A young boy, hard to determine his age, middle school age, entered our store a few minutes ago. He asked to do work so that he could earn five dollars. He was willing to rake leaves, but there are no leaves this time of year. He was willing to wash windows, but they are clean now, and not really needed.
I engaged him in conversation,
So, why do you need five dollars?
To buy a skate board deck.
That’s pretty cheap for a skate board deck.
They said that it was free. I rode the bus from the suburbs for over an hour to get here and get the free deck, but when I got there they said it was five bucks.
A deck? What would you do for wheels for the deck?
Oh, I have the wheels in my back pack. I need the deck.
Here’s a dollar. Now all you need is to go to other stores and work for four dollars.
I’ve been to all the other stores. They say that they do the work themselves. I can’t do any work for them for money.
Okay. Here is what you do. I’m giving you five one dollar bills. Put four of them in one pocket and one in another pocket. Go back to the skate board place and tell them you have only four dollars. Maybe they will sell it to you for four.
If they refuse, then walk away from them and go around the corner. Wait a couple of minutes. Then put the one dollar with the four and go back in and say that you found a fifth dollar bill. Buy it for five.
But, there is one more thing that you need to do to earn this five dollars.
Come back here and give me a report on how you did.
You want me to come back here and tell you if I bought it for four or five dollars?
Okay. I will.
As he walked toward the door he was talking to himself, “I put one dollar in this pocket and the other four in this pocket…”
He just came back to the store. He is carrying an old beat up green skate board deck. He seemed pretty happy. Me too, even if I taught him to lie, or negotiate.
How much? Oh. Five. The kid said, “They were hard nosed.”