Rich people can be obnoxious, there is no doubt about that. Some like to act like they are better than everyone else, or flaunt their extravagance and money, or even throw public temper tantrums when they don't get what they want. It makes a person wonder if they are at all aware of appropriate social behavior. At the very least, the rest of us can have a laugh about it later.
Rich people tend to act out especially in fancy scenarios where they assume their money will let them get away with about anything. In some cases, it does. These fancy restaurant and hotel employees spill the beans about some of the absolutely ridiculous behavior of the ultra wealthy, and they do not disappoint.
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#1 We Call Her "Mrs. Rich Lady"
I had a job interview at a large hotel that was attached to a casino. While I was being shown around the front desk, an elegant woman walked up, without saying anything, and got her room keys. She immediately turned and walked away. Then, the manager who was interviewing turned to me and said, “That’s Mrs. Rich Lady."
"You never ask her for her name, her ID, or God forbid, a credit card. She stays here once or twice a week because her husband spends so much time in the casino. If you upset her, she will yell at you and then hand the person working next to you a $100 bill just to spite you.”
I ended up turning down the job, thankfully so, because apparently, she wasn’t the only guest of her type there. Yikes!
#2 Table for Three, Please
My uncle works at an upscale restaurant on a very desirable vacation island in the Atlantic Ocean. You can see where this is going, I'm sure.
One of his regular customers is a billionaire who works in the oil industry. My uncle told me several things about him. He arrives on a yacht that tows a smaller yacht. The smaller yacht is still big enough to have a helicopter. He also demands to have his two dogs seated at the table so he can feed them foie gras and fancy, expensive water.
When he takes humans to eat, my uncle has never seen him with the same woman. If he really liked the meal, he will go through the restaurant and, in front of everyone, peel off crisp $100's from a giant roll of money in his pocket and tip every service person, whether they helped or not. One time, the owner got a call from health inspectors saying they received a complaint that dogs were seen eating at the restaurant. All the owner did was speak the billionaire's name and the health inspector said, “Oh okay, bye."
I was working nights at a hotel many years back—not super high class, but certainly no budget hotel either. A lady came into reception with the smell of old money on her. She had a guy with her, wearing a grey suit. As this occurred at about midnight on a Friday, I immediately clocked him as a chauffeur. No problem, I've seen that before.
She asked me if they could get a room for the night. "A decent one, please. A suite, ideally." No problem, we had a suite available. I told her the price, and as night manager I had the freedom to charge pretty much whatever I wanted if it meant making a sale. For her, I charged full price. Screw it, she looked like she could afford it. She didn't even bat an eyelid.
Then it came to her chauffeur guy. "Do you have a servant's quarters for my driver?" she asked. "Um, no, sorry madam. Just the standard rooms." I gave her the price for one of our standard rooms, and she scrunched up her face. "Oh no, that's too much. Don't you have like, a staff house or something that he could stay in? I'd really rather not spend money on an actual hotel room for him." She said all this with the guy standing right next to her.
I felt really bad for the 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, we eventually settled on giving him a standard room for a 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 would have given him a room for free rather than having him sleep in the car, but clearly, I had more compassion for the guy
#42 Granny Warbucks
I currently live in an old apartment in Giza (around 20 minutes from the pyramids complex). The landlady is very nice, probably in her 60s, and is filthy rich. Last year, my car had to be repaired after a minor crash and when the landlady found out from the doormen, she sent one of her English-speaking maids to give me car keys to a BMW 520i, a Mercedes-Benz S600, and a brand new Land Cruiser.
"The madam insist you use her car until yours is repaired". I was shocked, of course, and asked her if she still could go around herself, since she was lending so many cars to me. "Don't worry, madam has 12 cars in Al-Qahirah". Okay, I guess. I ended up only using the Land Cruiser because it was the cheapest one (I think).
#5 What A Shame To Waste it Like That
#6 Celebrities Are So Unpredictable
I've met two celebrities through my various work experiences. Tim Allen requested that we close the small bakery that I worked at for him while he was dining there. We did. He didn't leave a tip. Later in my career, I met Mario Batali (the famous Food Network chef) and he was the most normal person ever. He took a class with us and then proceeded to pay for everyone that was in his group. He also bought lunch for the staff as well. I guess both are stereotypical rich person things, for vastly different reasons.
#7 The Prince And The Pea
I work at a luxury property in California, and we had the co-founder of a huge company stay with us a while back. He only liked to sleep on his own bed, so when he woke up that morning, he paid a team to load his bed into a truck and have it delivered to our property. We then removed the bed in his luxury suite and set up his own bed.
He only stayed with us one night, so right afterward his bed was sent back home. It kind of blew my mind that he went through all that trouble, just so he could sleep on his own bed. He literally spent money, labor and time for something seemingly so menial. He must have been a very powerful figure. To each their own, I guess!
#8 A Real Second-Class Hotel
I used to work at a ski resort that sits at the top of a steep canyon. The geography is pretty extreme and people don't want to drive through the snow, so everyone who has enough money stays directly at the resort. Our rooms generally weren't over-the-top luxurious, but we had probably the second or third nicest hotel in the resort area and often saw some rich clientele.
