Service Workers Share The Obnoxious ‘Rich Person’ Behavior They’ve Witnessed
The service industry is one of the most interesting fields to work in. You meet lots of new people, earn quick cash, and gain useful transferable skills. But it certainly has its downsides. Anyone who has worked in the service industry can attest to the frustrating aspects that come with interacting with strangers on a daily basis. While not all patrons are a nightmare, you inevitably find yourself face-to-face with problematic customers from time to time.
Among the different types of people you become accustomed to waiting on—whether that be in a restaurant, at a hotel, or some other type of venue—are rich people. These types of customers can go one of two ways: they can either make your shift better through extreme generosity or an absolute disaster by being overly demanding and unrealistic in their expectations. No one knows this better than the following people, who recently shared the most obnoxious ‘rich-person’ behavior they have ever witnessed while working in the service industry.
Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 Used Gifts
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 wine 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 wine 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.
#2 Rich Lady
I interviewed 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 comped 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 a job there, thankfully so, because apparently, she wasn’t the only guest of her type there.
#3 Cooking With Wine
I worked for a resort in Seychelles for four years. I have hundreds of stories but one that stands out involves a very wealthy Canadian family that stayed at one of the private residences for a couple of weeks. They brought their own staff including two personal chefs but also asked for a hotel chef to assist their team with the prep.
A chef I was friendly with was selected to spend the two weeks with them. One day, another member of their staff came down to one of the restaurants and purchased two bottles of wine for $11,000 each. Now, we had far more expensive bottles on the list, but this was still a notable sale. Later that night, I asked my mate what they had cooked to accompany the wine. Turns out, they had poured both bottles into the pot while making a Coq Au Vin.
#4 Traveling Bed
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!
#5 Cat’s Treat
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 blow $150 on one meal for his cat, you could only imagine just how pampered that royal kitty was.
#6 Burning Bridges
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. What ever happened to basic human decency?
#7 Champagne Problems
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.
#8 Morning Regrets
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 wine 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 call girl.
#9 Blind Betting
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.
#10 Throw It In The Bag
I worked at a grocery store in uppity Gold Coast Chicago when I was a teen. We sold soup for lunch and whenever we bagged them, we put them in paper bags followed by plastic bags to make sure they were secure. One lady bought a soup, and when I proceeded to bag it, she said: “No, I’ll just put it in my bag.” I responded, “Ma’am are you sure?”
Mind you, she had a Louis Vuitton bag that looks brand spanking new. Fifteen minutes later, she came in raging that she got minestrone all over her Louis Vuitton bag and demanded to speak to a manager.
#11 Not Kidding Around
One guy I served was a wannabe rapper who was in town for a music video that he and his friends were making. He was the only guy with money and the rest were just followers. He threw an expensive bottle of wine on the floor and had his friends videotape him making gang signs over the mess. He was not happy and neither were they when they found out that they had to pay $200 for the bottle of wine they obliterated.
They weren’t so much upset at the price, but rather because they honestly believed they didn’t have to pay for it. Their rationale was that they didn’t even drink from it, so they shouldn’t have to pay for it…
#12 All About Evian
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.
#13 Bugging The Waiter
I worked in a fancy schmancy lobster restaurant by the waterfront where there was a lot of outdoor seating. These very, very wealthy people came by and demanded a table outside for dinner. Now, this was just before sundown in the middle of summer in Maine, and we were by the water, so mosquitoes were definitely not scarce.
These people sat down, ordered a $200 bottle of wine, a massive lobster each and some appetizers. They seemed to enjoy the meal up until the sun began to set and the bugs came out. They were not happy and kept complaining about it, saying that the restaurant was “not paying for mosquito spraying.” The waitress got a couple of candles to light and asked if they needed anything else.
They literally had the audacity to ask her to stand next to them with a flyswatter. She laughed thinking they were joking and the man said, “Whatever happened to good service nowadays?” They also left without tipping… on a $350 bill.
