Former assistants to rich and powerful people were asked: "What's the most messed up behavior you witnessed during your employment?" These are some of the best answers.
2/22 I had a pro golfer hire me solely to list 90% of his belongings on Ebay. Everything from huge TVs to golf club head covers. The odd part was he wanted EVERYTHING listed for $0.99 and shipped as fast as possible when it inevitably sold. I lost that job when he went to jail for procuring said items with illegally gained funds from his invalid sister's inheritance.
I was questioned but since I had no idea how he got rich, no charges were ever brought up on me. I just thought he was a weird eccentric rich guy that wanted new toys, and I assumed he had invested his pro-golf earnings over the years (he was sponsored by Nike after all).
3/22 I work for a very wealthy family in the Commercial Real Estate market and the one thing I have noticed is how much they lack a sense of time. They have had people doing everything for them for so long they no longer realize how long it takes to complete a task. One example, "Hey take this deposit to Bank A it HAS to be deposited today! Sir it's 4:50 they close at 5:00 and it is a 25 minute trip one way!"
4/22 I interned at a production company. The CEO made me go get a new Blackberry for him. Took 4 hours to go downtown because it HAD to be bought in downtown LA for whatever reason. When I brought it back, he opened the plastic, turned it on, and asked "What is this? Why aren't my numbers on it?"
Well, it's brand new, you haven't updated it yet.... "This is useless, what have you been doing for 4 hours?!?!" Well I was...
And he threw it on the ground. Literally. Just smashed it. "Useless." I was flabbergasted.
5/22 Old Masters oil paintings, and modernist masterpieces -- recognizable ones you studied in school-- leaning up against the wall, stacked against each other. Also, the wife's $40,000 per place setting china from which she ate her boxed Mac&Cheese.
6/22 The CTO of an IT company I worked for was born into a rich family and didn't know how to talk with his "inferiors". He was so bad at human interaction our CEO forced him to go to some kind of class to learn how to interact with humans. This douchebag loved Porsches. He drove a couple to work, and he had one he would race at amateur races occasionally. One day one our coworkers failed to meet us for lunch because he was broadsided on the way to the restaurant. For some reason after the accident he came back to work. We were standing around his cube and he's telling us about his car getting totalled when the CTO walked up. After hearing the story the CTO says (and I'm not embellishing) "At least it wasn't a Porsche." Then he laughed and walked off.
7/22 I babysat for a very well known baseball player. His daughter was 8 years old and didn't know how to dress herself. Literally did not have to lift a finger for anything.
8/22 I worked for owners (three brothers) of a private bank and managed their properties. One had first edition uncut classic books purely for decoration. He also had a Rolls which required new tires due to sitting unused for months at a time - the steel belts flattened from the weight of the car. One wife called me all but accusing someone (me?) of eating an $8 pizza at their country club which after numerous far-more-than-$8 international calls turned out to be her son in town having lunch. This from someone with a running balance over $10m on any given day.
9/22 I was briefly an assistant to a CEO of a large company in my country (I live in Northern Europe), and this guy was a real [jerk] to everyone. I just made coffee, ran with mail and copied things. I say briefly, because I only worked there for 3 weeks. I made an honest mistake, copying the wrong documents, resulting in a brief embarrassment on his side in an in-house meeting with some of the other big guys of the firm
I got called into his office, and knowing his history with previous assistants, I was visibly nervous. He then began absolutely shredding me for 15 minutes, completely red in the head, spit flying in my face as he stood above me, basically ripping me a new one.
I started crying (This was my first job, and I was 15 at the time), and he stopped shouting. He took one finger to my chin, lifted my face up so I looked straight at him, and then he said "You're a nobody. Don't you ever forget that." And then he threw some paperwork at me to let me officially know that I was fired (which I then had to pick up from the floor), and then he yelled at me to get the hell out of his office.
10/22 I used to be the assistant of a celebrity photographer in NYC. Mostly hip hop celebrities and New York nightlife. This guy [screwed] so many women behind his wife's back, it was obscene. Once there was this model who needed portraits taken, but my boss was [having an affair with] her and his wife was suspicious. So he had me take the pictures instead. Except he drove me there with his wife, but had to drop me off across town so his wife wouldn't know where I was going. Had to walk 20 blocks to get to the model's apartment.
Also, if we worked until 3am, which was common, I would have to crash at his place or else I would have to sit in Penn Station for hours until the first NJ transit train. He made me sleep on the floor, even though he had a couch, I had to sleep on the floor. Everyone involved in the NYC upper class are [jerks]. [Jerk] coated [jerks] with [jerk] filling, just waiting to [screw] you over.
11/22 My first job was being an assistant to the CEO of a small warehouse-based wholesaler operated as a pet project of a very rich man. The owner had a 5-year-old toddler at the time and calling the kid spoiled would be like referring to the pacific ocean as 'moderately damp'. This was one of those situations where it was crystal clear the kid had never, ever been told 'no' to anything or had any sort of discipline. For some inexplicable reason the owner would bring him to work almost every day and let him run free.
As the warehouse and accompanying offices were one large interconnected building, this often meant there'd be this toddler running around either breaking things, unpacking boxes and generally making the entire warehouse staff's job a ton more harrowing than they should've been as it was quite clear that making the kid angry in any way would result in the culprit losing their job (which did happen at least once during my time there). When I wasn't refilling the coffee pot, xeroxing or running cat5 cable, the vast majority of my time was spent trying to keep the kid away from the shipping conveyor and the other places in the building that could deliver a quick and painful death to the unwary.
