The home is on the market with Christies International Real Estate. Price not disclosed. Chirnside Park, Victoria. Luxury on a grand scale. When it comes to living
Has someone treated you poorly until they discovered you were wealthy and/or successful?
Warning: This answer has been edited multiple times due to requests for more stories. Feel free to read the original story, it’s fewer than 500 words and should take less than 4 minutes to read. With all the edits (3269 words), it takes nearly 25 minutes to read it all. Proceed at your own risk and only if you have time! I wish you a pleasant read!
In my 24 years of life, I have lived in a total of six countries. I grew up in Monaco (10 years) and consider the city/country as home. Monaco is known as one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
Being black in Monaco, I was considered a unicorn. I was actually the only black kid at my high school until my little brother joined me.
When it was time to prospect for universities, I came to the U.S for admission orientation. I clearly remember my orientation for U.C Berkeley as if it was yesterday. My admission orientation group contained around 20 individuals, a mix of students and parents. We were all waiting in the room for our tour guide to show up. Being a social person, I attempted to small talk with the families around me. Most of the families gave short answers, some even looked a little irritated from my small talk efforts. Basically, they weren’t a social bunch. (Edit: The people of Berkeley were extremely kind and social, in this story I’m referring to my orientation group. None of them were from Berkeley.) The tour guide showed up and we did a little ice breaker exercise before heading out. Each student was asked to respond to four questions.
1. What’s your name?
2. Where did you come from?
3. What’s your favorite dish?
4. What’s an interesting fact about yourself?
This is where things got interesting. Everyone started giving out their answers, most of the students came from around the U.S. There were only two international students, myself and a student from Mexico. When it was my turn to introduce myself to the class, as soon as I mentioned the country I was visiting from. Everyone perked up incredulously, the tour guide exclaimed “Monaco as in Monte Carlo?” I corrected her, Monte Carlo is actually a division of Monaco and not the whole country. (Edit: Most people I meet seem to believe that Monte-Carlo is another name for Monaco.) She proceeded to ask me additional questions, some of the parents and students even joined in the conversation.
Once the tour started, my mom and I suddenly had our own entourage. At least half of the parents engaged in small talk with us. They laughed at our jokes and agreed with our comments. Many parents insisted I exchange contact information with their child. I’m still friends with one of them. All in all, it was ridiculous to see adults try so hard to gain my attention.
The attention was amusing at first, but now I avoid telling people I meet that I grew up in Monaco. It sways their perception of me, I also noticed that it mostly attracted superficial individuals. Most people fail to understand that my parents’ success isn’t my own success.
Edit: Wednesday 31st August 2016
Wow 30k views and 2k upvotes! I am humbled and positively surprised. This is my first answer on Quora and you have all motivated me to continue to post!
I received quite a few requests for more stories. I have decided to add extra stories, if you like them I will continue to add more.
This experience is one that I tell all my friends. It’s a great demonstration of the quote “Don’t judge a book by its cover”
The experience goes as follows:
My mother was on the market for a new vehicle. As a car enthusiast, she decided to take me along her dealership tour.
Her previous vehicle was a Toyota Land Cruiser. She wanted to try something different.
We stopped at multiple dealerships. The Porsche dealership for the Cayenne turbo.
The Mercedes dealership for the ML63 AMG class (now AMG GLE).
The Audi dealership for the Q7.
The BMW dealership for the X5 M
I even managed to get her to stop at the Maserati dealership to check out the Quattroporte.
She found all of these cars a little too ostentatious for her taste. My parents don’t like to attract unnecessary attention. I personally really enjoyed ML63 AMG and would have picked that car if it was up to me.
She enjoyed the comfort and style of her Land Cruiser. We went to the Lexus dealership. For some reason, they make you purchase the Land Cruiser through Lexus since it’s more expensive than the other Toyota vehicles. We test drove the new model and my mother loved it. We came back the next day and ordered one. It was a custom order, so we stayed at the dealership to pick all the options.
The manager knows my family well, since we have purchased multiple Land Cruisers from them, but he was busy at the time, so he asked the new sales representative to help us. We were treated very well by the sales representative. While we were picking the options with our sales rep, when an older gentlemen (let’s call him Mr.X) walks into the store.
He was dressed like a tourist. He was wearing an oversized white t-shirt some khaki bermuda shorts (long shorts, not quite pants) and some cheap looking flip flops. (Like the ones you would buy at a Walmart off the clearance rack for $2) He wasn’t well trimmed, he had a rough looking beard.
Our sales rep excuses himself from our table and approaches Mr. X
Since the dealership is small, we can hear the whole conversation. I was totally eavesdropping, I was intrigued by Mr.X. The conversation was in French, so I’m translating it to the best of my ability and memory. It goes as follows:
Sales rep (with an annoyed tone): May I help you?
Mr. X (calmly): No, I’m waiting for someone. I’ll just be looking around in the meanwhile.
Sales rep (with an arrogant tone like a true Frenchman): Well, the Toyota dealership is on the other side. They have plenty of affordable vehicles over there.
