Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Poor little rich kids (tweet, tweet)

All you slobs out there probably think that it’s pretty darned easy being ultra-wealthy.

Well, let me tell you…

Even when you get beyond the fact that so many of the clearly envious great unwashed are clamoring for them to pay their so-called “fair share” of taxes, there’s the day to day problems associated with being a job creator for those faceless, thankless minions in China and India for whom jobs are being created. And the even more pedestrian issue of finding good help-around-the-house(s)  who won’t go yapping (on their blogs, in their tweets, to the National Enquirer, in tell-all books) about you and your private, personal, wealth and job creating lives at the first chance. (You know, one good thing about the illegals. Not only do they work cheap, but a lot of them don’t speak English. I’m telling you, it just gets harder and harder for the rich.)

Then there’s coping with the hangers-on who probably just pretend to like you in hopes that you’ll give them a used tiara, or something.

In truth, being wealthy may remove a teensie-weensie bit of anxiety about whether you’re going to be eating cat food in your old age and/or sleeping over a heating grate. And it may enable you to buy a raft of swell stuff without fumbling around trying to find the price tag without making it obvious to the sales person that you’re fumbling around trying to find the sales tag.

Come on, who wouldn’t want an iPad in every room, in every home? Who wouldn’t want 2,000 thread count sheets? And cashmere dust rags?

But big money can also buy you big trouble. And some of that big trouble’s social-media related. Especially when your poor little kids are using it.

Take the situation that the children of Michael Dell have found themselves in.

Alexa, a recent high school grad, went and posted a picture of her 15 year old brother Zachary on this tremendously interesting and relevant Tumblr site called the Rich Kids of Instagram. (Seriously, as an aside, you should absolutely go and wander through RKOI. You will regret that you ever doubted for a New York minute that it isn’t difficult being the scion of someone who’s well to do enough to allow you to take private helicopter rides around San Tropez. Truly, you will stop channeling your inner Robespierre and start feeling a whole yacht-load of sympathy for those poor rich folks.)

Anyway, the picture of Zachary that Alexa posted on RKOI – now, alas, taken down – was of young Master Dell scarfing down a lush buffet while seated in the family jet, heading for a no-doubt well-earned vacation on Fiji.

Anyone with a bit of curiosity could see that Alexa had posted the picture on Instagram and pointed to it via her Twitter account. On that same Twitter account, Alexa happily detailed her every move, including the exact days she would arrive in, say, New York, and where she was shopping. She also put up such things as her high school graduation dinner invitation that foretold where (time, date, location) Michael Dell and his wife would be in a couple of weeks’ time. (Source: Business Week.)

Which would not be that big a deal – my sister Trish updates her FB when we’re sitting in the bleachers at Fenway Park (this year, given how crapoid the team is, there’s nothing going on on the field that’s all that riveting) - if, unlike my sister Trish, Michael Dell wasn’t spending:

…about $2.7 million a year for the security protection of his family, according to Dell regulatory filings.

Which, I guess, must mean that $2.7 million worth of security is part of his compensation package. But it also means that Dell is paying $50K a week for security. Which seems to translate into quite a few reasonably well paid, round the clock security folks watching out for Dell, his beloved, and his possessions.  $2.7 million a year in security!  Presumably, if you’re paying it, you’re needing it. Now that, my friends, underscores the point that a life of financial ease is not necessarily a life of personal ease.

Given the security outlay,

…you can imagine how pleased [Dell] must have been to see his children’s jaunt to Fiji detailed on a catchy website and his daughter providing an online diary of her life, replete with GPS locations dished out by her cell phone.

Alas, Alexa’s Twitter account has been shuttered. Dell is mum on whether it was because of security concerns, but the speculation is that security’s the reason.

Jason Thorsett, a manager at a bodyguard company, figures that Dell’s security team went bonkers when they saw the Dells’ locations being given away.

“I’m sure they called the dad and shut it down,” he says. “It’s innocent on the kids’ behalf, but social networking has become the bane of our existence. They undo a lot of hard work on Facebook and Twitter.”

All those 140 character bread-crumb trails leading kidnappers to their targets.

“Twitter is the worst because it’s so instantaneous,” Thorsett says. “You get that GPS location of exactly where you are. It’s just insane.”

What did I tell you?

It is SO not easy being ultra-wealthy.

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