I occassionally work in the Starbucks in Scarsdale. It’s a nice place—clean, regular group of customers, an odd-yet-entertaining sexual thing going on with a few of the people.

I disgress. The problem with Scarsdale is simple: Snobbery. Too many of the residents are snobbed—entitled wealthy white people who never pick up a napkin, wipe down a table, know what it is to show respect and compassion (outside of writing a fat check to some tax-deductable charity).

Case in point: When I arrived this morning, there was a woman upset over losing the keys to her BMW. She looked and looked, and came to the conclusion she threw them out in the Starbucks garbage. The employees—being exceptionally nice—took out the cans and dug through them … with their own hands. The woman looked too, but nothing was uncovered.

She returned a few hours later to double check—nothing. Then she came back a third time, asking to check the garbages again. An employee—a nice woman I’ve known for a while—explained to her that the store probably has 100 bags of garbage a day, and they don’t save them; can’t save them. “Besides,” she said, “we already checked twice.”

The key loser was indignant. She couldn’t understand why they didn’t save the garbage cans; was anything but appreciative that employees spent their time digging for keys. She threatened the employee … told her somebody at Starbucks would pay the $400 it costs for new keys.

I sat there, seething. Wanted to chew this lady out; tell her to bug off; bite me; etc. But it wasn’t my place, and the employee was handling herself fine. But it remains incredible to me how many wealthy people develop a sense of elitism that is just … just … sad. Truly sad.

If I find this woman’s keys tomorrow in Starbucks—behind a garbage can, under a seat—well, I’ll return them to her. But not without a serious tongue lashing.


PS: If you have a second, listen to this. True bliss.

10 thoughts on “Scarsdale”

  1. A former coworker of mine used to manage a Port-A-John business, taking his wares to various outdoor events.

    His favorite story involved a woman who came up to him, demanding help finding her diamond tennis bracelet, which had fallen into the muck. He basically told her she was free to dig around in there all she liked…

    To her credit, she got her bracelet, although her arm was dyed blue up to the shoulder, from all the chemicals down there.

  2. “I sat there, seething. Wanted to chew this lady out; tell her to bug off; bite me; etc. But it wasn’t my place,…”

    Actually, and I’m not picking on you here Jeff, because I think we’re all the same way, but I do think it is our place to say something.

    I think we all need to do more to show people the Earth doesn’t revolve around them.

    I do it. I do it at the store when I see a parent tongue-lashing their child or pulling on their arms or hair; I’ve seen some downright disturbing things and I’m no longer afraid to say something. It isn’t well received, but hopefully the next time that person thinks twice before repeating their behavior.

    Maybe it’s because of my health and the uncertainty of my future, but I just can’t take rudeness and snobbery anymore. People take much too much for granted and it pisses me off.

    I don’t blame anyone for turning their heads to avoid confrontation, but I’ll be damned if I ignore it any longer.

  3. I agree with Steve H, although I have yet to put my actions where my thoughts are. To be fair, I haven’t seen anything quite like Jeff’s situation in awhile. Of course, I’m convinced that the next jackass that starts playing with their iPhone in a movie, I’m going to go over and snatch it away from them and tell them they’ll get it back after the movie.

    Here’s a similar anecdote to Jeff’s story. A number of years ago, when I was working at AT&T (though it was Cingular back then), I sold a woman a phone, showed her how to use it, and she and her friend left with it. She came back a short while later, saying she couldn’t find the phone and that I never gave it to her when she left. It was a Sunday, so it was slower than normal day, and it was unlikely that the phone was going to get left behind or lost in the confusion. I told her I gave her the phone, and she seemed indigent and wanted her money back and proceeded to give me the empty box. Before I could explain that I couldn’t give money back for an item she didn’t have, her friend discovered it in the car. did I get an apology? Take a guess.

  4. I don’t think this is “wealthy person” behavior. It’s asshole behavior. And our society is filled with self-absorbed, sanctimonious assholes across many different socioeconomic groups.

  5. Having worked in retail in a number of places around the North Shore of Boston, in a number of different socioeconomic areas, there *is* a correlation with wealth. And there’s a reason for this: poorer people are more likely themselves to work or have worked in retail. Especially if the money is “old money”. The store at which I currently work has, as part of its area, one of the biggest “old money” towns in Northeastern MA. These people haven’t had to lower themselves to work in retail in five generations. And it shows in how they treat retail employees.

    Best place I ever worked was in a city that’s one of the poorest in MA, and one where I had a language issue (very Hispanic area, and I took French in high school :)). Absolute *fantastic* customer base. The current place? Not so much.

  6. “Of course, I’m convinced that the next jackass that starts playing with their iPhone in a movie, I’m going to go over and snatch it away from them and tell them they’ll get it back after the movie.”

    You do realize that you will probably get punched in the face for this, don’t you?

    And you do realize that you will probably deserve it.

  7. I used to work in retail in Scarsdale Village for many decades. The people there are the rudest, worst people in America. I grew up in New York City and think the people there were way more caring, just too crowded. The entitlement, cheapness and rudeness is beyond compare, except for Chappaqua and Bronxville,(in the latter it is often coupled with racism which is really disgusting), in Westchester. I have to say, the newest crop of young 30 something parents are the absolute worst bottom of the barrel in many cases. They let their kids touch, break or soil anything. They’d rather play with their blackberry than their child.

  8. Rich snobby Jews that have everything and are still miserable. I can’t stand Scarsdale, Eastchester or Bronxville. Snobbery gets on my nerves and i wish they would lose all there wealth and end up poor. Im waiting for the day when the stock market crashes and they lose everything. I want to see them living under the worst conditions humanly possible. There houses, cars, money and all there designer clothing and jewelry seized. Then we can watch them cry and writher in pain..

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