Being rich is just as much a state of mind as it is the state of your checking account. There are a plentitude of stories about eccentric billionaires and millionaires who choose to live a pauper lifestyle: flying coach, eating McDonalds, or driving old jalopies. This waste of wealth confuses my patrician sensibilities; however
just as someone with money can choose to live poorly, someone without money can choose to live richly. This all comes down to attitude.
A barometer I live by is, “Am I being treated as well as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen would be if they were in this situation?” If the answer is no, then I throw a fit until I am.
On a recent evening out with my father, we were going to dinner at a moderately highbrow restaurant and had requested a table outside with our reservation. Upon arrival, the host – a man with airs so big he could have floated away – told us there were no tables available outside. While my father disappointedly shuffled to an inferior table inside, I held my ground with the louse. “Excuse me,” I said sternly. “We had reserved a table outside – I’m a travel journalist and I find this treatment unacceptable, especially when there are open tables outside in plain view.” My suspicion was that the man had written us of as some country bumpkins and I was not about to accept this false judgment from someone in New Jersey. The host quickly remedied the situation and showed us to our rightful table outside.
When you want the best things in life, you have to demand them. The wealthy are used to getting whatever they want and are accustomed to a high standard of treatment. They are confident that their requests, however outlandish will be obliged and therefore are unabashed in asking for the things they desire. Hookers delivered to your room Mr. Sheen? Absolutely no problem! A 2AM order for 12 hot chocolates poolside at the Chateau Marmont? Happy to oblige!
Even without a Platinum card, entitlement and confidence can go a long way. Those in the hospitality industry are eager to please their customers as word can quickly spread about a bad experience, especially in the age of social media. If you’re unhappy with something, don’t hesitate to say it, and with the more indignation, the better.
One time a friend and her assistant were staying at a certain Midtown Manhattan hotel that has a reputation for trendy but tiny rooms. The list of deficiencies could have filled a Yelp review’s maximum word count and after a few days of staying there, her assistant developed a mysterious rash that resembled a bed bug affliction. Imploring me to help, I contacted the front desk and threatened to call the New York Post about the situation. She was quickly upgraded to one of the best suites in the hotel and her assistant got her own room, though sadly her skin condition did not get any better. Had it not been for my intervention, my friend would have likely continued to fester in the broom closet sized room.
Try this at a restaurant the next time something is not served to your liking. Rather than sitting there, meekly smiling and attempting to shovel down whatever unacceptable drivel you’ve been served, call the server over and look at the dish with utter horrification as if someone has just placed a bleeding horse head on your table. Tell them that this is totally inedible and needs to go back – the more dramatic flourish and authority, the better.
Anther one of my favorite antics is saying my name like it means something. When making a business call or scheduling a dinner or hotel reservation, I always announce grandly, “This is Adrien Field calling.” Surely the person on the other end of line has absolutely no idea who I am, but when said with such magnificence, they can’t help but imagine that maybe it is someone important. Believe in your self worth and right to be treated like an Olsen twin and the world will start to believe it too.