#14 Pretty High Steaks
I worked at a restaurant in the lobby of a rather nice hotel. There was a rich dude that basically lived there. He would eat at our restaurant every night. Our chef had to hand pick his steaks from a local butcher. They were massive. It was always specially prepared just for him. Yet, every time he would take two or three bites, he’d complain to everyone in earshot that his steak was terrible.
This dude was odd. He would only drink our cheap wine that we served by the glass. However, he would always request that we open a fresh bottle, just for him. He couldn’t possibly drink a glass of wine out of a bottle that was first opened for someone else; even if I just opened the wine and poured a glass for the person next to him.
Honestly, he’d be better off buying his own bottle of wine. Oh, and one last thing. He parked in the handicapped spot out front, even though he is not handicapped. But because he spent so much money at the hotel, the managers refused to make him move his car or have it towed.
#15 The Red Zone
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.
#16 Baller Status
I work at a Marriott. It’s more expensive than your typical hotel, but by NO MEANS is it a place that millionaires or celebrities would come to, especially because of our suburban location. Still, that doesn’t mean we don’t get people who think that, just because they are paying $150 a night on a Marriott hotel room, they can be just as rude and entitled as a millionaire or celebrity.
My favorite story is of a guy who was shooting hoops at our sports court early in the morning. When I asked him to stop, he just looked at me and threw the ball as far as he could into the parking lot, saying: “I’m paying too much to be treated this way. I’m talking to your manager.”
#17 Diamond In The Rough
I worked in a five-star hotel for a number of years. One wealthy guest was throwing a fit, claiming a maid had stolen a diamond earring. The owner and the entire management team told the guest that the maid had not stolen anything. They told her they were sure she’d find it when she packed to leave. Her room was a mess of strewn clothing.
She found it when she packed to leave, and the maid stood by, waiting for an apology. I always admired how management from the top down had the maid’s back and never thought for a minute she’d done anything wrong.
#18 Water Refill
This one group of high ballers made me take their waters back, dump out the glasses, put ice in the glasses, add water, dump out the water but keep the ice, then fill the glasses up with water again. I just went to the kitchen and walked out with the same glasses. Sometimes, I really don’t understand how these rich people think.
#19 Getting Smashed
I was told by someone who had worked in a club in Macau that he heard of a wealthy guy who ordered the most expensive bottle of whiskey on the menu. When it arrived, he threw it on the floor, smashing it… He said that it had arrived too slow and demanded the staff to bring him another one; only this time, faster.
#20 Difference In Players
This is more in the vein of the “rich guy” stereotype, but my dad used to work as a valet for Lawry’s in downtown Chicago. Some pretty well-known football player came in about 15 minutes before closing with a group of friends. He made them re-open the kitchen, so they could all have steaks. Then, they stayed for almost two hours after close, being really loud, obnoxious and rude to most of the staff. He also tipped everyone horribly.
In contrast to this guy, there was another NFL player that came in, and he was not as famous. He was extremely kind to everyone and tipped amazingly. He didn’t drive there, so there was no car for my dad to get, but he asked my dad if he could hail him a cab, When he did, he gave him a $100 tip, just for that.
#21 Automatic Twenties
I worked at a five-star hotel. This one guy would come in a lot. No small talk though; he was just straight business. Anyone who offered their assistance to him with anything automatically got a $20 tip. Open a door for him? Enjoy $20. Help him with a bag? Another $20. Walking in and out of the hotel, he probably spent around $120 every single time.
#22 Wine Wacko
I served a woman a glass of Chardonnay. She said it was wrong; that I had brought Pinot Grigio instead. I brought it back to the bar, asked the bartender what he poured, and he said Chardonnay. I handed him the glass, he looked at it, did nothing and gave it back to me. “Bring it back to her and see what she says,” he told me. So I brought it back to her and she said it tasted much better. “Be more careful please,” she added.
#23 Ridiculous Reservations
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.
