops and I also found some in the trash. Someone put a laptop and a few iPads in the freaking garbage with 'discard' on them and I was like WHAT?? I pulled those out and plugged them all in and they functioned just fine. Just because you get a grant that allows you to buy new stuff every year, you have to throw away perfectly good laptops and iPads? Also, they should go to e-waste if you are really trying to get rid of them, not in the TRASH."
"A guy I knew in college came from an extremely wealthy family.
At one point, we happened to be in the vicinity of his grandfather's house and he asked if I wanted to stop and see his car collection.
It was approximately 30 cars in his basement -basically a garage beneath his house with an elevator that took cars up to surface level. Mostly old Rolls Royces, kit cars, or just weird things, like one of the last El Caminos ever made.
The car collection didn't strike me as a waste, I assume most of those cars will at least hold their value. His lawn did. Completely flat. thickest, softest, most evenly colored and cut grass I've ever seen in my life. I doubt it was more than 1/4 inch high. No clippings or signs of a lawnmower. It literally just looked like a thick, hunter green carpet that had been unrolled, except it was about a half acre in size. I walked on it barefoot and it really felt like the softest carpet I've ever walked on. Edges perfectly trimmed. I can not imagine the cost of maintaining something like that, and really what is the benefit other than status?"
"I have a friend who is the head concierge at a hotel. Whenever there is a large event like a concert, the acts will usually stay there, it's that kind of place. He looks after whatever royalty, celeb, or star who stays there and makes sure they have whatever they need. He had Rihanna staying there a few years back. Her entourage hired an entire floor and totally ruined the place but because it was Rihanna, they could do whatever they wanted.
He went into all the rooms after they all checked out and all the mattresses had to be replaced as whoever was in there smoking put their blunts out on the bed. They didn't care at all, money was no issue, so pay for new mattresses because you can't be asked to move! They also left behind a TON of weed, so he took that for himself.
Another time, they had some of the Saudi elite stay there once and before the guests checked in, large trucks arrived carrying a selection of supercars for him. Then they sent a team in re-tile the bathroom and redecorate the rooms to be in line with the style he liked!
After all this, the guy decided that he was going to stay somewhere else!"
"In college, I worked for a super high-end interior designer who fully designed houses for the ultra rich. Like, he did Walton level money houses.
I moved furniture for 15 bucks an hour. This one particular house, we had to move in a pair of custom-built Italian recliners. These chairs were hand built, hand embroidered and I kid you not, the wooden legs were vigorously rubbed with a gold bar so as to embed tiny flakes of gold, so it shimmered. We moved a pair of these chairs into a third living room on the second floor. The room looked like it had never, ever been used and we just plopped down $30k worth of window dressing in there like it was nothing. I did sit on this throne that would have paid my tuition for a year and you know what? It wasn't even that comfortable."
"Apparently, there is a Saudi prince who comes to New York City every year for the summer and for the summer, he rents out, every single night, theater #18 in the AMC Theater on 42nd St, which is the biggest theater. It is also where I used to work.
If he chooses to come, the theater gets about ten minutes of a heads up, his entourage brings in these giant chairs and a movie for him to watch. He does not watch whatever movies we had, to be clear. The entourage brings a movie that he's already picked with them.
When I worked there, I never once saw or heard of the prince actually coming in. But every night I worked that summer, the managers would help us clean the theater. Top to bottom, not a single kernel left. Then, the GM would stay and watch the night cleaners come in and clean it even more.
So, is the Saudi prince an actual person who comes to this theater? I don't know. But that's a lot of effort to put into playing a joke on your employees. And that the Saudi Royal Family is certainly wealthy enough to be able to afford it."
"I managed the social media accounts of an entire car dealership network for about a year. It was family owned and they were hundreds of millions of dollar-type of rich.
The daughter (who was in her early 30s) would send her assistant out to buy literally DOZENS of expensive outfits for her to try on. She'd then spend all Friday using the executive office area as a catwalk to try on her new outfits. Once she picked one, she'd wear it to whatever club she was going to that night and she would have the rest put in storage, never to be seen again.
