The Need to Show Power and Importance
Basically those with power treated me as an equal, not just making conversation but also asking about and interested in me as a person. I remember as we pulled into the function center for the wake that the quite prominent lawyer I was driving asked if I had time to stop and offer the girl ushering traffic a water if I had time (it was a hot day and she was in the sun). It was amazing how he noticed and thought of the wellbeing of the staff. Another time I was talking with a lady about the odd things we bring back from holidays. She said, quite nonchalantly, how she had a chandelier posted back from Franc simply because she liked it. To her posting a whole chandelier was on the same level as me posting a letter. Yet one would never guess about either of these people's status through their dress, body language or attitudes. They were quite relaxed and saw me as another equal person.
In contrast I disliked driving 'lower' rich or powerful people. Those that thought they had power and thus the right to show it off when really they had nothing in comparison to people with actual power or wealth. These people were much less likely to talk with me let alone make actual conversation. And they never treated 'us staff' as equals, we were there to serve them. Not to point fingers or group people but these sort of people were more common in places like Double Bay, Edgecliff or the western hills areas. Basically 'fancy' and expensive areas that are actually not quite as expensive as other areas.
What is interesting is that people of a middle class background or lower (not upper-middle class) were also quite nice and relaxed treating others as equals. They were not rich or powerful and fine with the fact., such as those from the Shire, certain parts of the Eastern Suburbs and certain parts of the North Shore. Again, just like with the rich people I often had a great time driving these people who made an effort to get to know me and talk with me.
So it appears that those with lots of power or money and those with a decent amount to little are more likely to be kind and treat people as equals. On the other hand those with a decent amount of money or power are the ones who are unlikely to actually talk with staff and act as though they are the most important ones to grace your presence.