People get all funny when it comes to money. It always seems to take me by surprise. Maybe because I would never pull these stunts myself. Three examples from my life:
I once dated a guy who was all about splitting bills right down the middle. Fine. I’m a big girl. The problem would come when the amount of our meal came down to an odd number. He’d actually mark down in a notebook which one of us had paid the additional penny last. Needless to say, the relationship with it’s-your-turn-to-pay-the-penny guy did not last long. Life is just too freakin’ short.
Another time I was writing my will, and I approached a longtime friend to ask her if she’d be willing to be the executor. Her immediate response was, “I would be getting money for that, right?” Actually, yes, executors can claim expenses and such from the estate (as meager as mine is). But do you want that to be your executor’s very first thought? That conversation made me have a change of heart, and I asked someone else.
Many years ago a friend of mine knew I was desperately seeking employment, and she called me up to say she heard about a job that would be absolutely perfect for me. I was so excited! But before she gave me the contact information she said, “If you get the job, I’ll only ask you for 5 percent of your pay for the first year.” And she was totally serious. Mind you, this was not someone who worked as an executive recruiter. She was a poet that I sometimes ate nachos with. That left a bad taste in my mouth. But it turned out to be a moot point because I didn’t get the job.
The way I look at it, money is just a symbol, and when it’s clutched at so greedily it’s also a symptom of a much larger spiritual disease. Just like your political beliefs, your obsession with the pennies in this world reveals more about you than you probably realize. And in the cases above it’s definitely not a good look.