Monday, December 11, 2017

The Skinflint Scrooge Sensibility

I love them dearly but even I have to say that my parents are overly, overly generous. Almost indiscriminately so. Which would certainly explain why no matter how much we try our best to economize in so many ways, there's no way we would ever be a real challenge to the Rockefellers or the Vanderbilts.

But that's alright since I did learn a worthwhile thing or two about generosity from them, though of course my pragmatic brother and I won't ever be quite that ridiculously magnanimous. The occasional spare change charity for the rare stranger who needs it perhaps but not quite the clothes off my back unless I'm donning several layers.

Really, my benevolence only goes so far.

It's different when it comes to my friends and colleagues though since close familiarity does draw some genuine altruism from me. Surely it isn't that difficult to give out the occasional treat or even the infrequent gift to your friends, especially those in far less affluent circumstances?

No doubt Mr Scrooge would beg to differ.

Bah, humbug!
In age, wisdom and work experience in his own milieu, he would probably rank around the same as me so he does have more than his share of subordinates - one of them would be Sober Sam who once interned for him. Unsure how Scrooge performs at work but it's only when we fraternize after work hours that he starts showing his more... undesirable, parsimonious side. Although most of his juniors - who obviously earn so much less than him - have actually brought him out for a meal, I'm starting to notice that he never ever returns the favour.

When given a not unfriendly nudge, he frequently professes to be utterly impoverished. Absolutely preposterous since we can gauge exactly how much your remuneration is from your exalted work position. And seriously, to wail about being penniless in front of your own underlings who earn less than you?

Have you no shame, sir! Thoroughly ungenerous behaviour that I can't quite comprehend since when I'm with my nurses and junior doctors, I generally pick up the tab as a matter of course. Rare enough that we all manage to get together for a meal so why not give them a nice treat? Just a simple meal, not like we're getting them all a huge chunk of Kobe beef steak each.

Paul : It's so weird that he asked Sam to pay for dinner.
Calvin : That's Scrooge after all. 
Paul : Sam used to be his intern. Isn't it quite a shame to ask someone who's just starting work to foot the bill when your pay has to be ten times of his? 
Calvin : Don't think he ever thought of that.
Paul : Gosh I just realized Scrooge is really helluva stingy. 

Unequivocally yes. For Scrooge, 请 is obviously a word entirely foreign to his vocabulary.

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