“Gentlemen, welcome to your first day at Bronzeman Bags. My name is Jasper Linwood, and I will be teaching you what it is exactly that we do here. To put things succinctly, we are in the business of making money from money. Now what questions do you have for me?”
“So, we don’t actually make anything?”
“Do we get to touch the money?”
“What about seeing the money? Do we ever see it?”
“Never. It’s all a bunch of numbers on the computer.”
“Do we always make money, or is it possible that we sometimes lose money on investments?”
“Sometimes we do lose money.”
“But it’s not technically your money.”
“Whose money is it then?
“Other people’s money.”
“Other people’s money?”
“Yes, they just give it to you hoping you make them money.”
“If we lose their money, do we not get paid?”
“No, you always get paid a percentage.”
“Oh that’s nice.”
“Plus you also make a bonus at the end of each year.”
“What is a bonus?”
“A bonus is extra salary paid on top of your fixed salary.”
“How much is the bonus?”
“Enough to make people call us villains and other bad names.”
“Sure, but what if you had to put a number to it?”
Jasper removes a silver pen from his inner breast pocket and unsheathes the point from the cap and writes on a piece of paper. It’s thick stock, most likely personal stationary, and monogrammed. He comes from a line of Jasper Linwood’s and is the “IV.”. He delicately folds the paper and slides it across a mahogany table. One of the gentlemen unfolds the paper and holds it up for the group to see.
“You could call me anything for that amount of money.”
“You could call my mother anything for that amount of money.”
“I literally can’t think of a single thing I would not do for that amount of money.”
The entire groups laughs together in unison, akin to a rehearsed performance by a college a cappella group. One of the gentlemen turns around to take in a panoramic view of the city and pauses upon a view of an urban green space.
“What are all of those people gathered in Middle Park for?”
“I believe they are either protesting something or camping. Either way it is something poor people do for vacation.”
The gentleman continues to look out onto Middle Park.
“Will this be a satisfying job?”
“Depends on how you call it. Some of you will justify your outlandish salaries in the end by becoming philanthropists. Many will live lavishly, hide money offshore, and lower tax rates by advancing self-serving political agenda. But to get at the root of your question…not really.”
“This may be a silly question, but why are our salaries so high?”
“My best guess would be because we work directly with money. We get first dibs as it trickles down through the economy. Think of it like this. We have huge cisterns set out to collect water while everyone else out there is cupping their hands. Let me tell you, it’s hilarious to watch from the 43rd floor of this building.”
Another gentlemen admiring Jasper’s silver pen steps forward from the group.
“Don’t you also have offices on the 44th and 45th floors?”
“Why yes we do! Shall we continue on upward then?”