Answer by Ian Mikutel:

I once went down for a late afternoon snack in my building's cafe on Microsoft's Redmond campus and Steve Ballmer, at the time CEO of Microsoft, was standing at the pastry case trying to decide which muffin he wanted. It was just me, SteveB and a barista.

The muffin SteveB was eyeing was the classic "raisin? blueberry? chocolate chip?" conundrum we've all faced before. He asked the barista, whose English unfortunately wasn't very good, what type of muffin it was. She didn't quite understand, so instead, he started to point to the mystery muffin. I remember standing there at that moment wondering if the barista had any idea who she was serving.

I also remember, having had the opportunity to meet SteveB in person a couple other times, that he didn't look in a particularly good mood. I imagine he'd just had some stressful meeting, a long day, etc.

After pointing to the muffin and the barista admitting she wasn't sure what type it was, it was clear SteveB had spent enough time on pastry selection and said he'd simply take the mystery muffin.

The muffin was $2. SteveB dropped a $20 on the counter, took the mystery muffin, and hustled out of the cafe.

How do billionaires like Bill Gates pay for everyday items, with cash, credit, check, some other way?


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