Day in the Work Life: Wallet guardian

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TESS VIGELAND:
This is Marketplace Money from American Public Media. I'm Tess Vigeland.

According to Forbes, it's getting less lonely at the top. Earlier this month, the magazine released its list of the world's billionaires. Their ranks grew by 19 percent over last year. Of course, behind, each one of them is an army of helpers. On today's A Day in the Work Life, we meet one of those little people.

KEENAN HERSCHEISER:
Okay. We're in the conference room of a very fancy hotel. Actually, I'm in the smoking area right outside the conference room. My employer is in the conference room. And I do this a lot. I just stay near the boss and wait for him to--oh, that's, that's him. Just a second. Yes, sir. My name is Keenan Herscheiser.

JOE KING:
Got it.

HERSCHEISER:
And my job is to carry a very wealthy man's wallet. Yes, sir. Right away. He needs a quarter to flip. They're making a bet. But we can talk for a few more--actually, do you mind if I run in and get him that real fast? Thank you. Actually, I can't tell you my boss' name because some folks might try to follow me around to get to him. But I can tell you, you've heard of the Fortune 500 wealthiest men in the world? He's, like, number 504. Now, I say, I carry his wallet that's to be, kind of, you know, funny. It's more of a backpack. I have his, his credit cards, all 93 of them, and his stock portfolio.

Quite literally, he likes to carry actual paper stocks, it's a quirk of his. And then, the stocks you can't get on paper, I keep in this laptop computer, which I can hook up via satellite to most world markets and, and trade for him. Family pictures, of course. Sometimes, he asks me to show him the picture of his child by a second wife, and he, you know, cries. See, you have to understand. You don't just carry the wallet of a man like this. You kind of become his wallet. So I sleep in a--it's bigger than a closet. I call it a small bedroom right off his bedroom.

And if he wants to buy something off Amazon at 3:00 AM, I'm awakened at 3:00 AM to fetch one of his Amex cards. And if he takes a drive, I'm in the backseat because I have his license. I go to office appointments. For security reasons, I usually don't know where we're going, so if I get stolen--stolen, that's what he calls it if someone were to kidnap me. If I were stolen, I wouldn't be able to tell my captors where to find him. So I have begun some days right here in Pasadena and ended the day in Guam. Most interesting day I've had on the job, there was one time the boss told me to load the wallet only with hundreds, and we had a very nice dinner with Donald Trump, who I, for some reason, won't touch $20s or any denomination bill below $100, he doesn't wanna touch. So that was interesting.

Do I have to say this? Okay. It's not--let's just say I make between $500,000 to $600,000 per year, but I should add I tithe 10 percent of that to charity and, of course, my therapist gets his cut. Yeah. If I could do another job? I would like to be a baggage handler because I've proven I can handle people's valuable things. I imagine the boss has kind of can talked to you, you know, like have a, have a conversation with you sometimes. And also, I think I'd work more days, 'cause as it is, I only work one day a year right at the beginning of April.

VIGELAND: A day in the Work Life was reported by Joe King and written by Rico Gagliano.

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