Personal Finance 

Friend for Hire: $150/hr

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For $150 an hour, you can hire Mr. Michael Biondo to come be your friend, just ask Jessica Seid of CNN/Money who got a test run of Biondo’s lifestyle consulting services. Biondo is a lifestyle consultant, “the latest offshoot of the booming market of upscale personal services,” and is like every one of the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” guys rolled into one. The most startling part of this article is when Robert Thompson, a professor of pop culture at Syracuse (technically, Professor Television Radio Film), states that these consultants fill a “void left by the dissolution of close familial relationships and neighborhoods.”

If you could afford it, would you hire someone to be your professional friend? What if none of your deadbeat actual friends found out?

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “Friend for Hire: $150/hr”

  1. perry says:

    I had Bob Thompson for a professor at syracuse and he is the guy the media turns to for all things pop culture. You can see him talk about pop culture on cnn every week. Go Cuse

  2. Matt (different one) says:

    Since I don’t watch “Queer Eye” and have no idea what value a fake “friend” could possibly provide, I’m a bit unclear on what the $150/hr buys. But for that kind of financial investment, I’d expect to get either a direct financial return of some kind (which is pretty doubtful) or at least some _lasting_ noneconomic value (which probably is what he’s selling…but I have trouble visualizing what’d be worth it).

  3. jim says:

    While I don’t watch “Queer Eye” myself, I do know that it’s a spin on another one of those life-renovation shows where each of the five guys is an expert on something – like fashion, or interior decorating, or grooming, etc. According to the article, the guy doesn’t really provide much of a direct financial return and is more of a life consultant – ask him what shirt matches which pants and to help organize your closet. It’s something the wealthy (some of them anyway) use so they can spend their money. 🙂

  4. Dale says:

    No, I wouldn’t hire a professional friend. I would hire a professional advisor for any number of things. The difference is pretty straightforward. When I hire an advisor, I have specific goals in mind. I want answers to some questions, I want a task accomplished. Friendship is open-ended and much less specific. Of course, I’m not offended when my friends can’t help me with specific problems.

  5. Soccer9040 says:

    I dont think I would ever hire a friend, but I would love having an assistant some times. For example, I need my dry cleaning picked up and my ink recycling (Staples and Office Max) dropped of. I wish I could just snap my fingers and my errands would be done.

  6. If I had the money,I might hire somebody to help me pick out clothes, since I’m really bad at that stuff. I would not ever in a million years hire that Biondo guy with his horrible facial hair.

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