Friday, May 27, 2005

Money Changes Everything

I just got into the most random fight ever with my officemate, T. As I type this, I feel like I should be whispering, because it's one of these situations that's so retarded that you would never have expected it to get big at all, and you're worried that if she overhears you it'll blow up even further, even though this entire time you're just thinking what a completely fucked-up argument this is.

So the Powerball jackpot this time around is $215 million. That MILLION -- a LOT of money. Usually I don't buy lottery tickets, but when the jackpot climbs high enough, I figure I give it a shot. I figure it's a Big Mac I can live without for that week or something. It's not like I'm some 75-year-old decrepit old man who's blowing his entire social security check on it -- I'm budgeting some of my "mad money" toward this extremely long shot.

Anyway, I'm digressing.

Having purchased my lottery tickets, I joke about it from time to time: "So I'm going to win the lottery tonight, by the way." Or I make notes to myself out loud as we walk to find lunch: "D'oh, the jackpot increased again, meaning I didn't win... guess I'll have to buy more tickets for the next drawing...."

Well, the other day on the way to get lunch I made one such comment to T., that the jackpot was huge and I was going to win it.

"So if you win," she asked, "would you give me a million dollars?"

"I'll think about it," I told her.

I guess she didn't quite take to the fact that I was being sarcastic; after all, the odds of winning are really extremely remote, so promising to gift the money over to someone else seems quite premature.

"How selfish!" she cried. "Well at the very least, what about the firm? Would you give some of that money to our office?" (Frankly, after a string of really bad decisions coming down on us, the firm could totally use a financial shot in the arm.)

"Probably not," I responded, which was probably a mistake, seeing how the first sarcastic mode was lost on her.

Today, at lunch, she brought the subject up again, with our other colleague, C.

"So Dennis! says that if he wins the lottery he won't even give me ONE of the TWO HUNDRED MILLION dollars," she tells C.

I just shrugged.

"AND," she continues, but this time addressing me, "you wouldn't even give this firm any of it. This firm, that does civil rights work, that serves a noble goal in society."

"Well, I had some plans to give some of it to my high school," I say.

Now this was probably a stupid thing to say, but by this point I was getting pissed. Money does this to people, I guess. Why is it that if I were to win the lottery, I would suddenly be obligated, upon pain of loss of friendship, to give away any part of it.

"So you'd rather give the money to some snotty private prep school than to a civil rights firm!" she charged.

"Hey! I liked my high school! They train the future leaders of America!" I defended. Again, not the best response, but it's getting to the point where nothing except backtracking and supplication will appease her, and I refuse to do somehow acknowledge that if I were to suddenly come into a large sum of money I owe it to someone or another to give it to certain people.

"This firm," she reiterated. "Which gave you a job when you were unemployed and you probably wouldn't have...." Then apparently her emotions took over and she just gave up. "Never mind. Now I'm pissed."

And she stormed out of the break room.

I looked at C. quizzically just to convey that "What the fuck was that?" look. C. shrugged.

T. later came back into the break room for the purpose of pointedly asking me: "Just tell me this: Do you respect our boss? Do you respect what this firm does?"

"Uh.... yeah?" I responded. This was just getting too bizarre.

"Okay. That's what I needed to know." And she walked back out again.

I looked at C. again. "I was tempted to give a sarcastic response there, but I didn't think it would go over well," I whispered.

"I don't think anything you've said has gone over well," she responded.

"That was just too weird," I whispered.

"I'm just trying to pretend it didn't happen," she whispered back.

I'm still shaking my head about this entire dust-up. Not only is the entire situation completely hypothetical, not only were my "I ain't giving you jack shit" responses at least partially sarcastic, but I still don't understand why anyone would feel like they were entitled to tell me what to do with money that would be mine.

Would it be "selfish" of me to want to keep all of it for myself? Maybe, but it would be no less selfish than T. thinking that she deserved a million-dollar windfall just because of my good fortune.

Come to think of it, a conversation similar to this one took place when I was selected to be on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Unfortunately -- or perhaps fortunately -- I walked away from there with only $1,000. Hey, I should blog about that some day.


anne said...

Your conversation with C. is hilarious.
Just give T. 3 dollars so she can play. Maybe she just didn't dare ask. Ha ha.

ducklet said...

That was a funny...

uh, wait a second. did you say you were on who wants to be a millionaire?

and you haven't blogged it?

Never mind. Now I'M pissed. * storms out of room *

Steve said...

She sounds a little un-hinged. I was also going to say what Anne said. HAHAHAHA! Give here a couple of bucks, then she can get her own damn tickets.

ericorbit said...

good lord, its none of her fucking business what you do with the money if you won. i'd be so mad at that bitch for bringing it up like that and dragging another co-worker into the arguement in a sad attempt to back up her own neurosis. if anything, pay for her to see a goddam therapist. jeez.

p.p. said...

What a dumbass co-worker. Have you lost all respect for her yet? 'cause I have.

I cannot believe you were on that show. I'm jealous. Only $1,000??? What's up with that?

MoDigli said...

That is so-o strange that you were on millionaire! What's even stranger is that I think I remember watching you! Seriously. You were cute (well, you probably still are, of course.) and I remember being bummed out for you.

How cool is that? .... Consider this post an official request for a blog entry about your millionaire (thousandaire?) experience.

pleeeeeeeease! ... :) heheheee

Dennis! said...

The drawing's tonight, so I still have no clue if I won that huge jackpot yet.

Modigli: I find it completely inconceivable that you actually saw (and remember!) the episode I was on. It was literally years ago!

MoDigli said...

Well, probably I'm just making it all up. But I swear that I remember an Asian guy who charmed Reg and the audience. He was funny and engaging. And he had a guy friend instead of a wife or girlfriend in the "spouse's seat". And, something tells me that he was unemployed or a student at the time? Could that have been you? Or is my imagination just that vivid!?! I am a sort of crack pot when it comes to random memories.

Dennis! said...

Modig: Beyond doubt then, that person you remember was not me. :)

Jon said...

Wow- you were on WWTBAM?? How cool. Is that your final answer?

They rerun that show on GSN (Game Show Network), so I'll check it out and hope that I catch you on it. Do write about it!

I would rather be on the British version, considering that the exchange rate is 2:1. But it went off the air years ago there- however, Merideth Viera hosts some day time version of it on ABC- saw it once last year on a day off.

Drew said...

Anyone who would get that upset over a purely hypothetical situation like that is crazy.

I, too, often joke about what I'll do when I win Powerball, but when random people ask for handouts from my winnings (ha!), I'm always completely serious when I tell them they're not getting jack shit. Not to go all Janet Jackson here, but what have you done for me lately?

Chef Dean said...

Personally, if I won $200+ million, the office - and all of the bitches working there - would be DAMN lucky to ever SEE me again... let alone get some of the cash.

Skippy said...

so, since you do not know me, and I am not a bitch and I work for the federal government, would you give me a measly $500K?