"I grew up in the richest and whitest of suburbia. Everyone I knew had a doctor/lawyer/CEO for a dad it felt like. Where do I even start?
-I knew a girl who didn't want to go to school in the 8th grade, so her parents paid her. $400 a week just to show up to middle school. She's now addicted to pills and not going to college.
-One time, I was at a friend's lake house and they asked if they could come to mine next weekend. When I told them I didn't have one, they were actually floored. Everyone has one of those, right? Similar things happened a few times with country clubs.
This one is the best:
-I went to France on a school trip (I know, I know) with another school from my area. I saw one of the girls from the other school who I had made friends with over the course of the trip crying. I went and asked her what was wrong and she said she found out her maid got deported back to Bolivia. I was like, 'That sucks. Was she really cool or something?'
Nope. She didn't even speak English. The girl was just mad she'd have to clean for herself until they got a new one. Then come to find out, that wasn't even their only maid... They were going from two maids to one for like a week or two and it was the worst thing that had ever happened to her."
"My dad collects coins because his extremely Hungarian, immigrant grandfather convinced him that the Bank (capitalizing it because to him, all banks are just one huge world bank) is determined to steal all his money from him, so he has to have a backup plan. This in and of itself isn't too extreme; plenty of people choose self-sustenance due to a distrust in government and economics, but the real kicker happened when he tried to roll his coins.
He has to order his coin rolls online because he doesn't want to go to the bank and get coin rolls because then the bank will know how much money he's hiding from them. I'm not kidding. Anyway, he ordered a bag of coin rolls and waited about a month for them to come before he started getting curious where they were. He asked my mom to check the order tracking while he was at work one day, which led to this conversation:
Mom: 'It says here that the package made it to town two weeks ago, but it got sent back. It says you gave no delivery address.'
Dad: 'Yeah, why would I do that? I don't want them to know where I live, they might tell everyone.'"
"I'm an expat living in Sri Lanka. Love the country, love the people. There was a guy that ran a food stall at the end of my road. Decent guy, very well spoken. Something always seemed off, though. Finally discovered one day when chatting with him that he believes all Westerners have chips implanted in their brains that make them controlled by the government and force them to spy on the rest of the world.
Wait for it, that's not the out of touch with reality part.
Next time I saw him, he told me he was shutting down his food stall. He told me with a straight face that he had been thinking of business ideas. 'What one job is guaranteed good money?' he asked. Without waiting for a response he said, 'Doctors!' So he decided that he'd open a doctor office and charge half the going rate for a doctor visit - despite having NO MEDICAL TRAINING - because it paid better than a food stall owner. Not only that, the moron actually did it. Within a week, his shop had a big red medical cross on it, he was seeing very poor patients, diagnosing them with God knows what, and prescribing medicine on a random piece of paper.
He was genuinely shocked after a couple of weeks when he was shut down by police."
"As a public defender, I was defending a Chinese woman charged with providing 'extra services' at a massage parlor. I suspected she might be a victim of trafficking and spoke to the judge in her chambers about it. Some counties have programs designed to help victims, instead of punishing them. Not only did the judge not believe my client was a victim, she didn't think trafficking even existed and told me that everyone needs to be responsible for their own actions. I eventually convinced the DA to drop the charges but was astounded by how out of touch the judge was. It's one thing not to believe that my client was a victim, but it's incomprehensible that a judge would not be aware that trafficking is a thing."
"About three years ago, I had a young woman, probably early 20s, come into the cafe I work at. She ordered herself a drink and a pastry of some sort. Her total was around $6. She proceeded to hand me a one dollar bill and six quarters. I took the money and waited for her to procure more, but she just stood there, staring at me. I told her, 'I'm sorry, it's $6.87,' or whatever.
She said, 'I know. I gave you 7.'
I said, 'No, this is only $2.25.' She took the money from my hand and counted each item in front of me like I was stupid, counting each item as $1. I pointed to the quarters and told her, 'Those are quarters, not dollars.' Keep in mind, this person was obviously not foreign or anything - she had no accent and seemed completely American.
Anyway, her response was, 'I know they're quarters, but they're dollars.' She then proceeded to pick up one of the quarters and point to the word 'dollar' inscribed on the bottom beneath George's head.
At this point, I was thinking this is either the single dumbest person I've ever seen or this is the worst con ever conceived, but she didn't give up. She demanded to speak to a manager. I got the manager and he told her the same thing. She started getting visibly upset and holding back tears. She might have been embarrassed. Best I could figure is that she somehow never learned about money somehow and used cash so rarely that she assumed quarters were dollars because technically the word 'dollar' was on the coin."
"My sister was just telling me this story. She went to a private high school in a very nice area with very rich kids. One day, my sister saw one of her friends crying and quickly ran over to her to ask what is wrong. Her friend, through sobs, managed to say, 'Everything is just so unfair, I can't even believe my life!' My sister was so concerned because this girl seemed on the verge of a breakdown.
