Tuesday, December 20, 2011

75 cents

Seventy-five cents was the most significant amount of money in my life. I worked as a youth for my father. He operated a successful business and he believed in giving his children an allowance. We were "allowed" to work for whatever money we got.

I earned 25 cents an hour. The minimum wage at the time was $1.65 but I was my father's son and he didn't have to pay me minimum wage. I was underage and was not supposed to be legally working said the government. My father had other ideas. If I could spend money, I could work. I was perhaps 12 or 13. The company had an accountant who handled payroll. His name was Mr. Bill David.

I was smart enough to know that my wages were below everyone else's but I often worked harder. One day I went to the accounting office and asked Mr. Bill David about a raise.

"How much do you want?" Mr. Bill David asked.

I was hoping to move from 25 cents an hour to perhaps 35 or maybe even 40 cents. I was smart enough to know to ask for more than I thought I would actually get so I threw out this ridiculous figure.

"I would like one dollar an hour," I boldly stated to Mr. Bill David. I was expecting riotous laughter at such a ridiculous increase.

Mr. Bill David's answer shocked me. He said, "OK."

Thus, in the span of a few seconds, I had the largest percentage monetary increase of my life. A whopping 300% increase. I was elated beyond measure and no amount of money since has excited me as much as that 75 cents.

It taught me seven lessons.

1. Don't let another person spend your money without accountability. It wasn't Mr. Bill David's money so what was it to him if he gave me a 300% instant raise.

2. Aim for the moon. You just might hit it.

3. Increases in material stuff has a decreasing effect in its ability to bring joy. Never again was I so elated over money. I have literally not been nearly as excited over 75 thousand as I was that 75 cents.

4. Somehow, even with big increases, we still shortly thereafter seem to feel underpaid.

5. Expenses rise to meet income.

6. Income does not necessarily rise to meet new expenses.

7. Mr. Bill Davids are rare.
~A MountainWings Original~

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