Every house in the world is probably hiding something behind closed doors. Whether people are rich or poor, we all have a few secrets – that said, some secrets are way bigger than others.
These 15 people spent time working for the 1%, and the things they’ve seen…weird is only one word for it, to be honest.
So, follow me into the bizarre!
15. The “help.”
I worked for an extremely wealthy family and when I was going to eat lunch with the kids, I was told “the help” eats in the kitchen.
I quit soon after that.
14. All of the drama.
1.) The drama that is just like TV. The dad in the family I nannied for had a secret daughter and other family for 5 years.
2.) How money was just thrown around. A $500 rocking chair is the wrong shade of orange? Just throw it in the garbage and go buy a new one. Daughters are fighting with each other over their Barbie dream houses? Calm them down by taking them to the American Girl store for new dolls and then get them a blowout afterwards.
3.) And yet, despite this, they forgot to pay their bills for three months and got the gas turned off in their house.
13. Totally incompetent.
How incompetent they are. I worked as a nanny for a few months for a wealthy family with two kids to make extra money while in college. I had to get up every morning to get the kids ready for school and then walk them to school because the mom couldn’t do it herself.
Also the mom wouldn’t go anywhere without a nanny present for the kids. Play date at the playground with another family? I would go and watch her kids while she would just sit there and chat with the other parent. It was so weird.
Unsurprisingly I was one of 5 nannies they had coming around every week. They spent close to $1000 a week on nannies but didn’t want to commit to getting a live in.
12. Good people, but weird.
I do tutoring for a wealthy family, and despite the fact that they seem to have come from fairly average backgrounds, they really have no concept of how normal people think of money.
I was talking about visiting the library after a session, and they were confused by the fact that I didn’t just buy all the books I wanted to read. They also pay me every six months or so, and seem confused that I want money so often – they’re good for it, after all.
They fly their kids home from their highs chool sports tours (they play in tournaments all over the continent) to take a driving test and think nothing of it.
They’re good people, but weird.
11. They don’t get it.
I work for a middling-wealthy family, have been for two years. My girls don’t think they’re well-off because they don’t have a tennis court or a rock wall, but they know kids who do. They just have no idea how much money they have.
The younger one doesn’t realize why it’s inappropriate to joke about how much money she has stashed away for “chores.” She doesn’t realize that it’s more than I earn in weeks, and that she didn’t actually earn it.
10. The kids might not be ok.
My younger sister nannies for an wealthy couple, and she’s mentioned a few things that really threw her off at first.
The biggest thing was how uninvolved they are with their daughter’s life. She was born early in October, and by the end of the month, my sister was already spending 80+ hours a week with her. The husband has only been home one day since she started working for them and the wife is gone from 6am-9pm every day.
Then, it was how casual they are with money. They’ve offered to pay for work on her car countless times, and the wife gave my sister all of her Christmas decorations from last year. Most of them still had their tags on them. She spent $20/ornament and didn’t even use them.
9. Short-lived excitement.
I work at a private school and get a lot of nannying/babysitting jobs through my job.
Most families that I work for try to teach their children to appreciate what they have, but the most striking thing I’ve witnessed in some families is such a short-lived excitement that the kids get from receiving gifts/gadgets/outings/pocket money, and it is because they get these things EVERYDAY!
To them it’s normal and expected. It’s hard to reward these kids for good behaviour when the rewards aren’t rewarding!
8. It’s hard to understand.
The woman played video games all day and ate spaghetti-o’s, the husband was always away, and she was never with her baby.
Also, she had a surrogate with twins on the way! I never understood their family or why she wanted more kids.
7. Definitely qualifies as weird.
A good friend of mine is a nanny for a very wealthy couple. They own and live in an entire brownstone type building. I think they’re both lawyers. He is the source of the wealth, which is largely inherited. He has a job, but it’s the kind of job where he never has to show up or do much work at all and it pays him hundreds of thousands a year.
Every day, the wife goes to her job. The husband goes to his floor of the house that nobody is allowed to bother him on. He spends the day smoking pot and lazing about like he’s Jeff Lebowski.
That’s it. That’s all he does. But he doesn’t want his kids bothering him, so he locks himself away to pretend he’s still in college or something and pays my friend to raise his kid for him.
They’re nice enough people. My friend likes her job. But I’ll never be able to have much respect for a dude who has all the time and money in the world and he uses it to sequester himself away from his own kids, get high, and watch movies all day.
6. Some are tight with money.
How tight they were with money. I would even go so far as to say selective rather than stingy.
