Re: business and bribes

Subject: Re: business and bribes
From: Elna Tymes <etymes -at- LTS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 10:00:41 -0800

Jeffrey -
> A while back there was a discussion on this listserv about what could be
> construed as generally accepted bribes in the course of doing business. Does
> anyone have any personal experience with this?

Bribes come in all forms. I know of one case where someone slipped cash
in an envelope to a manager at a Xerox subsidiary in order to maintain a
contract. My own experience has been that bribes are a little more
subtle. Here are a few:

* One guy gave me his resume and asked me to help him find another
six-figure position at another company, and told me that, while he was
hiring my firm for a particular contract, he didn't like HIS boss. He
also said that if I could help him, there would be more contracts, or
extensions of existing ones, at the current company as long as he was
there. The implication was clear that if we DIDN'T find him at least
some interviews, our contract would be pretty short.
* In another case, a small company contracted with us for a project,
and toward the end of the project, added some things and changed others
so that we would have to do considerably more work to reach the final
milestone. Because we were doing the work on their machines, they had
the source code, so we couldn't withhold work product at the end. They
were also small enough that the hand that signed the checks also was the
one that signed the contract. We needed to get paid. We did the extra
* The most blatant case was a manager who wanted kickbacks. He'd hold
our checks until I came in to talk to him about project milestones, with
a particular-style status report. I had to hand him the status report
in an envelope that also contained cash, sometimes several hundred
dollars. Of course it was always written off as something else.

Those incidents said, however, I must add that these are exceptions to
the rule. Most of the companies and managers I've dealt with in many
years in this business are ethical and honest and quite reasonable.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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