At work, turns out it's a time-honoured tradition here to have the hat being passed around. From joyous occasions such as weddings to the more sombre ones like funerals, the donation box gets handed around the department quite regularly. Almost on a weekly basis. In the spirit of charity, offerings are ceded in various denominations according to the generosity and familiarity of the benefactor.
Wholly voluntary of course.
Now gimme all your money!
With the superintendent barely a few months away from retirement, her sycophantic subordinates here have been falling over themselves to organize the final send-off. Obviously the grander, the better in their eyes - which obviously requires significant monetary expenditure.
A pound of flesh they figure to extract from the lower-ranking employees.
Office boy : I'm collecting donations for the farewell. This is a name list for the contributors.
Paul : What the hell is stamped across the top? Waitaminute, it's compulsory for some of you to fork out cash?
Office boy : Not very much to pay.
Paul : It's not the amount I'm paying. It's the damned principle. I refuse to be forced into a donation.
Office boy : Only a dollar, sir. We're all expected to chip in.
Paul : Don't wait up for me. If it were legal, I'd rather burn my dollar and smoke it.
Nothing like a bit of compulsion to get the hat full to the brim. Obviously the forced farewell's practically a fait accompli.
Just the words 'compulsory' across the top of the list has the rebel in me seeing red. Forget plain coercion, why not bring out the damned thumbscrews? Expressly forbade my staff from participating in this particular farce - unless they feel so inclined. Don't think anyone should dole out donations if they didn't want to.
As the unsuspecting office boy was frog-marched out without much ado, he naively stammered out a final question.
Office boy : Does that mean you won't be buying a table for the farewell luncheon?