22 Fed-Up Folks Are Revealing The Most Out Of Touch Things Privileged People Said To Them, And I'm Just So Done
"My boss looked at me in disbelief and said, 'Why don't you just get a car?!'"
I'm pretty content that there are just some worlds, like the ones of the mega rich and famous, that I'll probably never understand. But I learned that I can still be stunned by ignorance when I wrote about people who were revealing the most 'out of touch' things they've heard, and y'all responded with your own stories.
So many of you have much more self-control than I do, because some of your replies got me riled the hell up! Y'all, please judge the people in these stories for yourselves:
1. "Five years ago, I was working my first job out of grad school as a social worker and getting paid around $13.25 an hour. I was struggling a lot financially and talking to a coworker about going to our director about a raise. A senior staff member who drives a Jaguar looked at me and said, 'Why don’t you get on food stamps and utilize other programs like our clients? Or are you too good for that?' I did get a 50-cent raise. Then I got a new job."
2. "I recently spent time with someone griping about being 'homeless' because he lived in his parents’ basement. I know that that isn’t an ideal situation, but I’ve had actual friends who I've driven around all night looking for safe places to sleep, sometimes resorting to letting them sleep in my car since I was living at my parents' and couldn't offer the couch. Hearing that guy actually call himself 'homeless' when he actually has so many luxuries was a real turn-off."
3. "My now husband was in a rehab hospital for months after dislocating his neck and becoming paralyzed in a plane crash. I was negotiating with my employer to take time off so I could be with him for some of the week, but keep my job. l needed to learn all of his care, transfers, medical needs, and how I should be modifying our house to accommodate a wheelchair. It was one of the best rehab hospitals in the country, and they want family involved. My employer asked me if I really needed to be there. Um...yes! Yes I do."
4. "I finished chemo for breast cancer in September. My sister-in-law was diagnosed, too, in February. Before she started treatment, we were at a birthday party for her 6-year-old, and I was chatting with two moms there. They were saying how amazing my sister-in-law was handling the diagnosis. Then, they talked about how great it was that she would lose so much weight from chemo...I had to walk away."
5. "My own mother once told me that I would understand working for a living better when I had a 'real job.' At the time, I was in fact working a real job. I was working inventory part-time at a museum while I was going to college. It was a great job, and I really enjoyed it! But it wasn't a real job to my mother because I liked what I was doing — apparently, you're only supposed to hate what you do."
6. "Two years out of college, I was dating this woman who was constantly berating me for being irresponsible with money. I feel like she was upset because I couldn't afford to buy her flowers all the time or take her out for dinner every night. Meanwhile, she had no job. She wasn’t going to school and was completely funded by her parents. Not only did they buy her a nice studio apartment in the East Village of Manhattan, but they also sent her a big enough allowance for her to buy a $2,000 dog. But yeah, I guess I was the irresponsible one."
7. "I was recently told that 'people in the military seem to have a certain expectation of what type of housing they need.' This was because I was saying I was worried about the rental market and not being able to secure affordable housing in our new location — military housing has long waitlists, so not always an option. I am not picky or trying to live somewhere my family can’t afford, but I do deserve to be able to raise my kids in a safe home and neighborhood with decent schools. This same person suggested we look into low-income housing, as if there aren’t years-long waitlists for those! And we certainly don’t qualify, or want to take that housing from those who need it more."
8. "In my experience, I feel like boomer bosses and landlords are the most clueless. I had a lady tell me, 'Cheer up!' after she threatened to evict me before rent was due. Then, she had the guts to not accept partial payments while I was trying my best to pay for the rent."
9. "A woman cutting my hair asked me if I was married and had kids. I said no and no. She asked, 'What’s wrong with you?'"
10. "Another woman at my son's soccer club was asking if she could drop off donations to me. I hadn't asked for them; she was just being demeaning. She quickly followed it up with, 'As long as you don't live anywhere too ghetto. I don't go into the hood for charity!' She had assumed I wanted her charity. We had spoken once before that interaction, but never again."