One time, someone working the reservations screwed up and caused the significantly larger (and more 5-star) place just up the hill to become oversold. So naturally, they bumped some of them down to our hotel. Normally this isn't a big deal. We would comp them enough stuff like free spa passes and meals and they'd be happy. They were coming for some random conference that sold a huge block of rooms anyway. They probably didn't even know what hotel they were at or what type of room they were in.
After working at a higher-end hotel for several years, I got really sensitive to peoples' body languages. I could almost always tell when people were grumpy. Normally, they're just tired from a long trip it has nothing to do with you, but I could always see it 100 yards away. This one guy walked through the door and was broadcasting his bad attitude like there was a giant lighthouse light strapped on his head.
Not only was he frustrated, but he kept making eye contact with me to let me know he was upset about being moved to a different building. I knew when he walked up to me that he was going to go off. He gave me the typical bad attitude. What's going on? Why did this happen? Are you incompetent? Yadda yadda. It was really unpleasant, but I'm a pro.
I was doing pretty good at the hospitality verbal kung fu, not giving him anything to be mad at me about. He started asking about the amenities of the hotel, looking for an opening. "Do you have a pool?" he asked sternly. "Yes, sir, we do. Here's your key," I said. "Do you have a restaurant?" he continued. "Yes, sir. It's really fantastic. Here's a voucher for a meal on us. Would you like me to make you a reservation?" etc.
We even had a 24-hour valet pick them up and drive them around literally on call if they didn't want to walk through the snow. We have a better restaurant than the 5-star place at normal prices, a nice gym, nice pool, the whole nine yards. This was such a nice hospitality environment that most people really enjoyed. He couldn't really find anything to complain about, but he was still interrogating me.
Then he asked me about the ski lockers. "Do you have ski lockers?" I replied, "Yes, sir. The ski locker is on the first floor, just across the walkway from the tram center so you can unload without having to take any stairs. The locker number is just your room number. Here's your combination." He followed up with, "Do you have boot warmers," and I said "No, sir. We do not." He'd finally found something to go off on.
The guy threw his head back and said: "Oh. You don't have boot warmers? What kind of place doesn't even have boot warmers in the locker room? You expect me to put on my skis when they're frozen cold in the morning? What am I supposed to do, put them in my room where they'll get all smelly?" The guy proceeded to unleash on me for a good four minutes.
#9 Finicky Is A Soft Word For Her
I worked at a fancy restaurant and we had a woman who would come in once or twice a week to order the same dish prepared with a ton of her desired modifications. None of this was because of a food allergy she had; it was all just her own personal quirks. She also always had the server change the plate, linens, and silverware when she got there.
We eventually made her own code in the computer for "Salmon Lady" and as soon as she came in, the hostess sent that order to the kitchen. She tipped well and was very polite. As far as the staff was concerned, she could come in every day with her weirdness.
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#10 This Baby Had An Actual Silver Spoon
Last month, I got chewed out over the phone because some lady left her baby's silver spoon on the table. We didn't know where it was, so obviously one of us had stolen it. When we finally found the silver spoon, she didn't even bother coming back to the restaurant to pick it up. "Throw it out, it's useless to me now," she said. "I'll just buy another one."
#11 They Just Couldn't Leave Out The Cat Part
A guest we had ordered $150 caviar to-go for his cat. Not even kidding. It's not that the guest himself was obnoxious or anything—he had the money, so why not? Plus, it's always comforting to know that the cat was in good hands. If he was willing to waste $150 on one meal for his cat, you could only imagine just how pampered that royal kitty was.
#12 She Expects Full Service From Her Cocktail Server
I'm a cocktail server at the huge pool of a four-star hotel. A woman said in a monotone voice and without any eye-contact, "I lost my sunscreen. Find it." Some rich people really think they run the world. I know I'm in the service industry and don't make that much money, but that doesn't give her the right to speak to me like that. Whatever happened to basic human decency?
#13 A 'Disgusting' Level of Generosity
I operated a premium chain restaurant in Canada. One day, a gentleman named Mr. S started coming in, at first by himself. On the first day, he spent $200 on vino and tipped $1,000. The next day, he did the same again. When we saw him the third time, I had servers fighting over him. He was clearly one of our most valued customers.
Anyway, one evening he got tipsy on red and Brad the busboy made the mistake complementing his watch. Mr. S. took off his watch and gave it to Brad. The next morning, Mr. S came back to get his car and asked if Brad was there. I told him yes, then went to go get him. Brad knew what was up and removed the watch as he walked over to Mr. S.
Mr. S said, "Brad, I'm really sorry; I got tipsy last night and gave you my watch." Brad said it was no problem and that he was just holding the watch for him. The next thing Mr. S. said, I could not believe: "Brad you don't understand, I'm sorry because it was very rude of me to give you a used gift." And at that moment Mr. S pulled out a box with a brand new Tag Heuer inside and handed it to Brad.
