His car broke down and he brought it to the garage and said: “Can you fix it?”
“I can but it’ll cost you.”
“How much?”
“€340 Billion.”
“That’s ridiculous.”
“These cars need to be taken care of or this is what happens. We had to fix this one before too, there’s money still owed on it.”
“I bought it second hand, it was the last owner that did the damage and worked up the debts.”
“Well, it’s yours now, so if you want it fixed, that’s the price.”
“I can”t survive without the car, what am I supposed to do, where am I going to get €340 Billion? I’ll just go somewhere else.”
“There is no one else. We’re the only place in town that can fix it. I could lend you more money, but you’d have to pay us back.”
“Over how long?”
“Decades. Possibly centuries.”
“Fine, you don”t want our help? That’s fine.”
“This is wrong.”
“Cos I need you to fix it.”
“Ok, we”ll fix it. But I need to know we’ll be paid back for it, too. We”re not talkin about lunch money here.”
“I’m entitled to have it fixed. What about warranty? I’m part of your solidarity initiative that says we all help each other when things go wrong.”
“That expired after the first time we fixed it, and it’s nullified anyway when you don’t run the vehicle the way you”re supposed to. We’ll fix it again at a cost, yeah, but not for free. What makes you think we’d do it for free?”
“Cos it’s not my fault.”
“Well it certainly ain’t ours.”
“Maybe you designed the car badly in the first place?”
“That’s neither here not there. We’re indemnified because when you bought it, you inherited a contract that said you knew what your were doing, that you understood how it worked, and were aware of the consequences of poor maintenance, and now you’re saying you don’t understand any of that all of a sudden? That”s not my problem. Like I said – you don’t want it fixed? Fine.”
“No one else will support your business if you treat customers like this.”
“Everyone else understands that if you don’t take care of a car, it’ll break down. You have a certain amount of liability here. And if I let you off for free, every other customer will wonder why you’re special, and why they’re paying me, and you’re not. I can’t have that. It’s bad business.”
“I don’t agree, philosophically, it’s wrong. I need the car for food, to go to the bank, the hospital, to travel, to live. If you don’t fix it, I’m screwed. There’s more to life than good business and bad business. It’s why I thought you were a good company, I thought you were different. I have support from other customers, we could all get together and abandon you.”
“Ok, I”ll fix it, of course I”ll fix it, but I’m simply looking for assurance that you”ll pay me, and you that you’ll actually take care of it this time and it doesn’t break again in six months and we haven’t put €340 Billion into something that’ll be entirely beyond repair and you simply walk away leaving us with nothing. This is a commercial business, not a philosophical poorhouse. We are a good company until things go wrong. Then we’re an enterprise.”
“You’re a criminal. You’re supposed to help people in my situation.”
“And am I supposed to risk my own employees, family, and finances going under while trying to keep your car on the road?”
“You’re a terrorist. A hypocrite. You sell lies, and steal truth through propaganda. You don’t care as long as you stay rich, it”s all a sham to take advantage of anyone in a difficult situation.”
“Everyone else has fixed their cars, kept up their loan repayments, did what they had to do to survive, but you’re just being irresponsible. And we’ve already loaned money in good faith – not a selfish act.”
“This is blackmail. You’re like a dog that”ll devour her own pups just to satisfy your appetite for money….”
“Very poetic. But I’m the only one that can help you. If you say No – then you’re creating more problems than you already have, and you’ll STILL need a car at the end of it. There”s only one way this can go, so accept it or piss off.”
“I need to discuss it with my family.”
“Ok, come back next week.”
He comes back next week says: “My family don’t want you to fix the car, it’s too expensive. Can you do it for half?”
“Two thirds?”
“Because it costs what it costs, and if I do it for any less, then I”m broke. And why would I do that? Your options are: Borrow the billions and pay it back on our terms. Or forget about the car and tell your family to be philosophical about it when they starve.”
“That”s hardly any choice at all. We”re supposed to live in a democracy.”
“There’s another name for it too.”

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