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Archive for the ‘Personal Services’ Category

#69 - Butlers

#69 - Butlers

Butlers
Price: Tolerating Fake British Accents

Most people will never understand the trials and tribulations that rich people cope with daily. While country mansions, yachts, wine cellars, exotic cars and private islands sound appealing to most, it is easy to forget that not having a job means plenty of free time which “simply must be managed, darling”. Whether this is lunch at the club, high tea, shopping or attending galas for the latest cause, it is nearly impossible for one person to shoulder that much planning without the specialized training that an eight week butler course offers. In exchange for this extensive and specialized training, butlers are offered a six-figure salary and the opportunity to live where they work by way of a room in the vast estate. Often this is augmented by keys to the wine cellar and the head of the household looking the other way when Jeeves smuggles a full bodied cabernet back to his lonely living quarters.

Butlers’ duties do extend beyond scheduling the lives of their wealthy employers. In fact, the breadth of skills they display is impressive and may include cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, valet services, secretarial work, event planning and personal shopping. While these qualities are important, the real reason that rich people love having a butler is because it is akin to achieving a Cub Scout badge for self-importance. A butler illustrates to friends, family and acquaintances that a rich person’s time is so valuable that nearly every household and personal task is beneath them. Hired help thus frees their time to focus on “high value” tasks like testing martinis at lunch or having their hair professionally blow-dried at ten o’clock each morning.

The question you should be asking yourself is how does this help you to make friends with rich people? As Yogi Berra once said, “when you come to a fork in the road, take it”; get to know a butler or become a butler! Kissing up to the butler is an art but when performed correctly you will secure social invitations to stately soirees. Becoming a butler is more time intensive but may lead to ingratiation and a lifelong association with the family; think Alfred and Bruce Wayne, Smithers and Veronica Lodge or Geoffrey and the Fresh Prince of Belair. Over time these gentlemen became as important to the family as Lassie was to Timmy. Be warned, as the butler you can never forget your place in the household as wearing a white tie to dinner rather than the hired help black will certainly mean ending your tenure with your tail between your legs but at least you will finally know when to use the small fork!

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#66 - Nannies

#66 - Nannies

Nannies
Price: Bribing INS

“Hola”, “kamusta” and occasionally “Reespek mon” are important foreign phrases that every rich person knows. While foreign languages used by the rich tend to be more highbrow than the native tongues of Mexico, The Philippines and Jamaica respectively, the wealthy like to communicate with the nanny no matter how long she has been in the country. This isn’t to suggest that the nanny doesn’t speak English only that rich people will not learn this until their child’s third birthday. At this point house guests will be informed that young Chauncey Alistair Williams IV taught his nanny to speak American, he’s quite gifted after all. From this point onward, they will speak to the nanny in loud, slow English while nodding their head excessively to ensure that she understands what they say.

Occasionally you may encounter a middle class family with a nanny. These people are hypochondriacs and cannot fathom socializing their children in medical cesspools known as daycare; these people aren’t rich, they are crazy. To ensure that you know the difference between rich and crazy, look for two things. First, the middle class use a nanny as needed but rich people will have the nanny follow them everywhere and perform menial parental tasks like raising the child. These include feeding, changing diapers and holding the sleeping infant; nothing is more soothing to a trust fund baby than the sound of their nanny’s beating heart. If you still aren’t sure, ask the parent if they considered raising the child without a nanny. Rich people will instantly develop a look of horror and distaste similar to asking a WWII veteran if he would like to test drive a Volkswagen or share a slice of strudel.

Despite all the benefits of having a nanny, including being socially acceptable absentee parents, there are dangers in bringing a young female into the home. A young girl provides ample temptation for wandering-eyed husbands. Nannies represent a youthful, maternal figure that Freud could have written volumes about. As such, the help should be segregated to a wing of the estate not easily accessed by a philandering husband to ensure that rich people do not literally love the nanny. On the other hand, the man of the house should be wary if his wife agrees to an unusually well-proportioned Swedish au pair. This is a warning sign of entrapment and he should be on the lookout for sharks from top divorce firms. The safe money is on a Mary Poppins look alike. She will get the job done without going above and beyond the call of duty. This should ensure that the husband doesn’t try to feed the birds, if you know what I mean!

