Why is doing business with the rich tantamount to suffering a severe migraine?
Having encountered some of them as a budding banker in my early days of forging a career, going on to scale the ladder of opportunity as an entrepreneurial hopeful, I found great difficulty adapting myself to their modus operandi – primarily because they tend to develop a mean streak in their character, as their wealth multiplies and renders them more penny-pinching than ever before.
When they purchase luxury goods they have the audacity to demand hefty discounts and then haughtily ask to be invoiced instead of settling their bill there and then. There is method in their madness. They retain the initiative of having to pay when it suits their purpose, and seem to relish the role of having the upper hand in their dealings with people in general.
Then, the torturous process of getting your invoice paid does not loom high on their agenda.
You remind them that payment is overdue but receive no indication of when this will be paid. They oscillate and ignore your pleas and navigate at will, leaving you dangling in the air so as to weaken your resolve and wear you out. You begin to despair, the whole machinations sapping your energies, reducing you to a pathetic beggar-like figure – and you wake up in a daze, having experienced at first-hand the despondency of a supplicant’s life.
And yet, if you look around you will find that some of these accredited millionaires got to where they are today by having undergone the same treatment they are now dishing out to others. They are fast learners.
Money is so addictive. Once you fall under its hypnotic clutches, you become a greedy self-involved individual who lives for the glory of accumulation and more often than not at the expense of others.
The corruption that comes in the wake of money is legendary. You develop a paranoia even about friendship. You begin to distrust good deeds and disclaim the generosity of others – and you see the world with blinkered vision.
People without the money bug are nicer, much easier to cosy with, and a delight to be around. They play the game according to the rules and have no hiccups to speak of, whereas the miserable devils who control great swathes of wealth are boring old farts who speak with a forked tongue and abhor their fellow humans.
But alas, those who shake off the curse of money are in a minority. Their numbers are in decline and they have become a threatened species.
I’m glad I’ve reached an age where I’m unlikely to see the extinction of a special breed of people who still lighten the prospects of a good existence despite the selfish environment in which we find ourselves.
The gods above must think lowly of money; they are not selective to whom they give it.