As a starving undergrad, I spent an inordinate time in some of the most exclusive clubs in the Boston area; and I do not mean as a busboy or waiter.
Staff at private clubs are used to people acting in the role of an unappreciated aide de camp. Frequently escorted to private dining rooms to eat with others like myself, the chef seemed pleased to serve us. It was through this means that I was introduced to many foods that I could not afford to buy. Hell, at the sort of establishment I could afford, they’d never have heard of the entrees.
The staff of many of the clubs expected to be teated in a patronizing manner, I watched as many of them were openly ignored and disrespected. A favored technique that I later witnessed frequently at the University of Pennsylvania was the “cut.” Properly executed, the cutter passes the cuttee while looking slightly off to the right and above the shoulder. The eyes barely miss the cuttee’s face. It’s disrespectful and meant to imply that you are beneath notice.
I did this type of work for two years. I gained an insight into caste and class that I did not have previously. and came to agree wholeheartedly with Groucho Marx’s comment that if invited, I would refuse “…to join any club that would have me as a member.”