Our convention had finally settled down and we were getting a number of interesting stories.
The Great Mother, after a break, ask if anyone had a story to relate, perhaps not from the pulp and paper industry, but that would be a lesson learned. Old Soc raised his tail. Soc is such a goofy rat, why can't he just raise a paw like a normal rat?
"What have you got, Soc?" the Great Mother asked.
"Well," he started, "There was this time when a few Big Things had a small company that did engineering work, whatever that is."
"What did they do?"
"As I understand it, they did work, I heard the Big Things talk about it, but I didn't understand the words. It was called building mechanical design."
"Well, I don't know what that is, either," remarked the Great Mother, "but perhaps you can make your point and we'll understand."
Wow! This Great Mother is so much kinder than the previous one!
"Well, this little company did some design work for a Big Thing that was building, I think I heard them correctly, a 'Car Dealership.'"
"Did they do good work?"
"Oh, yes, they were known for doing very good work. That is why the Big Thing hired them in the first place."
"So far, so good," said one of the Cadre.
"Yes," Soc agreed. "It all went well, on time on budget, blah, blah blah--you know how the Big Things get excited about these matters."
"OK, what's the point?" asked the Great Mother.
"It was about payment. The little engineering company presented their bill to the Big Thing that owned the car dealership. It was for $20,000. He paid them $15,000."
"Why did he do that?"
"The Big Thing told them he had calculated what it would cost them in lawyer fees to collect the full amount. He figured that once they did that calculation, they would be happy with the $15,000, it was all they would net if they sued him anyway."
Ok, this is Jim. I have got to break in here. I am not saying all car dealers are like this, but I can tell you for certain this story is true. Might want to think about it the next time you negotiate the price of a new car!