They were wealthy because they knew how to budget. I was always to look for free activities to do with the kids.
I can tell you that the Peggy Norbert nature museum in Chicago has free entry for Illinois state residents on Thursdays, the pool closest to their house has free child swim for two hours every Friday, little beans cafe and play place has half price Monday’s, the Chicago Cultural Center has a monthly music program called the ‘Juice box’, and to keep an eye out for discounted and free entry days for Chicago residents at the area museums.
The zoo is always free and picnics and park days were encouraged. The mom was always on Groupon and the children were never lacking for something to do. While they might not have been SUPER wealthy they were certainly up there. What surprised me most of all is how much they truly loved their kids. There were a few times I woke up to texts saying I had a paid day off because the weather was beautiful and they wanted to take their children to play at the lake.
Or how they preferred to pick their kids up from school themselves so they could hear all about their day. I miss that family so much but I’m still in contact with them and get texts and calls from them so I can be a small part of the kids’ lives.
Customers (yacht cleaning) didn’t care how poor the cleaner was. I pull out my flip phone to answer a call and they just kinda turn away like it’s gross.
One guy dropped his iPhone in the ocean by mistake, said “oops” and grabbed another from a kitchen drawer.
4. The looks on their faces.
I used to work at a golf club in a very rich community and people would just drop their kids off at the club and we would end up essentially babysitting them in the restaurant. We had one kid who was probably 11 and he was so stingy.
He would complain about any upcharge, how our meals didn’t give enough for their price, and how what we sold was way cheaper at the store. (which obviously he was way too young to understand overhead costs)
One time after about 10 minutes of his ranting over how he had to pay more for milk than you would in a store I just pointed out to him “I get that its annoying, but we couldn’t even buy one meal with an hours worth of pay before taxes”
The LOOK on this kids face was just shock. You could tell he had not true concept of money and earning it and that some people got vastly more than others. He never complained to me about cost again and would often tell them adult golfers how unfair it was that we weren’t paid enough. (in his opinion)
Makes me wonder how affluent people teach their children about money beyond to complain about having to use it.
3. They give their kids too much.
Not a nanny but I was still involved in the day to day. Long story short, the daughter (younger than her more mentally stable and normalized brother) was having issues that are at least typical of a teenage daughter. So what do they do?
Buy a house (a decent sized rancher in the city’s nicest old money neighborhood) nearby and stuff the daughter in it with a full time caretaker who was given a SUV and a salary. Really nice girl based on my interactions with her, just probably felt the way many children of the super wealthy do.
I have lots more stories and details but prefer not to reveal too much as I still respect their privacy
2. Spoiled and entitled.
I used to be an au pair for a super rich family in China. The funny thing was that they already had a nanny. She was extremely poor and had to give a bratty kid everything she couldn’t afford for her own kids. The weirdest thing was that whenever we went somewhere as a family, she was the one taking care of the child while the mother was talking to others.
She even slept in his room while his mom had her own bedroom. Personally, I just couldn’t deal with how spoiled and entitled the child was. They literally told me it didn’t matter if he respected me, he just had to like me.
They were interested in cultural exchange which was my reason for going there as well. They also wanted their son to learn some English. English is my second language, I have no idea why they would think I’d be any more qualified than a local teacher. I was probably just a status symbol.
1. No time to play.
The family I work for right now is very wealthy- the live on fifth ave right across from central park. Three things. The first is the clothes. The girls have numerous name brand clothing items- Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Vineyard Vines, Lilly Pulitzer, etc. The 6 year olds backpack was 85 bucks. I get wanting your kids to have nice things to wear, but they’re growing fast, and that stuff is expensive. The 3 year old outgrew her wardrobe last year, it was al replaced with the same expensive stuff.
Next would have to be scheduling. They want there children to be successful in life, I get it. But every day is something- piano, ballet, tennis, Chinese lessons and squash. They have no time to play.
The last part, which is a bit more sad if you ask me, is the lack of connect in the girls and their parents relationship. It could be as simple as scheduling- for instance, the mom doesn’t know when ballet and tennis is, I do, or as intense as worries and fears. They confide in me and when I bring it up with the mom she’s surprised to learn they’re not just always happy because they have nice things.
There’s definitely something missing there and it shows. The 3 year old slips up and calls me “mama” constantly and it breaks my heart.
I’d like to say I’m surprised but honestly, I’m not sure anything really surprises me anymore.
If you’ve had a job and a story that would fit on this list, share it with us in the comments!