11. "'No one at this company should have to live paycheck to paycheck.' This was said by the owner's son, who was in his early 20s like me, and had just built a $2 million house. It was in the mid-'90s. I was making $6 an hour."
12. "I have a friend who has no concept of what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. When my truck broke down some years ago on a trip to New Orleans, the repairs were double over my emergency fund balance. My friend was confused why I had to slash my trip budget, because the repairs and rental car cost for the week were the equivalent of 'only about a monthly car payment.' He seemed to think that since I didn't have to make car payments, I just had that money free in my budget. He had no understanding that I was driving a 20-year-old beater, for which I had a small emergency fund for repairs, because I did not have money for a car payment."
13. "Once, I was talking about how my parents’ divorce had deeply affected me and kind of screwed my view of love, and my friend with happily married parents goes, 'At least you don’t have true love to live up to.' Our friendship never recovered."
14. "I went to an NFL game with my sister-in-law who is very nice, and grew up very wealthy. My (one and only) Louis Vuitton purse was too big to be allowed in the venue, so I started the 20-minute walk back to the car. She kept trying to tell me how I was going to be late and would miss a lot of the game, then dead-serious suggested I throw the purse in the trash and buy a new one later."
15. "I was 18 years old when I had my daughter, and was living on very little money. I'd found a really cheap pram in the local paper and was so happy. I gave it a really good clean and hand-sewed blankets for it. A family friend wanted to know why I didn't have a fitted-out nursery with all new items like she did. She said I was an awful mother for buying a secondhand pram, and that she would 'rather die than put her baby at risk by having something used by a stranger.'"
16. "My husband lost his job, and my boss suggested we take a week off and go to the Oregon coast. We were trying to figure out how to pay for food, our mortgage, bills, car payments, etc...and his suggestion was a vacation."
17. "I'm visually impaired. I left a comment on an article about an actress I don't care for, and someone responded, 'So you’re judging the performance of an actor you can’t see?' Because apparently, only people with good eyesight can appreciate, enjoy, and therefore, be qualified to have an opinion about an actor's performance. To top it off, my comment in that moment was about an actor slated to play a blind character!"
18. "I've been burned out at work recently. I work a hybrid schedule where I go to the office 1-2 days a week. I told my mom (who does not work) this, and she said, 'You work from home most of the week. Why would you be burned out?'"
19. "My mother died of a sudden heart attack when I was 14 years old. I came home from school and found her in the living room. A few years ago, I went to the funeral for a man who died in his 90s after a prolonged illness. His daughter, who must've been in her 60s, told me, 'You know what it's like...' I know what it's like to lose a parent, sure, but I do not know what it's like to lose them after having months to say goodbye, when I was a fully-grown adult."
20. "In high school and college, I worked at Wegmans. Wegmans is a bit of a fancier grocery store and are predominantly located in middle to upper-class neighborhoods — many Wegmans locations sell caviar and expensive cheese. After three years at the first location I worked at, in a lower-middle to middle class town, I transferred to another larger location in a more affluent neighborhood about a 30-minute drive away. One of my new managers asked me where I transferred from, so I told him, and he responded, 'Ooooh, you worked at the ghetto store.' He said this after telling me he also volunteered at the local zoo four blocks away from the 'ghetto Wegmans.'"
21. "One time, my family and I were at a restaurant, and my dad was making small talk with one of the waitresses that we knew. She talked about how she was supposed to be at home, but was told that she had to work today anyways, and that she keeps being forced to come in. My brother said, 'At least you get to make money,' as if the whole point of making money is to spend it."
22. "I was working at my first full-time job and making a garbage salary. When my boss asked me to work on Saturday one week, I told him that I could, but that I'd need someone to give me a ride because bus schedules in the area were reduced on the weekend. He looked at me in disbelief and said, 'Why don't you just get a car?!'"
What's the most out of touch thing someone has said to you? Drop your story in the comments!
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.