Archive for the ‘Bribe’ Category

Service of Bribing Ourselves to Face the Music

Thursday, November 10th, 2022


Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

Parents use what one friend calls the “reward system” to persuade offspring to attack a chore. Some dog owners constantly give treats to inspire pups to perform as trained.

Because into every life some rain is forecast many bribe themselves to help face a scary doctor visit or medical procedure; a meeting with a contentious client; a call to customer service at a big business to adjust a mistake or to pay a dreaded visit to an annoying person.

I sometimes do.

I love paper products. When Kate’s Paperie was in business, I noticed a branch of this beloved paper store [long out of business] on the way to a scary medical test and I said to myself, “If you survive this MRI, think of the fun you’ll have visiting the store afterwards.” [If I took tranquilizers, this would have been the moment and I suspect they would have been far more effective to calm me than my promised retail incentive.]

Upside down at a grueling dental appointment yesterday I said to myself “New episodes of The Crown on Netflix launch today!”

When I mentioned to a friend that there will be travel for a nervous-making reason in my future to a hard-to-reach part of town–I avoid subways and am allergic to $30 cab/Uber rides–she made a winning suggestion. She said: “find a great bakery in the vicinity to treat yourself afterwards.” PERFECT idea. I was as happy as a four-year-old on the eve of her birthday.

Do you play such psychological games?


Image by Omerlavon from Pixabay 

Service of Getting a Leg Up

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Jared Kushner’s responsibilities in running the country continue to expand to the point that even some conservative talk show hosts, like Todd Schnitt on the WOR Radio morning show, question the background, aptitude, experience and competence of 45’s son- in-law to handle so much. During a recent program Schnitt noted that Kushner’s Dad had paid for his spot at Harvard.

This comment inspired today’s post. Kushner’s not alone.

I looked into the allegation. Daniel Golden corroborated it. Golden penned “The Story Behind Jared Kushner’s Curious Acceptance Into Harvard” on Mother Jones as well as the book “The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges—and Who Gets left Outside the Gates.”

In Mother Jones Golden wrote: “My book exposed a grubby secret of American higher education: that the rich buy their underachieving children’s way into elite universities with massive, tax-deductible donations. It reported that New Jersey real estate developer Charles Kushner had pledged $2.5 million to Harvard University in 1998, not long before his son Jared was admitted to the prestigious Ivy League school. At the time, Harvard accepted about one of every nine applicants. (Nowadays, it only takes 1 out of 20.)

“I also quoted administrators at Jared’s high school, who described him as a less than stellar student and expressed dismay at Harvard’s decision.”

I once knew a sculptor who said she felt guilty because she’d inherited a ton of money and wasn’t the typical starving artist and thought, because she could afford a fancy studio and had a fat marketing budget that this would slow her road to success.

I also benefited from a leg up and took good advantage. My sister was accepted at one of NYC’s most prestigious and tough-to-get-into private schools and because they loved sisters, daughters and granddaughters to attend, I profited. At five I could play canasta, checkers and dance the Charleston, also thanks to her, but doubt that this had anything to do with my admittance. Surely any tests I took—tests being my downfall—would not have been a key inside.

We haven’t yet seen what Kushner is capable of. Maybe we’ll be lucky. The sculptor was lazy and because she wasn’t hungry her inheritance was probably more of a hindrance than a help to her career as an artist. I work as hard as I do largely because of a dozen years at that school. As we often read in corporate reports, I “exceeded expectations,” [though in my experience, in corporate speak, that  could mean that I fell short. In this instance, I’m taking the words at face value.]

Having an advantage doesn’t always involve money as my example illustrates. Do you think getting a leg up is right or wrong? How would you change the system if it’s wrong? Can you share other examples?

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