32 Examples Of Rich People Being Horrible Scrooges That Have Me Believing Rich People Are Actually Cheaper Than Poor People
A while back, we asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us all the times they witnessed the rich people in their lives (bosses, exes, etc.) being super cheap — here's what they had to say.
1."Being an accountant, I know how much profit a company makes. One year, they canceled [our] Christmas party because ‘we had not met profit quotas’ for the year. I got the email as I was processing over $100k in bonuses for the execs. It had been one of our best years to date."
—Mary Lee Maniord Fowler, Facebook
2."My friend once got bit by a dog. His dad (makes $10+ million a year) argued with the urgent care doc about him needing antibiotics because he didn’t want to pay for them."
3."The company I used to work for didn't have the amount of employees to 'have' to pay bereavement days. My sister died and they didn't give me a dime for the time off for everything."
"My coworkers pooled together money for my family and myself and to them I'm forever grateful. I was honestly offended when the company sent flowers to my family."
—Amanda Lee Anne Brown, Facebook
4."I knew a family who had cameras all over their house and the wife would accuse 'the help' of stealing things 'because she saw it on camera' and then fire them so she didn’t have to pay for their services. After doing this like three times, finally the company was like, alright, show us the tapes of them stealing and you don’t have to pay. She refused and later admitted she had lied about every single one of the thefts. The company made her retroactively pay for her previous services too. They do this with every service they use until they get caught and then they just move on to the next company. And they BRAG about it."
"Husband was former frat boy finance bro and the wife was the overly-aggressive stay at home boy mom, and their sons had just as ridiculous names as you’d expect."
5."[I] worked as a live-in au-pair for a very wealthy couple in Central London in the early 2000s. ... I was scolded for eating 'their' food, so ended up buying my own from my pocket money. [She] wanted to charge me $450 for 'ruining husband's shirt,' $2000 for 'scratching her stove,' a complete floor remodel for stomping on the wooden floors with high heels that left marks (I didn't own any, so she claimed I was wearing HERS. Never mind that my feet are size seven and hers were a three)."
"[She] demanded that I repay my flight costs when I quit a year later. Then negotiated my rate down when I came back to babysit some nights for a few weeks as 'we're family.' But karma got back to her: later on hubby divorced her [and] was granted custody to the kids, so she had to go back to the small town she was from to live with mom and dad."
6."I have a 'friend' (a former boss) who is in his early seventies and has a net worth somewhere around $25M. He is also the cheapest bastard there is. Another friend and I go out to lunch with this old miser three or four times a year and when we split the bill if he doesn’t have any coins and he therefore 'overpays' his share the bill by even 25 or 50 cents he will ask that we give him the change he is owed. My other friend and I get so pissed off at this guy that we have not included him in our lunch get together for the last two years."
7."My ex's parents are wealthy, and the dad used to yell at the kids about using too much toilet paper. ... And by yelling at them about using too much toilet paper, I mean that he had a theory that one should never need more than one sheet for pee and five sheets for poo. Dead serious, he'd remove the toilet paper from the bathrooms if he felt they were using too much."
8."I used to work for a Fortune 500 company. The manager would refuse to purchase knives and forks for the break room and told people to go get them from McDonald’s instead."
"They would also refuse to purchase black pens for the copy room because they cost more than blue pens."
9."My aunt's former boss was very wealthy — she owned a horse farm as a hobby and left $100 million to her daughters when she passed away. She got top-quality vet care for her horses but basically refused basic vet appointments for her cats and dogs. If a cat or dog got sick, my aunt would have to argue with her to take them to the vet to get medicine. It made me so angry."
10."I used to deliver pizzas in the late '90s as a second job while I was doing a trade and earning peanuts. Delivering to the 'nicer/richer' areas, you would think you would get decent tips. But I still remember one lady in this massive mansion waited for $0.05. I didn’t have five cents in my bag, and had to run back to my car, in the rain, and run back to her to give her change."
"[I also] went to some other housing commission areas, and they wouldn’t hesitate in giving 20–30% in tips."
—Wayne Barber, Facebook
11."I worked for a billionaire in Silicon Valley. We were moving to a new office, and I was packing the moving boxes with his stuff. I wrote directly on the box what the contents were instead of writing on a label and sticking it on the box. I did not know this, but if you write on a box directly, it is $5 a box. He saw my work and screamed profanities at me and fired me for $20 worth of boxes I wrote on."
"He was a billionaire with his own private jets and his own villa. But $20 pushed him over the edge."
12."I had a friend in high school who received a large inheritance from her aunt. If we went to a restaurant, she would purposely show up late after we ordered, then would ask everyone to share with her. She wouldn't pitch in any money because we were going to order it anyway."
"My breaking point was when we went to a concert and her mom bought the tickets. I gave her the money for the tickets, and we went and had a great time. A few weeks later, I was picking her up, and her mom came out yelling at me about the ticket money. My friend had kept the money to buy merchandise and told her mom I never paid her."