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#65 - Rehab

#65 - Rehab

Rehab
Price: Potential Sunburn

A few months after grey became the new black, rehab became the new grey. The only thing more fashionable than checking into rehab is friends and family hosting an intervention before checking into rehab. This is the highest compliment that rich people can pay one another as it says they care, they want you to get better and that they will probably still spend time with you when you no longer drive exotic cars into the neighbor’s pool. While rehab has become an exclusive club for the wealthy, there is a danger for the uninformed of checking into the wrong clinic only to be ostracized after spending four long weeks listening to Melanie Griffith drone on about Antonio Banderas.

Just as there is a difference between golfing at Sebonac and playing mini putt in New Jersey, rich people prefer Malibu, Antigua and Australia when powdering one’s nose culminates in a 12 step program. I should point out that rich people don’t plan to end up in rehab but if a penchant for excess has gotten out of hand there’s no point in leaving it to Nurse Ratched to wean hard partiers off of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Rehabilitation can take place in the lap of luxury where nearly every whim is satisfied. In fact, given that guests of the clinic are no longer supplying a kilo of coke for nightly parties hosted at their LA mansion, rehab can actually pay for itself.

More important than the high cost and the goal of sobriety are the potential friendships that clinics like Promises, Cirque Lodge and Crossroads provide. For the wealthy, a stint at a chic clinic in beautiful Malibu can mean an improved circle of friends and access to the A-List that may otherwise be unattainable. Granted, the new friends will be reasonably dull for the first few months but Kate Moss and Mary-Kate Olsen are rumored regulars at top clinics so it won’t be long before their mood improves. While rehab can be a great place to meet celebrities, it is recommended that business partnerships are formed elsewhere. It would be a pity if the seed money resulted in a relapse at Beat-rice in the West Village.

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#64 - Prescription Drugs

#64 - Prescription Drugs

Prescription Drugs
Price: A Trip to Rehab

The lives of rich people can be very difficult. Suppose the maid needs a day off or the nanny wants to take the long weekend to see family and friends, what then? The trials and tribulations that disrupt wealthy lives is a long and distinguished list; choosing spas, hiring pool boys, all night parties, dressing for charity galas, and choosing the perfect pair of shoes come to mind. Fortunately there is a cure for all that life can throw at the rich, prescription drugs! 

When rich people tell you about the problems they face, it is your duty to pretend to empathize, ask how they cope and in most circles suggest that your doctor can help. This will win you major points as you have legitimized their habit and it gives them the opportunity to showcase a deep knowledge of pharmaceuticals and their grasp of the social scene. Like everything in wealthy circles, the ebb and flow of fashion plays an important role in choosing the right prescription cocktail. God forbid that they get caught swallowing the same “pick-me-up” that leads to Lindsay Lohan’s next indiscretion!

While rich people don’t approve of illicit drug use, cocaine exempted, they do believe there is a time and place for drugs backed with a doctor’s signature, even if they have to go to a podiatrist to get it. The time is whenever life’s crises arise and the place is the bathroom of any private or public establishment. These medical marvels can be relied on to get any trust fund baby to a pillowed, blissful dreamscape and often play a role in making people interesting. Never forget that there is a dark side to prescription drugs. The best rehab clinics have wait lists so the wealthy must skillfully plan their addictions lest they end up bunking with Andy Dick in Sleepy Hollow rather than tanning with Mary Kate Olsen in an exclusive Malibu resort, ahem, clinic. In the meantime, read two articles at Stuff Rich People Love and call me in the morning.

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#63 - Pool Boys

#63 - Pool Boys

Pool Boys
Price: Frequent Visitors

Everyone knows that rich people love trophy wives and private nurses. These wealthy playthings only cater to half the world’s wealth and ignore the indulgences of the fairer sex. Unlike men who believe that a pleasurable pastime is chasing a small white ball across acres of manicured grass, women have a much more sensible view of how to spend a hot summer day; lounging around a pool with their favorite accoutrement, the pool boy.

To the untrained bystander, it may appear that cabana boys are little more than well oiled, finely chiseled pieces of tanned eye candy but that is only half the story. The fact of the matter is that these young men perform the duty of ensuring that the woman of the house and her circle of close friends want for nothing as they enjoy the spoils of the good life. While it may seem that these brawny boy toys are a dime a dozen it is demanding work that requires a plethora of skills to keep the misses happy. One must obviously be in top physical condition, exhibit blender mastery, be versed in SPF selection, show an aptitude in umbrella placement, have an excellent grasp of chemistry to ensure the pH level in the pool is a stable seven point two…all while wearing a uniform that would make an Olympic swimmer blush.