After calming her down for a bit, my sister asked again what was bothering the friend, thinking maybe someone died, or her parents were getting divorced. 'Well, you know my birthday is coming up, and so is my sister's...and well,' sobbing some more, 'my parents are getting us both brand new Range Rovers, and because she is older,' breaking down, 'SHE IS GETTING THE BLACK ONE! BUT I WANTED THAT ONE!'
The only thing my sister could do was say, 'I am so sorry for you,' and walk away. We still do feel bad for her - so detached from reality."
"I've met a few people who are really brilliant in one field, yet lack even the most basic level of sense in certain areas outside of it. Sort of like the thing about Einstein not being able to tie his shoes (if that's true).
My favorite was a university professor: absolutely brilliant knowledge of Middle Eastern politics, particularly around the Israel-Palestine conflict. He could remember insanely precise historical details going back thousands of years and seemed to understand the subtlest of nuances on both sides of the conflict. His lectures were amazing. Or they would have been if he had turned off his cell phone. He simply couldn't figure out how to silence his phone, or even turn it on and off. He had let his TA do it for him a couple of times, but then he'd leave with it still off and couldn't figure out how to turn it back on until he came back the next day. So after going through that twice, he decided he would just leave it on. And it appeared that every telemarketer on Earth had his number because it would ring at least five times an hour, at full volume, and he'd just talk over the top of it like it wasn't happening. He also never answered his email, because he apparently didn't realize that he had one or might need to use it.
One day, he'd forgotten to bring his little water jug, and sent his TA to the vending machine in the middle of a lecture to bring him a bottle of water. She brought it back and handed it to him, and he turned red in the face trying to get it open, before handing it back to her and declaring that something was wrong with it. She opened it quickly and easily: he'd been turning the cap the wrong way.
I should specify here that this was not a super old guy who you'd expect to have issues with technology and life in general: he was in his mid or late 40's."
"We were at a table, six of us, eating.
The conversation turned to jobs/employment. One of the guys, a rich kid that had most of his life handed to him, including his tech job at mommy's company, made the comment that he didn't understand why if someone couldn't find a job, they just didn't go back to school, get a degree, and try some more.
He couldn't understand two things.
One, most family's cannot support an unemployed adult student for the time it takes to get a degree.
Two, the jaw-dropping one, was he thought that ALL colleges, EVERYWHERE, were FREE.
His 'logic' was that students go to college straight from high school and 'they don't have money,' so how else could they afford school.
We live in the US and this guy was 27 years old and we had to tell him school costs money..."
"This past semester, I was studying abroad and I met people from all over the US (my program included colleges from all over). I met two different people, both from Virginia and they were the nicest people. However, when I told them I was Jewish, they were completely dumbfounded. They never met a Jew before, let alone be friends with one...
I thought, 'How strange,' but I figured she lived in an extremely rural part of Virginia and goes to school in the South so Jews are a rarity down there. I also guessed that she probably has met a Jew before, but never really took note of it or didn't know. It's not like we identify our religion every time we meet someone new.
The most out-of-touch thing I heard in my life came from one of these girls. Here's the summarized convo I had with one of them:
Me: 'I can't believe none of your friends are Jewish!'
Her: 'I know! So do you celebrate Christmas?'
Me: 'Nope! I mean, I know some Jews do both holidays, but my family strictly follows Jewish holidays. No Easter, no Lent, etc.'
Her: 'So you've never celebrated Christmas?'
Me: 'Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas time; it's one of the jolliest times of the year. My ex celebrated Christmas and I 'celebrated' with them, but it's not like I go to mass or have a tree.'
Her: 'So you don't celebrate it?'
Me: 'Not in my house, nope!'
Her: 'But it's Christmas, why don't you celebrate it?'
me: 'Well, Jews don't really believe in the whole 'Jesus was the messiah' sort of thing...'
Her: 'But like, you don't celebrate Christmas?'
Me: 'Not in my house!'
Her: 'So there's no tree in your house, you don't go to mass?'
I swear to God, these questions persisted for a solid 10 minutes. I distinctly remember because we were standing outside the Tower of London and I just thought it was a strange conversation.
I'm more than happy to answer questions about Judaism, what we believe in and why it's different, but it just felt like she couldn't wrap her head around this concept that I didn't celebrate Christmas. Like it was literally impossible for her to understand that Christmas is just a holiday celebrated everywhere except my house."
"I'm a jeweler/metalsmith and often work festivals and street fairs to sell my work. My husband and I were hanging out in my tent last summer at a festival and a woman walked in, looking harmless enough. This may have been a sign of me being a little out of touch with reality. As I took in her flowing 10-yard skirt, multiple colored scarves, and wavy brown/gray hair tied back with a leather rope, I just assumed she was a sweet, old hippie lady. This assumption made her next few words all the more shocking.
