Wednesday, April 11, 2012


My grandmother was a character.

While she was not rich, she used her money wisely.  Bribery mostly, in my experience.

If we showed up and she wanted to take us to dinner, spur-of-the-moment, my parents always said "We'll never get a table without a reservation!"  This was not an issue, for my grandmother.

Grandmom was the master of the "rustling handshake".  I learned it from her.  She showed me how to fold the money so you could see the amount, while still making it small enough to cup in the palm of your hand.  How to hold your hand out to shake someone else's so others couldn't see your palm. 

It was like magic, only with a point.

We would all show up at a crowded restaurant and Grandmom would go find anyone who controlled the list of who got in.  rustle-rustle goes the handshake, as she leans forward to whisper in the ear of the maitre d', who smiles and goes around the podium to "check the list" [quick glance down at his hand to see how much we should be moved up, if at all] and SURE ENOUGH!  Our "reservation" is on the list, right at the top. 

Buschhorn, party of six, right this way.

When the waiter/server takes our order, another handshake (because it only makes sense that if you get $20 at the beginning of the service, what are you getting after?  Yeah.  More.)  We get fantastic service in a place known for amazing service.  Fast meals, cooked to perfection.

I learned that if I wanted to take her out, she would NEVER allow me to pay.  Finally I got to where, near the end of the meal, I'd  get up to "use the restroom" and go pay for the meal. 

She taught me conniving, end-run sneakiness too.  Sneakiness is NOTHING without a plan.

When we were younger, my parents did not want my Grandmother bribing us with cash, during her visits.  That is where we learned to be recipients.  After Grandmom shook hands, our hands always went in our pockets.  Guess who was the favorite grandmom?

After she left, it was wise to check your pockets for any additional money that may have magically fallen in there, somehow.

These are skills that get passed on.

They are especially important in business and politics.  If you are in a job interview with someone who looks annoyed with his job and he asks you why the company should hire *you*... what happens if you say "I will pay you $1000 in cash, if you hire me."  And lift a wad of $20s out of your inner jacket pocket.  "I'll give you $100 on every anniversary of my hiring, for as long as you work here."

Don't be surprised if, on the way out, you hear the secretary being told to send everyone else home because the position is filled.

No comments:

Post a Comment