Mr. X (once again calmly): I’m fine, I’ll just wait here.
The sales rep just walks away after that, he doesn’t let Mr.X know he is available if he needs anything else. He didn’t even offer a bottle of water. He comes back to sit with us, so we may continue our order. My mom and I were shocked by the way he treated Mr.X. My mother later confessed that she had a word with the manager about the sales rep.
What comes next is what I would call carma! (Hahaha, get it?)
The manager comes out of the backroom and approaches the old gentleman with a big smile, calls him by his name in a polite manner and gives him a firm handshake.
I didn’t get the whole conversation, but I got the gist of it. Turns out Mr.X was a really wealthy man. He placed an order with the manager for two Lexus LFAs. That’s a $375,000 car and he was buying two of them. My younger self was mind blown.
As we were completing our order, the sales rep looked more and more anxious. I’m pretty sure he was eavesdropping too. The manager and Mr.X finished their conversation. The manager called the sales rep over. The words that came out from Mr. X forever marked me.
He said in a very peaceful and calm manner: “What you did earlier wasn’t right. It doesn’t matter, if I came here to buy a Lexus or a Toyota. Clients are giving you their hard earned money to buy a vehicle. You should treat them with respect!”
I wish I could have seen the face of the sales rep, but I’m sure it looked something like this:
That day I learned a very valuable lesson, never judge a book by its cover! If you do you, might miss out big time, like the sales rep.
I later heard that the sales rep was fired and that no other dealership would hire him in Monaco. (Monaco is small, news travels very fast)
I hope you liked this story!
Edit: Thursday September 1st 2016
40k views and 2.6k upvotes! Thank you for your continued support.
The next experience I’d like to share has to do with travel. My parents sent me to boarding school in Canada, so I may improve my written and spoken English. I had returned home for the Christmas holidays. I had a wonderful time with my family. The night before I left, my parents received an email (they booked the flight) stating that I had been upgraded from economy to business class. (This was before they had premium economy) I was super excited since I only get access to the premium treatment when I typically travel with my parents (They are both gold and platinum with several airlines). My siblings and I have always flown economy, it never bothered us. We were just happy to travel. It made the occasional upgrades a pleasant surprise.
Back to the story:
With Air France as a business class traveler, you get quite a bit of benefits such as:
– You get a dedicated sky priority check-in line.
– You get to skip the long lines when you go through body control.
– You can check in two bags of 23kg/50 lbs at no extra charge. They even add the priority tag, so you get your luggage first.
– You get access to the Air France airport lounge while you wait for your flight. It’s filled with complimentary refreshments, food, comfy seating, an assortment of magazines/newspapers and most importantly free high speed internet.
– When you board your flight, you get priority entrance. You also get off the plane first. (after first class of course)
– You get a big seat with plenty of leg room. The meals are so much better and the flight attendants are a lot more attentive.
Basically the next half day was going to be a fun day.
The next day, my parents dropped me off at the Nice airport. (Closest airport to Monaco)
I walked in with my ticket in hand and a big smile on my face. At this time I was a 17 year old boy with a baby face (I looked like I was 15), I was into tectonik (electro music) I wore tight skinny jeans ( I still wonder, how I was able to fit in them) with Ed Hardy t-shirts (Yeah, I don’t know why either) and long pointy shoes. I was walking around with my eastpak backpack that was all the rage in France. (Still is with high schoolers)
I certainly didn’t look like the typical business class traveler.
When I got to the dedicated premium check-in lane. The attendant looked at me, told me I was in the wrong line without looking at my ticket and pointed me over to the economy line. I was a little surprised because when I traveled with my parents I never got that kind of treatment. I handed over my ticket, she scanned it, apologized with a cheerful voice and let me go through the premium line.
I checked in my bags and now it was time to head to the lounge for a quick glass of orange juice and some croissants. I didn’t have any issues at the Nice lounge.
My next poor treatment/ service occurred when I arrived in Paris. I had made it over to my terminal, I had 3 hours before my flight was going to start boarding. After picking up some Ladurée macaroons, I decided to head to the lounge. Oddly enough there wasn’t a line to enter the lounge. I walked up to the desk, the attendant was on his computer. I stood in front of the desk waiting for him to look up. He didn’t look up for at least 30 seconds, it felt like minutes to me. When he finally looked up, he asked me what do you want in an condescending tone. Once again, I was taken aback never had a been treated like that before. I handed over my ticket and all of a sudden his attitude changed. He warmly greeted me with a big smile, checked me into the lounge and even offered to give me a tour. (Which they don’t typically do) He knew he messed up and he was trying to redeem himself.
Before I knew it, it was time to board the flight. I proceeded to the gate and got into the premium line. All the other passengers seemed to be giving me looks. They were probably wondering what a kid was doing in that line. One of the attendants, called me out while I was in the line. I didn’t know she was talking to me, so I took a while to reply. She asked to see my ticket in a rude tone. I handed it over and of course everything changed. She was now smiling and apologized. But the harm was done, I felt embarrassed in front of all the other passengers.