#14 Champagne Down The Drain
There‘s a thing in Stockholm's rich district called "vaska." Basically, you order an expensive bottle of champagne, pay for it and watch how the waiter wastes all of it by pouring it down the drain when he cleans up the table. Some places actually let you do it yourself. Sadly, it’s a well-known "tradition" in those kinds of circles. Like, it's on the menu cards and all that. Honestly, it's the dumbest way of flexing that I‘ve ever witnessed.
#15 No Take-Backs
My son-in-law was working as a waiter in a fancy restaurant in Dubai. A very tipsy customer ordered a bottle of Pomerol Bordeaux 1960 valued at $15,000. He was trying to impress his lady friend. My son-in-law confirmed the price with him and asked him if he was sure that he wanted to open their most expensive vino in the house.
"Yes yes," was the reply. The following day when the customer sobered up, he phoned in to say he made a mistake and wanted his money back. Too late, was the answer from the restaurant. They also found out that his lady friend was, in fact, a paid lady friend.
#16 The Unrecognizable Celebrity
I worked at a nice restaurant in downtown Portland. One day, a lady called to make a dinner reservation for a large group. She started asking all these questions about "security" at our venue (we had none) and how the staff would handle a "celebrity" dining there. Was there enough space to be private? They liked to be private. Would it be okay if they brought their own security, to stop people from taking pictures and such? Those type of questions.
But of course, she couldn't name names. I rolled my eyes, told her to do whatever they needed to do, and booked their 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 big deals, but all we saw was a loud group of twenty-somethings. They actually did bring a "bodyguard" who stood in the corner with his sunglasses on the whole time. The only attention they got from other diners was the occasional side-eye because they were being rude and obnoxious. They also treated our staff horribly and tipped even worse.
#17 How To Ruin A Poker Table
I play poker for a living and every now and then, some rich guy will sit down and start going all in on every hand for $300 or $500 without looking at his cards. One day, I was in a game where a guy was betting $3,000 dollars without looking at his cards. It was insane to me, but for him, I guess it wasn’t that much money.
#18 Some Things Just Can't Be Bought
These rich guys asked to purchase two of our bar chairs, then requested we keep them in the back for whenever they visited. Apparently, our bar was always full and they could never get a seat, so they wanted to buy their own chairs at the bar. Our bar chairs cost $8,000 each. These people wanted to spend $16,000 just so they could sit down whenever they visited. Thank God our managers and owners had enough sense not to entertain those guys.
#19 Like A Bird In A Gilded Cage
We lived in the Bahamas for a few months. To occupy her time, my mother volunteered at the local school. This got the attention of some rich person. She invited us to Windermere Island, a well-known hotspot for luxury villas. We went to a gated area where royals owned multimillion-dollar estates and commoners do not usually get to visit. The experience was surreal.
We realized we weren't invited to chat with her; we were actually summoned to simply entertain this bored housewife of a Texas oil tycoon. She had no interest in us at all—she just kept talking about how she thought the kids needed to be "helped." We spent a couple of hours there, listening to the lady ramble on with her twisted thought process. She was like a bird in a gilded cage. After a while, we were dismissed.
#20 The Rich Way To Bathe
I worked at a private villa in Bali and one guest really stood out to me. She only drank and bathed in Evian, and one time I spent almost an hour filling a large tub with tons of Evian bottles for her. The same guest also complained that the path from her villa gate to her room wasn't well lit. She wore sunglasses at night.
#21 Mr. Money Bags Over Here
I used to work in a luxury hotel. A colleague of mine got a call from an in-house guest, asking for a car to take him somewhere. Naturally, he offered him what options we had, and the guest got annoyed and closed the line. A few minutes later, the guest came down to the front desk and asked for my colleague. He then proceeded to show him a cardboard bag literally overflowing with cash.
"You dare ask me which car I'd like just because they all have different prices? Can't you see how much money I have? Why would I care, just get me a freaking car ready."
#22 What Do You Expect From Mel Gibson?
My mom used to work in a snazzy hotel in Dublin, where Mel Gibson stayed while he was filming Braveheart. He insisted that under no circumstances was anyone to ask for his autograph. Everyone was informed, except for one girl who on Monday came in from sick leave. As soon as she saw the star, she said, "Hello Mr. Gibson, may I have your autograph?"
Well, he went into orbit, demanding that she be fired... Not even reprimanded; fired! He was not a nice person. I hope he's changed.
#23 No Time To Waste With Pleasantries
This isn't a specific instance, but something that happens all the time with entitled or rich people we come across at work. We're stationed at a very expensive hotel in Hawaii and people will just come up to the desk and yell words at you. No hello or please, just "LUAU" or "ATM". It's like they aren't even thinking of us as people.
#24 Superstition Gone Too Far
My former boss who is insanely wealthy used to stay in presidential suites and would have all the red removed. He was a high roller at several casinos and they made special chips just for him to substitute for the red chips. He hated the color red. "When you lose money, you’re 'in the red,'" he would always say.