Salvador Neme needed some help, and fast.
The 22-year-old Babson College junior was throwing a last-minute party at his Boston apartment and wanted to add a few special touches.
So the undergrad rang his personal concierge.
“I had no idea where to start,” says Mr. Neme, who decided that an authentic mariachi band would be just the thing for his Mexican Independence Day soiree. “Mariachis are hard to find,” says the Mexico City native.
No worries. For $300 a month, Mr. Neme has unlimited access to the seven full-time employees of Boston Collegiate Consulting Group, a local concierge company that helps today's moneyed students live like the privileged young swells of the Golden Age. BCCG helps its clients find and decorate apartments, get academic tutoring, snag coveted restaurant reservations and handle a litany of other bothersome chores.
Got that? There's a Boston-area company that makes its bones on college kids paying $3,600 a year so they can have someone—kept on retainer—decorate their dorm rooms, find tutoring services already widely advertised on campuses, and help throw parties for other kids normally content with dirty-30s of Busch Lite and Crat poured in red solo cups. These wannabe Jay Gatsby's choose to use a conceirge because they require a “seamless transition” into a new city, according to BCCG founder A.J. Rich. “For many clients, he says, 'It's not looked at as an indulgence, but a need.'”
I just…. I don't know.
Because this was in the Wall Street Journal, and the reporter couldn't follow each client quote with “I HATE YOU” wrapped at the end, the rest of the piece continues like this: #.01percentproblems delivered from impossibly privileged 20-year-olds who have never been made aware of the term self-awareness.
Meet twin students Leon and Raquel Papu:
They have called upon their BCCG concierge to intervene in a landlord dispute, wait for a plumber and line up Boston Celtics tickets…. [One brother also] contacted the company when he was pulled over for speeding on the way home from a Vermont ski trip last winter. The concierge reached out to a local lawyer, who went to the ticket clinic and paid the fee.
Meet mother Lindsay Smart:
Ms. Smart had previously hired [Charlottesville Concierge LLC], which charges about $40 an hour, to furnish her son's bedroom in an off-campus house during his sophomore year. “My son would be sleeping on the floor if there wasn't some intervention there,” Ms. Smart says. She spent roughly $1,200 plus fees for a bed, computer table, towels and homey touches like a nightstand clock—and had it all set up while he was out.Ms. Smart had previously hired Ms. Battani, who charges about $40 an hour, to furnish her son's bedroom in an off-campus house during his sophomore year. “My son would be sleeping on the floor if there wasn't some intervention there,” Ms. Smart says. She spent roughly $1,200 plus fees for a bed, computer table, towels and homey touches like a nightstand clock—and had it all set up while he was out.
And meet an unnamed Saudi Arabian mother:
Ms. Chaplin from BCCG recalls getting daily phone calls from the Saudi Arabian mother of one Suffolk freshman because her son's off-campus apartment lacked a bidet.
She was “frantic,” Ms. Chaplin says, and expressed concern that “it would be bordering on unhealthy and unsafe” if a bidet wasn't installed immediately
What makes college, and freshman year especially, so great and so important are the myriad little ways you learn how to take care of yourself. Doing laundry, cooking a grilled cheese with an iron, balancing schoolwork with throwing a birthday party. Getting tickets for a game. Finding a, uh, bidet—if that's how you roll. College should be a time where everyone is on the same playing field. Not a time to use a butler. That's for later, when we're all billionaires.
I mean, how inept are you as a person, really?