Just got back from running some errands only to find Jimmy on his way out the door. For Chinese school. Seriously worried. Why?
See, Jimmy’s parents have a very productive method of parenting called ‘bribery’. That’s right – just calling it like I see it. If they want Jimmy or his sister to accomplish something they provide a prize that is unbeatable at the end. Let me explain a little further – an accomplishment isn’t merely something they should do; it is something well beyond that – something great. Here are some examples:
Make good grades and graduate high school – not bribe worthy
Test into the top high school in Manhattan – bribe = most expensive computer 1998 could buy (Jimmy)
Graduate college – not bribe worthy
Graduate college on time with awesome degree and amazing job – bribe = brand new $40K BMW (Vivian)
Pass CPA exam – not bribe worthy
Pass all 4 parts on first try – bribe = down pmt on first home (Jimmy and Vivian)
See how it works? Hell, they even gave me $400 for passing my CPA first time out of the box. Not exactly down pmt money, but more than my parents offered up.
So, again, why am I worried? One of the biggest bribery tools they have ever discussed involves getting Jimmy back into Chinese school so he can learn to read and write Mandarin. Jimmy’s from Taiwan, but only speaks about 2nd grade level Taiwanese and understands very little Mandarin or Cantonese. If he can learn to read and write Mandarin (one of the biggest up and coming business languages in the world), he’ll be quite the commodity, especially for the company his parents work for. Sounds all well and good, but Jimmy has always wholeheartedly refused citing nightmares from Chinese school when he was a kid.
What’s the deal now? What have they offered him? A job in their company making butt tons of cash? To pay our mortgage? I mean, this is serious stuff. I’m terrified of what they are holding over his head to make him so cheerful about this new turn of events. And why hasn’t he mentioned anything to be about it? Oh dear.
He even asked if I wanted to go with him. Something is up; I can smell it, people!
Before anyone freaks out on me, the overall tone of this post is jokey. I’m more than fine with Jimmy getting in touch with his Asian roots and culture. Anything that makes him more attractive as an employee is fantastic as well. I just hope he’s doing it for himself and not because of something his parents are dangling by a string in front of him.
For your viewing pleasure, the parties playing this precarious game of chess:
4 thoughts on “Personal Post Wherein I Worry…”
As a parent who tends to resort to bribery (though certainly not to this level!!!), I was interested in hearing about this. And it does make me wonder what is the bribe at the end of the rainbow? And can it benefit you too?
I think most parents use bribery to a certain extent – Jimmy’s parents just go a bit further! And it’s pretty much just a reward system for hard work which Jimmy loves since he admits to lacking the motivation on his own. So far, doesn’t seem like there’s a bribe this time. They are paying for his classes and will perhaps reward him with some new technology when he completes his course. He swears he’s only doing the class to help further his business acumen and resume. And I can hardly complain because I generally always benefit!
I occasionally resort to bribery when I have to with my kids, but my bribes are on the low scale, like good chocolate and caramel muffins. I wonder what I could do if I had some funds to work with? 🙂
Money is a strong motivator!