Imagine this. Your day started well. You didn’t need to rush. No road ragers cut you off on the drive to work. Because of the smooth traffic flow you arrived early, rather than breathlessly trying to make it on time. Few disruptions meant you plunged into the morning project, progressing ahead of schedule. You even hummed a bar or two, lost in concentration. Your focus so sharp, you don’t notice right away…the president of the company stands watching, who knew how long, with an indecipherable expression on his face. And then he speaks.
“Can you come to my office please?”
Your heart thumps against the inner wall of your chest, trying to break out. A flush flames up your neck and ears, until it spreads across your face. Your brain scrambles to remember if you’ve done something wrong.
A mild look of impatience spreads across his face, “Now.”
You nod dumbly, sure you should answer, but unsure of what to say. So you say nothing and follow like a man behind the executioner.
He opens the door to his office and invites you to sit down. “Would you like some coffee?” he offers.
You manage to squeeze a single word from your throat, “No.”
He pours some for himself then sits down at a large, dust-free desk. “Do you know the secret to my success?”
You turn your head slowly from left to right and wonder, is this a trick question?
“Good employees,” he sips cautiously. “I know how to spot them, and I know how to get the most out of them. But I also take good care of them. You are a good employee.”
For the first time in minutes, you allow yourself a full breath, and blow out in relief. “Thank you, sir.”
He props his elbows and leans toward you. Even with the monstrous desk between you, the gesture is unsettling. With a cocked eyebrow, he says, “I have a proposition. A lucrative offer for both of us.”
Now you’re intrigued, and most of the fear ripples out of your body. So you also lean forward. “Yes, sir.”
“How would you like to make ten million dollars over the next seven years?”
Blood swooshes around your head in milliseconds. A splash of dizziness pushes you back in your seat. You shake your head a bit, trying to clear the fog. With a fresh realization, you slowly meet the eyes of the man who just made you this crazy offer. “Sir, with all respect, I can’t do anything illegal.”
“I’m not asking you to.”
“Then I’m listening.”
“There’s nothing illegal, but it will require sacrifice.” He pulls his shoulders against the chair back and steeples his fingers. The look in his eyes seems to size you up with eagle sharp perception. “For seven years I will pay you minimum wage as the law requires, but at the end of seven full years of labor, you will receive a check for the difference between those monies and ten million dollars.” He taps the index fingers on right and left hands against each other, “We’ll have a contract, and each of us will keep a signed copy. You cannot lose.”
Stunned, you know your mouth gapes, but you can’t garner the strength to clamp your lips together.
The president stops tapping, and for several moments the only sound is the tick…tick…tick of the clock on his desk and the thump…thump…thump of your heart. He finally squints his eyes and says, “You have until 9:00am tomorrow to answer. I’m giving you the rest of the day off to think about it.”
With that, he ushers you to the door like a servant dismissed by a king. You straggle toward the exit. Not sure you can remember how to drive home. You would love to have ten million dollars, but seven years on minimum wage, how would you survive?
Anita FreshFaith @ Work
Genesis 29:18 (NIV)
Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri with her family.