#24 Pooling Tips
A dude’s fiance lost her ridiculously big and expensive engagement ring in the pool, so he ordered the hotel to close the pool area and get the staff to look for it. He thanked the hotel guests who helped with expensive bottles of wine though, so I guess it he wasn’t all that bad. Still, it was obnoxious how much power he had over a hotel he didn’t own, just because he was rich.
#25 Just Plane Rude
My parents have been pretty successful in the last decade or so. However, they’re very humble and hardworking people. My dad has dark skin and wears cheap sweatpants 90% of the time. He and my mom treated themselves to an upgrade to first class on a vacation. When my dad was taking his seat, another passenger tapped him on the shoulder and told him “economy was further down the plane.” I reckon she was lucky my mom didn’t slap her.
#26 Snappy Service
I was at a nice hotel in Berlin eating breakfast, and there was a couple next to us— a man behind his newspaper, and the woman reading on her iPad. The man, not looking up from his paper, reached his hand way above his head and snapped to summon the waiter. When the waiter didn’t appear within a nanosecond, he lifted his hand higher and double snapped.
When the waiter did arrive, he didn’t even bother to look at him he just ordered him around from behind his paper. Honestly, who actually snaps to get service? I thought only antagonists from movies, but apparently, they’re real.
#27 Gold Guests
One day, a couple of friends and I went to a Rennaissance Faire. We dressed up and at the end of the night, we stayed at a very fancy hotel. We definitely couldn’t afford it but one of the friends I was with worked at the hotel and got us an insane discount. While we were in the elevator still dressed up, an older lady kept staring at us.
She finally said something I will never forget because I didn’t believe people like that exist. She said, “I didn’t think people like you could afford to stay here.” I was honestly shocked. Felt like something someone would say in a movie. My friend spoke up and said, “We have the gold.” And she just huffed.
#28 Confusing Currency
When I brought the bill to him after he finished his lunch, a rich dude fumbled with the unknown currency, walked off, then walked back and threw about half my month’s wages on the table and said: “Oh yeah, here’s a tip.” As if it were nothing. He must have been really swimming in it. I mean, I’m not complaining though.
#29 Mushroom Misconduct
I worked at a country club for a while back in college. We had a couple that we called “The Botox Couple” because literally both of them were probably in their 50s or 60s but you couldn’t tell because of the amount of surgery. Anyway, I brought out their dishes—the woman wanted steak with a side of mushrooms and spinach.
She got mad and asked me to go to the kitchen to throw it away because the mushrooms were touching the spinach. She claimed that was one of the most disrespectful things someone had ever done to her.” Not sure what the spinach or the mushrooms did to her, but it must’ve been bad. As punishment, I ate the full plate in the kitchen while waiting for the cook to make her a new one.
#30 Raised Wrong
A waiter filled up a little girl’s glass of water. She said thank you to him, but the dad immediately whispered to her: “We don’t have to thank these people.”
#31 An Expensive Souvenior
I worked at a five-star hotel once. A guy who looked pretty normal proceeded to ask for the price of a $200,000 piece of art on our wall. He bought it on the spot, all within 20 minutes.
#32 Fancy Liver
I worked in a grocery store while at college in a really posh UK city called Hampshire. This guy came in and said, in the poshest English accent ever: “Excuse me, but do you sell organic liver?” When I replied that our store didn’t stock it, he just said, “Hmm, my wife says the dogs will not have anything else…”
To be fair to the gentleman, he thanked me and wandered off. He was totally polite throughout. It made me think how else they treated the dog.
#33 White Out
I used to be a camp counselor and some rich family from Italy came to sign their kid up for my sports camp. On the first day, the kid showed up in all-white Gucci clothes, a Gucci fedora, and white Gucci sneakers. When the parents came to pick the kid up, they were livid over how dirty his shoes were. He had jumped in a puddle, despite being told not to.
His shirt also had a juice stain on it because he accidentally squirted his juice box. I don’t know what they thought would happen at a sports camp, but the kids obviously run around and get dirty.