13."My cousin and his wife pull in over $500k per year. His mother-in-law (who works in retail) met them at brunch to drop off something he left at her house. She ordered a $4 soda. He made her Venmo him for it."
14."I worked at a bagel cafe after school when I was 15–18. This extremely wealthy attorney would come in and hold out his hand and say 'put this in your pocket' like he was giving me some super generous tip. It was a quarter every time."
15."I worked in retail. A customer was returning an item that she bought in a different store in a different city, where the sales tax was different. She got all mad that she wasn't given her 'full' refund. The difference was like 12 cents."
16."I used to work as a medical support assistant for an older surgeon. He was close to retirement and a grumpy old turd (I'd also do the submissions for his surgeries, so I knew this guy raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars per year). We had a coworker who was out for quite some time because she suffered a terrible accident and broke her back. All of us chipped in money to help her pay for groceries and things like that while she was out of work. This doctor contributed $5. His reasoning was, 'Ehh, I don't know her that well.' She worked for the practice for 16 years."
17."I worked for a millionaire who bought a pizza place so her 40 something year old alcoholic son in law could have something to do. We had a dine-in special that included a two liter of soda. We barely had any plates and no cups. I would have to repeatedly send my delivery driver to the dollar store to buy paper plates and cups and when she saw the receipts she flipped. She told me to tell the customers to bring their own plates and cups!!!"
"She also got mad that the produce bill went up when I got hired. I told her it was because fresh veggies go bad and once that happens I order new produce. They would serve slimy veggies on my days off — I would come to work after the weekend and the make table would be disgusting! I have so many stories from less than two years at that place. I told them to their face that once another place opened up that delivered (we were in the kind of sticks and it was early development) they would be gone. Once Domino’s opened they lasted maybe six months."
18."I work at a pretty large retail store. One time we did a fundraiser to support a charity that helps homeless youth in the area. The guy who owns and runs the charity (not SUPER rich, but not struggling to get by either) came in on the day we started the fundraiser to see how we were promoting it and all that fun stuff. My manager had me ring through a donation (a whopping $2) from this guy for a photo op for both our store and his charity, and after the photo op this guys had the nerve to ask me for a refund on the donation he made...to his own charity! My manager was so appalled he found a different local charity to support and we haven't worked with them since."
19."I worked for a nonprofit that regularly got donations from a few very wealthy people, and at least two of them would invite high-level people from our organization out to meals and then skip out on the bill."
"One at least said they had to run to some other appointment, but one just 'went to the bathroom' and disappeared. They still donated large amounts, so it wasn't that they had some issue with us, but we had to allocate part of their donations to super-expensive salads and wine instead of our work or functional desk chairs."
20."I was in college and worked at a party supply store. The local top evening newscaster came in and argued over 50 cents for a card that she thought costed .49 cents but actually was $1. It was in the wrong spot. Imagine that? A card out of place in a CARD STORE. And I mean she was MAD. So mad she threw the card on the counter and left. Left with her designer outfit and her designer bag to go get in her Mercedes Benz."
—Elizabeth Anne, Facebook
21."I had a boss who was a partner in an executive search firm and made a lot of money on commissions. I knew this because I billed the clients and knew that during the previous year he had made between $5–7 MILLION. ... When January rolled around and I had not been given my usual end of year bonus from him ... I tactfully inquired as to why I hadn't received it, and he apologized and said that it was sitting at home and he'd definitely remember to bring it in."
"Several more weeks went by and I again brought up the subject of my bonus, but this time he told me that I wouldn't be getting one this year because I had to realize his financial situation this past year. He stated that with his going through a divorce, he was now paying the mortgage/rent on three homes...the one he was living in, the one his wife and kids resided at, and the vacation home in Florida that he had purchased the year before. He truly had the nerve to tell me this with a straight face and totally believing that I should understand his so-called financial predicament."
—Hal Panchansky, Facebook
22."I work at a daycare that caters to a lot of doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. I had one who stood out. She was an ophthalmologist, easily pulling in 100K+ a year alone, never mind her husband who had some business job. She refused to buy bigger clothes for her daughter and would make her squeeze into clothes too small. I had her daughter for over two years and she had the same stuff since day one."
23."I used to work the childcare drop off at an upscale gym in a wealthy neighborhood in Seattle. There was this one lady would would bring her kids in all the time and either not tell the front desk that her kids were there (and therefore not pay for childcare, which was only $5 an hour per kid) or she’d only mention that she dropped off one kid, when it had been two. I would have to call down to the front desk and let them know whenever she brought her kids in so they could charge her account."
