I put deals together for a living, so I know a bad deal when I see one. And salvation is a terrible deal. I got hired to work some of these deals and I tell my guy to back out. Why would anyone do this?
I’ve seen people get into this deal, and I’ve seen how bad it can go. These people are a mess and they come to the door looking to seal the deal and collect their salvation. And they’ve got nothing with them. Just them standing there like child with his hand out. Okay, so they come saying the same thing every time. “I believe in you.” Wow. Congratulations. And you want what in return for that? Listen, the whole purpose of a closing for a deal like this is that both people show up to the closing table and exchange what they came there to get. But everyone walking into this deal comes empty handed. It doesn’t make sense to me but my client won’t listen to that. I can’t work with this guy.
Let’s at least get the basics down here. In every deal there are at least some simple “representations and warranties” from both sides. But again, against my better advice, my client waives those. All the time. I ask him… “So they come here, get the deal, and they don’t even have to guaranty that they’ll honor it?” So he tells me they always promise to honor it but he knows they really can’t. So he literally goes into this deal knowing the other side is going to breach and he does the deal anyway. I’m running out of things to tell this guy. He won’t listen to me.
And then I get to thinking. These jokers come asking and close the deal every time. So what am I? Chopped liver? I work for this guy for years and I don’t have any of this salvation business. Where’s my deal? These documents don’t type themselves up buddy.
So I work up the guts one morning to ask him, and you know what he says? “You never asked.” I never asked. Are you kidding me? I work how many of these deals for you and I never asked? That’s the best you’ve got. Well listen pal, you never offered. So then it gets better. He tells me his son offered but I never noticed. Great. That’s just what I need. A family business. I didn’t know his kid was in on this. He says I should read up on his son and he hands me this book to read. And its used. And huge. What, do I suddenly have time for this much reading? I’ll put it by the bed and maybe grab a chapter at night. I don’t know. And am I billing for this extra reading?
So I read a little and this kid, this son, seems legit but he doesn’t know any more about deal making than his father. At first it was going great. He’s getting the goods. People listen, they like him. The big shots in town were pissed off at him, but I’ve had enough run ins with those big shots that I’m not too bent out of shape when they’re pissed at me. It’s mutual, fellas. Have a nice day. I’m actually impressed the kid stands up to them. Well played.
But then it all starts to fall apart. Oh, we’re out of wine, can you help? My kid is sick. Can you help? We’re out of food. Can you help? It never ends with these people. And this kid keeps stepping up to the plate, knocking it out of the park, and then bailing and heading off to another town. Dude! Hang around and soak up the love a little, bro. Take a little credit for once. But he listens about as good as his dad.
So here’s the deal breaker. Here’s where I basically snap. I can’t help these guys, this dad and son. So this kid is running all over the place helping everyone and the stuff he’s doing doesn’t even make sense. So what happens? Yeah, the political types. I told you these guys were trouble. Well nothing is ever good enough for these jokers and they get this kid arrested.
So now I’m thinking, “Great, some lawyer out there is going to need to cram and get ready for a trial.” But this kid doesn’t want a lawyer. He won’t even put up a defense. In pretrial motions, to be honest, the answers he gives are just pissing these guys off even more. Hey kid, I’m all for standing your ground but these people are talking prison time here. Get it together. Drop an apology and tell them you were just kidding around or something. I bet a decent lawyer could get you some kind of deal.
But this kid won’t cut a deal. What is with this family? All stuck on principle and such. You can’t help some people.
So the trial comes. Guilty as charged. Guilty of what? Well that was left a little vague, to say the least. But he’s going to prison. And prison back in those days didn’t some with an orange jump suit and three squares a day. This was serious business.
So then this starts getting real. He’s not headed straight to prison. There is talk that they’re going to make an example out of this kid. And they look serious. This is bad. This is going down bad. And… oh my God. I don’t even want to read what they did to this kid. Make an example? This is brutal. I can’t get the image out of my head. Kid! Please. Just… I don’t know. Do something. I’m begging you. I coulda helped you. I coulda cut a deal maybe. Something.
He just sits there.
Kid, c’mon, you’ve got a defense! You didn’t do anything. Just… say something. Anything.
Oh my God. I can’t read this stuff anymore. I can’t believe what they’re doing to this kid. He won’t survive this.
Oh and his friends? Yeah well they do what “friends” always do. First sign of trouble and they’re gone. Or worse, they’re standing there watching it happen and they don’t lift a finger. But I guess I see a guy taking that much of a beating I gotta be honest and wonder how anxious I’d be to step up to the plate. This is hard to watch, hard to imagine.
So I’m reading and it hits me. They’re not talking prison time. They’re talking death penalty here. Kid, give it up. Please. They’re going to kill you. You didn’t do anything wrong. Say something. Say anything. Just do what they want. Make it stop. You could make this stop! Make it stop! Whatever your cause is isn’t worth this brother. Please.
He won’t listen. He’s like his father. It’s like they’re one in the same. And then it’s over. He’s dead. And for what? And then the worst part of this story is this. For what, I asked. And here’s the answer.
Oh hang on a second. Kid. Don’t say that. Don’t even think that. I know me. Tell me you didn’t get beaten half to death and then executed… for me. That’s all I can handle. That’s the worst deal in the history of man.
Are you serious?? Kid, what are you thinking? And now it’s too late. Now he’s dead. The worst deal in the history of deals and now it’s done. And the only payoff is my pathetic life? That doesn’t even make sense.
So I’m reading along and I’m pissed. I’m actually pissed off that this could happen. That this client of mine would sit there and watch this happen to his son. I’ve seen what he can do, and he could have stopped this. But I keep reading. I’m not even sure why. And then it all changes. The kid. He’s not dead. Well, he WAS dead. But one morning his dead body is just laying there, and he stands up. He just stands up and walks out of his grave.
Walks out of his grave. Did you get that? Read that again. He walks out of his damn grave.
Now I’m starting to wonder just who this client is of mine. This guy might not have the first clue about how to cut a decent deal, but there’s something going on here. Something bigger than I understand.
So now I’m standing there. Just like all of those other losers asking for a deal. With my hand out. And I bring about the same thing that they brought to the table: Nothin’. Not a damn thing. I offer the only thing I have that would mean anything to this guy. I offer my life. Whatever that would be worth. Not much. He’s not going to do a deal with me. If I’m offering my life up, I know my life. It’s not worth salvation.
But he takes it. And the deal closes.
Man this guy. He never saw a bad deal he wouldn’t take. But he took my deal.
So…. now what?