#34 Alphabetized Allergies
We have a regular who is allergic to “all fruits and vegetables that start with the letter A.” He spends a lot of money and always buys an expensive bottle of wine, so we humor him.
#35 Tied Up
Some executive at a major steel company tried to buy my tie once. No joke. I told him that he probably didn’t have enough money to buy it from me, as it was one of my favorite ties. He then went on to justify why he indeed did have enough. In the end, the satisfaction of denying him was more than enough. Well worth it.
#36 Hands Off
I’ve been a project manager for the construction of the homes of the stupidly rich. The most ridiculous thing I ever witnessed was when the owner came to tour the project. Her handler, who was my day-to-day contact on the project, opened a bottle of Fiji water he had in his bag and poured it into her open mouth. She never touched the bottle.
#37 Vino Dressing
This one guy ordered a $3,000 bottle of wine to use as salad dressing. It’s not even that our salad dressing is bad. In fact, we have a really good salad dressing…
#38 Cut It Out
I used to work at a high-end steakhouse. One well-known basketball player always demanded to have his steak cut by the waiter. He’d also dine well after the restaurant closed, in the private back room. I’ve even heard he asks to have his pancakes cut at another restaurant. The man must not be aware of how to use a knife.
#39 Doctor’s Orders
A note was put in their online reservation that the server absolutely MUST address everyone at the table with “Dr.” when speaking to them.
#40 Side-Eye To The Suite
During our honeymoon, my husband and I came back to our very nice hotel room from a day full of hiking. We literally looked like homeless people. We were waiting for the elevator with another couple who were giving us the side eye. Once on the elevator, the couple pressed the button for the top floor which was the same as ours.
After about 30 seconds of silence and side eyes, the woman turned to me and said, “You need to press the button for your floor,” in the most a condescending tone. I told her our floor was already selected and she had the audacity to say, “YOU have a suite on the top floor!?”
#41 Out To Sea
I was 21 and bartending in a restaurant often frequented by yachties.
“Oh, you look about my daughter’s age, except she’s away at college. A career is really important to her.”
I was graduating that year and off to grad school the following year.
“Wow, that’s great. Another Grey Goose?”
#42 Sky High
I used a drive one of those bicycle taxi cabs in college. I had one customer who was a great guy. He was a Vietnam vet who’d been a pilot. When he found out I was going to flight school after I graduated from ROTC, he asked me to dinner with him and his wife. At dinner, he gave me a check for $20,000 to get in as many flight lessons as I could.
He wanted me to have the best edge possible. That guy was great and I kept in touch with him for as long as I could.
#43 Laidback Landlord
My friend who’s a doctor let me live in the flat her dad bought her. It was empty because she living in another flat, which her dad also bought her. The ”rent” was stupid cheap, and when I got laid off, she was like, ”Whatever; pay me later or don’t, it’d be empty anyway”. Also, every time she comes over (I now live elsewhere), she asks if I need anything from the store. This is common with my friends because I live next to a store and they often get snacks. Regardless of what I answer, she arrives with a bag of groceries.
#44 Caramel Clouds
I was a barista for a short while at a hoity-toity coffee shop on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This bejeweled woman in a fur coat sauntered up to order a latte. She was straight out of a cartoon—a rich villainess with her nose in the air, cheeks sucked in, and a faux mid-Atlantic accent. As I was midway through making her beverage, she stopped me.
She was enraged at how I was pouring in the milk, saying, “YOU’RE RUINING MY COFFEE WITH THAT VULGAR POUR, IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE CARAMEL CLOUDS!” All I could do was laugh. Nine dollars an hour to deal with this? I quit within a week when the manager grabbed my butt.
#45 All Walks Of Life
There really are entitled people in all walks of life, and their behavior is exactly the same. Being rich is not the reason why someone is screaming at the host with their heads cut off when they can’t be seated immediately; if they were not rich, they would be screaming and demanding to see the manager at Walmart.