"At one point I put up a sign advertising babysitting, so I could earn some extra money. This lady called me and asked me to babysit. I was incredibly hesitant, but agreed against my better judgment. We agreed on an amount (based on that I assumed I would be watching her two kids) but shortly after I got to her house (in a gated community) some other woman dropped by and dropped off her two kids for me to watch as well. I nearly walked out then, and truly wish I had. It turned out these kids had never even been to her house before and weren’t even that good of friends with her kids, so I was not only babysitting four kids instead of two, but I was also facilitating a first time play date.
Her daughter was a monster. Shortly after I got to the house, she told me she knew where her mom kept her money and she was going to go steal some (she was like 5 or 6 years old?) but she also would not listen when I told her we weren’t going to play with the hose because her friends didn’t have bathing suits or changes of clothes, and she was seriously misbehaving and throwing a fit to a level that the other poor kids were clearly very uncomfortable as well. When the woman called and asked me to babysit again, I just said no and hung up."
24."I used to be a travel agent long ago. One millionaire client regular bought a trip to Hawaii for his son [for his] honeymoon. It was from some ad in the paper. It was such a horrible place, we wouldn’t sell it to anyone. He argued he would go somewhere else to buy it. He wouldn’t even pay an additional $20 total (not per night) for the couple to have a queen bed — it was going to be two twin beds."
"We booked it, called the son and told him he had a $1,000 credit paid toward whatever he wanted to book. We just couldn’t in good faith send a couple to honeymoon in a cockroach-infested, twin-bedded two-star hotel in Waikiki."
—Camille Urueta, Facebook
25."I used to work [at a] a nonprofit health agency and our benefits were cut to 'avoid laying anyone off' only to find out in a news article a few months later that the CEO made something wild like $250k OVER the maximum she was legally allowed per Medicaid and Medicare…I was already gone by the time the article came out, but the amount of outrage I STILL feel is just so much. I still have a lot of good friends there that I know are getting screwed all so the execs can pad their pockets with loopholes."
26."The billionaire who owned the company I used to work for enacted a company-wide 30% pay cut during the pandemic even though our revenues soared. The company collected millions in PPP stimulus, ostensibly to pay salaries, but that money ended up in the billionaire's pocket."
—Steve Shattil, Facebook
27."I worked for the daughter-in-law of a man who owns a sports team in New England. Her husband was president of the team. It's very well known how wealthy they are, and a lot of people look up to them as being really great, charitable people because they do a lot (which is mostly motivated by PR and tax write-offs, not their hearts). They 'couldn't afford' health insurance for her four employees because it was a small business."
28."My former boss made about a million a year in salary and much more from investments, but was the cheapest person I have ever met. He would aggressively negotiate every little thing and would go full on Karen if someone wouldn’t give in. I once had to sit there while he yelled at his wife on the phone because she forgot to get the $40 discount from their car mechanic that he had negotiated."
"She hung up on him and so he decided to lecture me about how $40 is a lot of money. Okay, whatever you say, but enough to justify treating your wife like that?"
29."I worked at a job where the pay was on the low side for the industry standard and they kept cutting back on benefits. During my 10 years there, they cut our 401ks to no matching, health insurance was incredibly expensive and was a bad plan (paying 75% out of pocket for procedures, if you had to go the E.R. you had to pay the first $1,500 and then 75% of remaining costs, etc.), and continuing education got cut to watching company-made online classes on a website. We were told repeatedly that this was the economy, that's why we repeatedly did not get raises or got very small raises (my third year I got a raise of 25 cents)."
"Our city newspaper did a story about the owner of the company buying an island and restoring 'the estate' (the grounds and the castle)."
30."I work at a doctor's office and I am always shocked when wealthy people come in with good health insurance say they are now on NJ Family Care (editor's note: NJ Family Care is low-cost, publicly funded healthcare for low-income families) and don't have a co-pay. When I ask them for their insurance card, it's their insurance — mind you, most of them work for Amazon, or major silicon valley companies — but they say, 'oh I'm on NJ Family Care now I don't have to pay anything today.' Or they ask me how to get on NJ Family Care because their health insurance is just too expensive, but I'm pretty sure the new Lamborghini is expensive too. .... Just doesn't make sense to me that wealthy people take advantage of a system meant to help people struggling to get healthcare, but then the wealthy people complain about paying for someone else's healthcare."
31."I am a speech pathologist and work with kids. I used to work in an affluent area. The parents who 'just can't afford therapy' for their child with a communication delay, yet pull out their BMW, Audi, etc., keys from their brand-name bag; put on their expensive sunglasses; and then head home to their multimillion-dollar waterfront house astound me."
"If you are asset-rich but cash-poor and your child NEEDS therapy, downgrade something (or, heaven forbid, forgo that unnecessary weekly purchase) and help them. They are losing out on their future for your lifestyle."
32.And finally..."I work with some very, very rich foreign students. Once, someone came back from a weekend shopping trip dripping with designer labels but refused to pay back £15 to the (less-well-off) friend who'd paid for his train ticket."
Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.