She started off simple enough, talking about her own art and admiring a few pieces, and trying a few things on. Then she noticed I was pregnant (6 months at that point) and asked if I knew that a blood moon was coming soon and that I should stay inside my house for fear of the power of this blood moon sending me into pre-term labor and possibly resulting in a stillbirth. She then reminded us that this next blood moon was a sign of the apocalypse, and that Jesus would be returning to Earth soon to take all the righteous to heaven. She said that if this happened before my baby was born, that I would wake up miraculously not pregnant anymore, as He would claim all innocents in His name and spirit them away to glory. She then said, 'And you know, of course, this is all our fault. Humans, not God's.'
She didn't notice through her diatribe that our smiles had become completely frozen and we were hunching down more and more in our seats. I said, 'Okay, well thank you!' She left. I look sideways at all sweet, old hippie ladies now."
"I was out to lunch with a co-worker. We were talking about his daughter. She had just been accepted to a university (mid-tier state school) with a reasonable scholarship (about 30% of tuition). I asked, 'Is she going to get a job this summer before school?' His responses boiled down to:
-He would only allow her to work if she got a job that paid the equivalent of $40,000 a year, was only part-time, and had benefits.
-She has never worked a day in her life, but surely her stellar high school academic record will get her a great job as a programmer or a low-level manager.
-When asked where he came up with these insane numbers, his response was, 'Oh I make about 120k a year and am just under 60, so I divided by 3 since she is 18.'
I feel sorry for his kid."
"I live in London as a welfare rep for American students. American college costs a bundle, and the program to come over costs a load too, so these students tend to be the richest and whitest of suburbia.
One day, the WiFi went down and I may as well have told them that there was no drinking water in the UK.
About 40 students were knocking on my door telling me it wasn't acceptable and that they were calling their 'daddies' to sort it. 'My daddy is a lawyer, so if you think you're getting money for this accommodation when I haven't had WiFi, you've got another thing coming!' That sorta thing.
I tried to calm them down, let them know it would be back on in an hour or two when one of them said the following line:
'You can't blame us for being upset, we grew up in THE FIRST WORLD.'
I was flabbergasted. Not only did she talk about being from 'the first world' (who does that) like that is something to be proud of, but her entire argument was, 'Everything in my life has always been easy and perfect, how dare you take away the most minor of utilities for 3 hours?'
"My brother. I once took him to a district tennis match just to watch and in the middle of the match, he screamed, 'I OWN THE WALDORF ASTORIA.' All the points were cancelled and with utmost embarrassment, I took him and we left.
Then confessions came out as I pushed him for answers. He told me he discovered the smallest unit of mass, the 'knack,' that he was married to a gymnast named Rachel (not true), he invented the Ferrari and a lot more I don't care to remember.
He became full schizophrenic over the next couple years with additional 'breaks' from reality. The CIA tapped into his brain. He once pointed at my mom's face and said, 'You shut your effing trap,' over nothing. It was heart melting watching Mom and Dad fight over whether these were choices of his, or if he needed medication.
He eventually was caught with a fake weapon, defending a mansion which he had never seen before, with police weapons drawn on him. He luckily tossed the toy to the ground, they identified him as having an episode of some sort, and he went to a mental health facility.
After that, he complained about having illnesses which he didn't have until he did develop testicular cancer, which is downright awful for someone in his mental state.
He would giggle to himself, and when asked what he was laughing about, he would get very quiet and scary serious. It was like talking to a blank wall.
There is a lot more that went on but I try to forget it and move on.
On a lighter note, he is doing much better now on the right mix of medication, and although he is slower, he is beginning to forge connections with people again, so progress!"
"My brother's best friend married a pretty, rich girl. He said the first time he saw her do laundry, she was going through her pockets and throwing her loose change in the garbage. She had no idea that people kept their change. Genuinely thought everyone just threw it away."
"When I was a kid, I was on the swim team at an athletic club in a primarily rich area, with us being middle/lower class. The athletic club had a grill and I saw people all day going up and getting food just by showing their access card. I asked them what they did and they said, 'Just scan your access card and you get food.'
Of course in my mind, that meant it was complimentary. So I started getting all sorts of food and snacks: frozen yogurt, slurpees, chicken fingers, cheese fries, smoothies, etc.
Come the end of the month, my parents got our membership bill and started freaking out. I didn't hear the beginning of the conversation and walked in just in time for them to wonder where all these food charges came from. I, in my naivety, said, 'I got all that food, but it's free right?' They told me it all had to be paid for.
When I asked the other kids, they all said, 'No way it's free. I never have to pay.' Turns out, their parents were just so loaded they didn't care what the bill was. It just got paid and they ate whatever they wanted, however much.
It was around that time I realized just how 'out of class' I was compared to them."
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