Her assistant, who hated her job, once told me she bought the same expensive dress three times, there's three of them in a storage room somewhere that have never been worn. Apparently, each trip was around $10k or more, and she'd do this at least once a week. The only thing that wouldn't go into storage was the jewelry, she had a special room in her house for getting ready in and that's where she kept the literally millions of dollars in jewelry she had purchased over the years."
"My dad chauffeured around some rich people when I was a kid. The one guy he drove was actually a really nice bloke and used to give my family things.
One time, on a trip to London, he asked my dad to bring my mom and then said he had to be in meetings all weekend so didn't need my dad to drive him around. He paid for them to stop at The Ritz and bought them tickets to Phantom of the Opera.
Now this guy's kids were a whole different kettle of fish. He was taking them to the amusement park and my dad was driving them. He asked my dad to bring me so I could enjoy the day out, too.
I went around with this rich kid who would buy whatever he wanted and then throw the change after paying into the nearest trash can. When I asked him what he was doing he said he didn't like carrying around change so he threw it away (wouldn't give it to me though)."
"I was working a temporary air traffic control tower at a resort town this year (I was there for the Forest Service who were flying firefighting planes out of it). There's a pretty steady flow of private jets going in and out and I can hear them coordinating with the ground services on one of my secondary radios. Most planes call for stuff like cars to be ready, if they need to get gas, etc. One plane, a Gulfstream 4, pretty much top of the line bizjet, was coming in and I heard them talking to the ground operations. They requested a vehicle for transporting three sets of golf clubs.
That's right, someone had this plane fly in three sets of golf clubs and that's it. They landed, dropped them off, and left. This plane costs like $10k an HOUR to operate.
Private jets are the pinnacle of how ridiculous the gap in our country is between the rich and everyone else."
"I live in a moderately wealthy area, butting up against some REALLY wealthy areas. The super rich are very smart with money, they've learned how to spend and save. The rising rich are the goofiest. They feel like they have to spend and have absolutely no idea how to discern or how to tastefully present their wealth.
My best friend growing up was like this. His family built a 7-figure house next door to their first house, which they struggled mightily to sell, so for about three years, they were stuck paying off both behemoths. It was the same sized lot, and a bigger house, so they ended up having less usable land. Oddly, the interior was so poorly laid out, that they had less usable space inside, too. Then they stuffed it with as much 'rich people stuff' as they could find. Hot tub? Inside and outside! They never used them and the interior one kept causing water damage because they didn't properly ventilate the steam. Home theater? Yep.
The other issue was they had absolutely no clue how to decorate so you had their living room, which because of the vaulted ceilings took up about half the interior space and made the upstairs cramped, with like random posters on the wall. The house always felt dirty and unkempt and just motley. They were very nice people, they just had no idea what they were doing. Also, they're long since empty nesters and the parents are still there. It's a complete white elephant. They'll never get rid of that monster."
"The estate next to the one I live on is owned by some Saudi royal, who came over for the summer. He brought along his 300+ person staff. All were required their own 2017 white Mercedes, of course.
He doesn't have enough space for all 300 staff so he rents houses in a nearby town, where houses rent for £2,000 a month.
For clarification: By 'estate' I mean that I live in the grounds of a mansion which used to be owned by my company, and has 50ish houses and flats on the grounds. The Saudi royal owns the next plot of land over, and they have to drive through our estate to get to it.
Occasionally he will land his helicopter on the cricket field."
"A buddy of mine used to be a pilot on private planes for rich people.
One time he was waiting for the guy he was going to fly that night at the main airport in town, and the guy called him and asked him to fly to a smaller, non-commercial airport that was closer to this guy's work to save time because he didn't want to deal with traffic.
This is not a very big town so traffic is really nonexistent and the drive would have been 15-20 minutes. Instead, my buddy had to redo his flight plan and make the 4 minute flight to this other airport. Probably cost the guy at least $5k."
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