Hey, Big Spender!

Art by Bob AulSend anonymous thanks, confessions, or accusations -changing or deleting the names of the guilty and innocent-to “Hey, You!” c/o OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247 or e-mail us at le*****@oc******.com">le*****@oc******.com.

In our high-flying financial industry, I'm one of the countless invisible, modestly paid staff people who make your job possible. I file. Or maybe I'm a receptionist. Or a secretary. In any case, you never see me-except as a minor pain in the butt who once or twice a year asks you to give a puny $25 donation to an abused children's home. That $25 would be nothing to you (because I handle the paper work, I know that you never make less than $10,000 per month), and the company would match it with a $75 gift of its own. But no. Christmas comes and goes, and you give nothing. Others with far less give generously. But not you. “Things are tight this Christmas,” you'll say, or, “Things are slowing up out there.” And the whole time, you're pulling in $12,000, $16,000 or $20,000 per month. I tried to convince myself that you're taking care of a sick mother or lover, and maybe cash is a bit short. Or that you already give to a charity-a hypothesis laid to rest when you told a colleague at the company's holiday party that giving to charities produces laziness. Then the Super Bowl came, and you dropped-loudly-$500 in the office pool. Then the NCAA basketball tournament came around, and you very ostentatiously put down $2,500 in the office pool. As always, you lost. But you made a big show of losing, telling anyone who would listen that there was a lot more where that came from. You talk too damn loudly to hear the kids out on the street. But your income depends in a small-but critical-way on me. And if your conscience has been silenced by your wealth, maybe it'll find its voice when tough times hit you in the very, very near future.

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