The question that remains, how does this help you make friends with the wealthy? If you are blessed with the body of a Greek God, the answer is simple, develop your sunscreen application prowess. If this isn’t the case, you should figure out how to develop the body of a Greek God regardless of your Hawaiian Tropic technique. Of course, if you were born a woman the solution is simpler; introduce a man with a perfect smile and pectorals like an Abercrombie model to the wealthiest woman you know and tag along for the frivolity. At the very least you’ll enjoy a summer of slushy drinks, terrific scenery and overdose on Vitamin D. Just remember, bring your sunglasses as it is gauche to stare!

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#62 - Private Nurse

#62 - Private Nurse

Private Nurse
Price: The Children’s Inheritance

One’s twilight years signal that it is time for wealthy octogenarians to receive sponge baths from beautiful young women. While some eccentric millionaires are comfortable philandering with busty, twenty year old blondes, for most this isn’t an option considering the high level of interest these women show in grandpa’s offshore accounts. The only way that it is possible to legally enjoy the company of a young woman, without friends, family and the nosy neighbor passing judgment, is to hire a private nurse. For an elderly gentleman, the real beauty is that few people can protest the extra care unless the nurse starts driving a Bentley and sporting Moss Lipow sunglasses. Typically, the only fallout is the family’s distasteful glances and under-the-breath muttering directed towards Nurse Betty.

While all adolescent boys and most grown men harbor fantasies about their own private nurse, there is a strict look but don’t touch policy among the wealthy. Just as rich people would never fondle the Picasso or Monet in their study, flirtatious advances can be equally costly. Furthermore, by the time a private nurse is in the company the rich, the men have swallowed so much Viagra it is unlikely that they could pitch a pup tent even if their caregiver gave the green light. So what is the appeal?

For rich, saggy, old men with ascots, smoking jackets and top-of-the-line wheelchairs, private nurses are akin to a beauty pageant for the wealthy. Each man attempts to outdo his colleagues with the overwhelming beauty of his private nurse; it is a testimonial to their success like wearing a Patek or riding in a Maybach. Spend an afternoon at the club when old-timers gather for canasta, gin rummy and bridge; you will see a bevy of well-appointed women tending to each man’s every need, most notably their ego. At first glance, this may seem like a highly unappealing way for a woman to squander a top-notch education in nursing. Considering they receive a healthy six figure salary, live in a stately mansion and now deal with one patient rather than dozens, the work has its upside. Add to this the possibility of becoming a beneficiary in the will and it becomes the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down…so long as she doesn’t have to!

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#48 - Not Oredering From the Menu

#48 - Not Ordering From the Menu

Not Ordering From the Menu
Price: Risk of the Unknown

For rich people menus are suggestions and only important if they have a wine list. While most people feel uncomfortable asking to substitute a salad for fries, rich people think nothing of swapping the club sandwich for Chilean sea bass and the soup for monkfish pate with caviar. Why order from the menu and be restricted by the chef’s narrow vision? Besides, any restaurant worth eating at should be flexible in serving the needs of its customers or so rich people like to believe.

When you think about it, ordering what you want, when you want it is the raison d’être for any restaurant so maybe the rich aren’t far off on this one. The chef, the waiters and the bartenders are there to make your night memorable and spectacular. If this is not the case, you need to stop choosing restaurants that proudly advertise locations in 39 states. These are fine when your mother-in-law is in town but not for a special night out. The only reason rich people have heard of Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday or Texas Roadhouse is that they own stock but have never been inside of one. The reasons for not setting foot in these fine establishments are many, among them is that the staff has learned to say no to substitutions. This simply won’t do for the wealthy.

Admittedly, not using the menu to order can get a little out of hand but this won’t stop someone who spends more on dinner in a year than most people spend on a home. Much like the royals of England believe that God selected them to lead the country, rich people like to believe that they possess divine palates superior to the men and women trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. They will dismissively order whatever suits their whimsy and complain bitterly if it fails to meet their arbitrary standards. The great failing of their culinary entitlement is indeed a tragic flaw. Having always been wealthy, they have never worked in a restaurant and therefore cannot conceive of the evils that lurk within the inner sanctum of the kitchen when dealing with difficult customers. While the rich remain none the wiser, if you’ve seen Fight Club you know to avoid the lobster bisque and the braised endive. To those about to order, we salute you. Bon Appétit!

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