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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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#44 - Pretending To Empathize

#44 - Pretending To Empathize

Pretending To Empathize
Price: Loss of Self Awareness

Rich people love to empathize with anyone in earshot. The fact is they have no experience with everyday problems but will pretend to care because it is the proper thing to do. A rich person’s idea of empathy is taking your problem and relating it to a situation they were once in. The difficulty is, if you aren’t rich, there is no common ground between you and your wealthy counterpart. The result, you are forced to endure a patronizing comparison of situations while nodding your head appreciatively.

While the wealthy mean well, it is tough to relate to trivial concerns like jobs, careers, commuting, down payments, rent, mortgages, flying economy, balancing a family with a fulltime job and a paltry two weeks of vacation a year. Despite these challenges, the rich make every effort to allay your concerns by empathizing with you. Take renting or buying a house as an example. Inadvertently mentioning that you are house shopping can be a painful misstep around the rich. You will be greeted with a sympathetic “don’t even bother, there’s simply nothing decent available in this city”. While they think you are sharing a moment, what they are really saying is they would never consider dwellings in your price range to be fit for human life. It remains a toss-up as to whether they realize a 4.5 million dollar estate isn’t a starter home. Similarly, wealthy new moms will happily commiserate with other mothers by recommending to all attendees of their post-natal yoga class that a night nanny is a must if they ever expect to get any sleep. Great advice and highly recommended if you have the means.

At the end of the day, this is a terrific opportunity to forge a stronger relationship with rich people. Not only do they love to feign empathy, the rich love to offer advice. When faced with a situation where they are clearly out of their depth, take it upon yourself to ask genuine questions about what they would do. Primarily, this means a stream of entertaining suggestions that you could never actually afford to carry out. More importantly, it allows the privileged to share their wealth of experience regardless of how irrelevant that experience is. This makes them feel good about helping and you will have some fantastic stories to share with your friends. Finally, the rich don’t carry change so it is best if you pay for their cappuccino while they dole out their wisdom, it really is the least you can do.

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