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Grade
9

Mind Over Money

 

Everything had finally lined up for him after years of struggle. Living between two parents, both with low wages, fighting to get homework and projects done after his daily shifts at the local store to pay the bills, and scraping by for money to get two years of junior college, until he could pay for the last two years at a state school. He finally was done with that, and this was to be the start of his success, a new page in his life’s book. Marc finally had what he was looking for, a shot, a low paying internship that could start his ascent to his dreams. Steven’s and Common Management, a small time private wealth management company on the rise accepted Marc to join them. He knew it was going to be hard, everything was for him, but he always was able to face adversity straight in the face and use it to his advantage.

Today was his first day, and he was ready to work hard. His boss, Mr. George Rhine had arranged a meeting with him for 8:30. So he walked into the cold, dull conference room at 8:25. He sat in a side chair along the long table, waiting for his boss to come and discuss the day and what to do. He sat and sat contemplating how truly blessed he was. Just 4 years ago, he was constantly under clouds of stress about paying for college, and now, all of that work was going to pay off. Mr. Rhine walked in, a dark brown suit on complementing his white shirt with a dark red tie. “Morning Marc.”

“Good morning sir.” Mark nervously states.

“First off, it’s George, and there’s no need to be nervous.”

“Sorry, George, what is the plan for today.”

“Well today, I am more going to have you observe the office, but I don’t want to waste your time either so I’ll have you read over our policy, prices, and things like that and then you’ll accompany me to Maggi’s.” George explains.

“Why Maggi’s?” Marc asks.

“We always meet our possible clients a and then we discuss what we can do for them and hopefully they agree to join us. The lunch meetings at 11:50 be ready to leave by 11:30” George tells.

“Sounds good, I’ll be ready.”

 

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Marc was back at his desk now, and he went over company prices and rates, nothing he wasn’t used to until he was met with something a little bit out of the ordinary. His eyes glanced over the rates of the upper elite plan. He noticed a noticeably higher plan and was unaware there was a plan so high in cost. So Marc decided to go to his boss’s office and confirm that and some of the other notes. Walking down the hallway, he heard various talk, people working, and more. Marc got to the office but paused when an unfamiliar voice was already inside.

“This doesn’t feel good.” The voice said.

“Honestly nothing can happen, we’ve been doing this for a long time, it’s a well oiled machine at this point.” A voice that sounded like George confidently said.

“I don’t know, I just don’t feel right about it.”

“You’re in this just as much as I am, don’t pretend you’re a victim of this shit.”

The discussion turned into an argument.

“George, you’re pissing me off now, we started together, but at one point it’s enough.” The voice continued.

“Get out of here, clear your head and come back when you’re ready to do your work.”

“I don’t know if I am.” The voice trailed and then exited the office passing straight by Marc.

Marc started to walk back to his office, but was caught by George’s voice exclaiming, “Marc!”

Marc walked into the unfamiliar office uncomfortably.

“I’m sorry about that Marc, just a little, um, unfortunate incident.”

“Should I come back or…”

“No, it’s uh time for our lunch meeting anyway, here I’ll drive.”

 

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Marc didn’t know what to think, did he really hear what he did. No, he probably imagined it, and what did he really hear anyway. Matter of circumstance, but it wasn’t. He heard something in that hallway from his boss, and it definitely wasn’t legal.

Marc and his boss hopped into his Porsche, and drove down to the Maggi’s. In no time, their client and sat with them. The man was dressed in an old suit and did his best to seem wealthy, although all the signs said he wasn’t. They sat down and lunch was brought in right away as if this arrangement had been done many times before by the company.

“Hi Mr. Lines” George said.

“Hi, George” Mr. Lines responded

After some more small talk, they got back into conversation of the wealth management. The man seemed saddened when he learned there was a 4 percent decrease, and he has yielded minimal returns overall that year.

“George, it’s been hard for me lately, there just hasn’t been anyway I can get my daughter to college, after my wife left, I’ve been stuck.”

“And we are doing everything we can, I assure you, but the market isn’t good right now.”

“But.”

“I’m sorry, we’ll get back to you lately, you can finish lunch, it’s on me.” George finished.

Marc and George left a saddened client and Marc had to say something.

Marc asked what they were really doing at the company.

“What are you implying.” George said.

“I didn’t walk in on your office conversation and hear nothing.” Marc reassured.

“This is a hard world, and sometimes you need to take your life in your own hands.” George took a left turn toward the harbor. “Money doesn’t fall into your hands and sometimes you need to catch it yourself.”

“What are you saying?” Marc asked.

“Nothing, what we do isn’t that bad, we take a little bit of money from our clients, and then we give it to our own employees, we have to pay them, they are hard working people.”

“So then you use clients money to pay your employees, pretend nothing's the matter, and I’m sure you get no extra money either” Marc trailed off.
“Out of the car.” George made clear.

They were at the harbor now, and they walked onto George’s yacht. George pulled a gun.

“What are you doing man, come on.” Marc said

This couldn’t go on for much longer, whatever was to come was about to come soon. Marc was dripping in sweat and was too nervous to speak anymore. George continued his speech. “Like I was saying, everyone in this world has to look out for themselves, and their friends. But you know what, the government won’t let that happen, they want the rich to get poorer, and the poor to feast on the rich’s hard earned money. I’m just taking back what’s mine.”

“You son of a bitch. That man we met trusts you, he thinks you're going to help get his daughter to college, and you’re just lying straight to his face.” Marc recited.

“I’m giving you a chance, you join me and our company’s elite right now. You get a huge payday. I forgot this whole little thing, and we can make money, together. I know you have plenty of college debt, and I can help. You join, the debt’s gone.” George remarked.

This isn’t what Marc worked his ass of his entire life for. He was the poor man, he didn’t take anything from anybody. He thought about the restless nights, all the ways he thought about how to succeed next, and how he had the drive to fight to success. But then there was his debt, he could take the easy way out, and he could live a comfortable life. However, this wasn’t him.

“I’m gone, I’m leaving, put the gun down.” Marc said.

“You know I can’t do that.” George said.

At once Marc ran, he sprinted, and he got out of the yacht as quick as he could. George was caught off guard and sprinted after him. Marc turned the corner and waited, and as soon as George came by the corner, he was taken down with a punch to the chest. Immediately, Marc grabbed the gun and pointed it directly at George’s face. His fingers trembling he yelled at George to stay down. Marc reached in his pockets and called the police, they were on their way.

“We could have been rich, we could have had so much money.” George cried out.

“Not an option, everything I ever had, I earned, the right way, not the filthy, disgraceful way you earned yours.” Marc said.

The police arrived and took George away, and after answering a few questions in the station, Marc was allowed to leave.

 

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Marc was left out of a job, and had that debt with interest piling up. Stevens and Common Management was shut down, and Marc seemed hopeless.

Sitting in his apartment at home, the doorbell rang. He walked up to it and standing there was Mr. Rhine, from the Lunch. He handed him a check, said thanks for everything, and swiftly walked away.

State
IL
Zip Code
60061