I finally made it to my seat. The way the plane seats were set, everyone that entered would go through business class. I watched almost every passenger that entered and walked towards the back of the plane. A lot of the passengers looked at me with disbelief in their eyes. I couldn’t help, but feel guilty for sitting in this seat. People that worked hard and paid for their tickets were sitting in coach while I who hadn’t worked a day in my life was sitting in business because of my parents’ status with the airline.
During the boarding process, I saw this lady in her 60’s (at least I think she was). She seemed to be traveling alone and she had trouble walking. I thought of giving my seat up for her, but I didn’t find the courage to speak up. I beat myself up during a big part of the flight for not taking action. Now when I travel alone and get upgraded, I typically give up my seat for an elder person (If you haven’t done it before, you should try it; it’s such an amazing feeling. You see the joy and happiness on their face. In my opinion, it’s priceless). I plan to start enjoying the upgrades when I earn them through my own hard work. The funny thing is that all three times I gave up my seat, the crew would give me another empty seat in business or premium economy.
I hope you enjoyed this story.
Edit: Wednesday September 7th 2016
69k views and 4.1k upvotes.
Thank you so much for your continued support.
Time for an update. I apologize for the delay.
This experience happened to me recently. The city I live in experienced a flash flood. (le sigh)
My vehicle was unfortunately affected.
When I called to file a claim, I discovered that I hadn’t elected for car rental insurance. I was mildly annoyed since I had comprehensive insurance and I thought it would cover everything. When I asked how much the car rental insurance was, I nearly lost it. It was a measly $7 per month. If I knew about it earlier, I would have opted for it. I offered to pay for it now and of course they refused.
I ended up being without a car for almost a month. A car is necessary in Houston, if you want to be able to get around without spending an arm or a leg (Uber) or taking a lot of time (limited public transport).
At that time, I had started my own digital marketing consulting firm and I approached small businesses offering my services. Getting to the businesses was a challenge.
A friend of mine that has several vehicles kindly lent me his 2015 BMW M3. It’s a beautiful vehicle and it was extremely fun to drive. I borrowed two other cars. (BMW 335i coupe and a Mini Cooper S Convertible) The M3 was the best by far!!!
To put this story in perspective, I typically drive a 2010 Honda Accord Coupe.
The bottom car looks better, right? 😉
Now that I was back in business, I continued my business to business visits. I mostly target strip mall businesses since the owner is usually running the shop.
On average, it takes me 20 visits before I get a business owner that is interested in talking to me.
When I pulled up with the BMW instead of the Honda. My conversations suddenly increased. 1 in 10 business owners would sit down and talk to me (I would actually purposefully move the car to park in front of every business I entered). Almost all of the business owners that talked to me mentioned the car.
I ended up signing 4 new clients over the 2 week period, which is huge for me. I had been in operation for 4 months and I had 7 consistent clients. That’s almost a 60% increase.
I guess the BMW gave them a perception of success that the Honda didn’t. While driving the car, I felt like a celebrity. Random people would give me thumbs up. Some approached me and asked what I did for a living. I received approving nods from my fellow motorists as well as better treatment from the business owners I visited.
While my car was being processed by the insurance company (It takes forever!). I started looking for a new car.
One of my first stops was at the Chevrolet dealership (I was interested in the redesigned chevy camaro). As soon as I parked, the car a salesperson greeted me. They complimented me on the car, I commented on the Corvette that was parked out front. He offered to go get the keys, so we could take it on a test drive. I was a little startled by the offer, because the last time I showed up at the dealership with my Honda (nearly 2 years ago) they practically ignored me. I accepted the offer and got to drive the new corvette stingray.
As a car enthusiast, I was overjoyed!
I probably looked like this the whole time. I couldn’t believe what was happening.
I started running scenarios in my head. If they would allow me to drive a corvette that easily, I should try to test drive some of my dream vehicles.
Surprisingly I was able to drive most of these cars. Care to guess which ones?
I got to drive the Porsche Cayman, the BMW Z4, Mustang GT (They didn’t have the Shelby in stock).
As for the GTR and F-Type, they asked for a deposit in order for me to test drive them.
I even stopped at the Honda dealership to check out the accord coupe and they tried to direct me to the Acura (Honda’s luxury car manufacturer) dealership.
But I was treated very well at all the dealerships I visited.
Disclaimer: I stopped at these dealerships on a weekday during the middle of the day. There weren’t many (or any) customers around. I asked the salesmen if they had time and that I was browsing for a vehicle. Even though I didn’t buy anything from them. I thanked them for their time and asked for their business cards. If I decide to buy a car or have friends that do, I’ll approach one of these individuals.
In the end, they were able to fix my car (Make sure you have vehicle rental insurance). I do miss driving the M3, it was such a beautiful and fun car to drive. One day, I’ll be able to buy my own.
Thank you for taking the time to read my answer, I hope you enjoyed it! Stay awesome!