12/22 I used to work for a company hosting luxury car driving events, where the customers came for a week or a weekend to learn to drive the latest models on ice. Most of the customers were polite or even nice, but whenever we hosted the Russian groups, everyone knew all bets were off. These guys had never heard a no that couldn't be turned in to a yes with a wad of cash. The most memorable incident was when two of them flew in three (assumed) Russian prostitutes, and had their driver drop said prostitutes off at the airport the next morning just before picking up these guys wives from the same airport. I was told by the cleaning stuff that the room they'd used was covered in blood, amongst other things.
13/22 I used to work at a luxury car dealership as a mechanic. When the market tanked in '07-'08 we were all convinced to take a dollar per hour pay reduction. That year... THAT YEAR the owner bought a Maserati and we all got watches for Christmas for hitting some goal.
14/22 The director of my former company was a nice enough woman, but she used her position to get employees to do everything for her. The head of Human Resources & Finance was required to help manage her personal bank accounts, enrol her children in school, book her holidays, EVERYTHING. She also had a nanny for her younger kids who was somehow being paid through the company for tax purposes (and so she wouldn't have to outlay the money).
15/22 I worked with a Hollywood producer. A couple things I found interesting. I had to write up brief instructions on how to work the cruise control on his car. When I referred to the control arm as a lever, I was told to rewrite the instructions using the term control arm.
When he brought his dogs to work, we had to maintain a spreadsheet detailing when we took the dogs outside and whether they [defecated] or pissed during these walks.
16/22 Was assistant to rich guy who routinely had me buy two first class plane tickets so nobody could sit next to him on the flight.
17/22 I was a personal assistant for a young, high-flying colonel and he would be on his computer in his office with a $20,000 A. Lange & Shne strapped to his wrist and iPhone on the table. Shouted at me daily, asking for the time.
Also, he knows that lunch time in camp is 1130hrs - 1230hrs. He'll ask for lunch after 1500hrs and gets all pissed at me when there's no more food left, then ask a captain to drive out of camp to get a subway sandwich for him.
18/22 I had a rich landowner client who, after I was done on their project and billed them, genuinely asked me why I needed money. They were so out of touch they couldn't understand why I needed to be paid. They had shops on their estates and would just go into them and take what they wanted. So glad I don't have to deal with them any more.
19/20 I worked for a guy who was old money. He was a waste of space. He couldn't load a stapler. He didn't bring a knife for his bread, so he stole a co-worker's scissors. I got him lunch once. He was upset I didn't get his a half Dr Pepper half Sprite. Like I should have divined that.
But he'd throw temper tantrums. I remember I set him up a 3 day itinerary. Just this gorgeous set up, multiple page folder, every event by the hour. He loses it. Left it in the rental car TO the airport. So I had to anticipate 12 calls over the next 3 days to tell him where to go. He couldn't figure out email on the road. There were a few times he had to hand me over to a hotel clerk or registrar for an event because he couldn't follow my instructions. He was flipping out on me the whole time. He wanted me to overnight him another itinerary for $120 or so on the last day. I explained the situation and the price. The last day was drop car, take flight. So I did. Then he then [complained] I mailed it to him.
20/20 I used to work as a private chef for a billionaire, living in Paris. He is actually a very nice and down to earth guy, treated everybody very well and was just a normal guy that had a lot of money.
One time we were at his private villa in southern France with three of his (also very rich) buddies. They flew in by helicopter some 10-12 smoking hot Russian models that stayed at the house and partied for five days. Lots of partying with really good and expensive food & drinks, cocaine etc. At the end of the week he had [sex with] every one of the Russian girls.
I've worked for a lot of really rich of people and would say that this is nothing unusual.
21/22 I did have a short term IT contract gig at an investment firm of some kind, (small business HUGE money) don't think anyone there wasn't some 3 letter job title millionaire. Got to observe some bizarre stuff.
Most of the offices (for the upper-up.... Actually they all seemed to be "upper-ups") had private bathroom. If someone was out for a meeting or whatever offsite multiple people would intentionally take the nastiest [dumps] in that person's private bathroom, and not like one person, like six or seven in series performing some kind of pre-planned unholy train of war, stench and destruction. Seriously, they timed this. Giggling like a bunch of prep-school teenagers in suits that cost more than my paycheck.
And the [worst] part, it was like a routine thing around there! Everyone was doing it to everyone else. Guy would come back, find his private throne closet reeking of death and colonic waste demons hanging thick enough in the air you could distort visible light, and be laughing their [butts] off "LOL! Oh you guys got me! Har har! Got em good this time."
What made it more unsettling was there seemed to be a kind of etiquette system built in to the activity too, apparently if someone was actually mad at you, they'd skip flushing, or run hot water to add "extra steam", AND half the time the victim could accurately name the last person who'd attacked the bathroom.
22/22 I worked at one of the most prestigious country clubs in the Southeast United States. Only has one black member, who is only a member because of massive political clout. Daily racism, daily general douchebaggery, but there was one moment where I almost lost it.
I was working the driving range at 5 am on a Sunday, as some members would come hit before going to church. A man in his late thirties probably came with his son for the first tee time around 5:30. We stacked the golf balls by hand into pyramids of about 50 balls for any member that requested it. It's all very aesthetically pleasing. Well, after I had stacked his balls, he walked up and knocked them down and told me to set them back up. I did, and he knocked them down again, telling his son, "See this is why you should stay in college". I am in college, and was a sophomore at the time. I make good grades and work very hard. I ended up setting them up one more time then going home for the day because I was so angry. I don't miss working there at all.