Your employer squares himself in his chair before answering your question. “In this state, because of tax laws, if a single employee exceeds a certain amount of wages in a year, the business deductions lower substantially. And for you, the increased tax liability will mean a lot less money in your pocket. In reality, we both net more if you take less at the top.”
The walls in the room seem to close in on you. Confused and fighting back anger, you respond, “You’re cheating me. We agreed, if I suffered through seven years on minimum wage, working hard, you would pay me Ten Million Dollars. Even if Uncle Sam gets more, I don’t care. I want the money due me.”
A solicitous smile spreads across your boss’s face, “I thought you might feel that way. So I have a new proposition. Stay with us and work another seven years.”
A scoff escapes through your lips.
Undeterred, he continues, “I’ll let you keep the money you have now, and I’ll pay you an extra Six Million besides. We only have a week until the new year begins. I’ll give you the extra million after next week, so the tax ramifications don’t bite both of us, and the other five after seven more years of work. Of course, you’ll still draw your weekly minimum wage checks.”
A shower of thoughts bullet your brain.
He’s crazy if he thinks he’s going to dupe me again.
It wouldn’t be a struggle this time, I have the first five million in my hands already.
The bonus of an extra million sweetens the deal.
But I still don’t trust him. He cheated me once, and he’ll do it again.
You stand up, determination fires your courage, “I’ll agree if you give me all Six Million next week. I refuse to risk a similar outcome. Uncle Sam can take an extra bite for all I care, but I’ll only work the other seven years if you give everything due me — a week from now.”
He leans back in his chair, clasps his hands together, steepling index fingers, and says, “Hmmm.” Your employer closes his eyes, and thins his lips in contemplation.
Then ever so slowly, his eyelids lift, and he bores you with an unblinking stare. “If I give you everything up front, you’ll still work the seven years?”
You take one step to the edge of his desk and hold out your hand, “I give you my word.”
He accepts your handshake, and secures the deal.
Exactly one week later, you’re called into his office, and your boss hands you a check with many zeros. This time, the covenant between you and your employer is a verbal agreement, there is no written contract. You walk out shaking your head in wonder.
Several days after the check clears, you’ve got more money than you’ve ever seen sitting in multiple bank accounts. And new thoughts pummel your mind.
I could walk away and there’s nothing he could do.
He cheated me first, so I’d only give him what he deserves.
I gave my word, but so did he, and then broke it.
Now here’s my question, would you stick out the seven years and work as agreed, or would you justify a decision to walk away??? The choice belongs to you.
Anita FreshFaith @ Work
Genesis 29:26-28 (NIV)
Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”
And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri with her family.