Paper Bag Bandits

Money talks. Has it said anything to you lately?
Money talks. Has it said anything to you lately?

Did you hear about the rather lucrative printer cartridge deal?

The highlight for me was the public servant who:

‘… bought enough black toner cartridges to supply the government department for 40 years — despite toner cartridges expiring after two years.’

As my taxes paid this person’s salary, I felt encouraged by her initiative and commitment.

Then I wondered if you’ve been stung by either end of the corruption cattle prod.

Tagged & Bagged

There are two sides to every story. And difficult times tend to throw these into high relief.

On one side, we have flawed humans with the power to make purchasing decisions.

On the other, hungry companies desperate to make a deal.

If a wad of loot were to find its way into a brown paper bag, and that bag were to find its way into a pocket, and the owner of that pocket were to award a lucrative contract, who would be the wiser?

This is a new area for me.

Whenever I’ve been desperate for business, I’ve been way too desperate to contribute to anyone’s slush fund.

When I’ve been in positions of power, the most I ever got was a bag of lollies from a printing firm.


Actually, now that I think about it, those lollies worked a treat.

They were red, like raspberries, but in the shape of a K.

Even better, they had a hard, chewy consistency (like the long-discontinued, sadly missed battleship lollies of my youth).

The flavour was intense.

The company was …

… it’s coming to me …

Kwik Kopy!

Yes! That’s right: that’s what the K was for!

A little bag of red jelly Ks came with each Kwik Kopy print order delivered.

It was a mere handful, but the effect was profound.

Enough, even, to make a man forget his aversion to phonetic spelling.

Whenever these arrived in the design studio, we fell upon them like orphan zombies.

After a few sugar hits, I started hassling the Production Manager to use Kwik Kopy




Mea Culpa

And so I stand before you, a corrupt and broken citizen.

Will you flay my flesh or sympathise with my human failings?

Maybe you have even more shocking tales to tell.

Don’t be shy; there’s a lot of it about.

To get you thinking, I’ve provided some interrogation questions (sorted in decreasing likelihood of you ignoring them).


Have you (or anyone in your business) ever:

  • Taken a bribe?
  • Offered one?
  • Seen one change hands?
  • Been beaten in a pitch because of one?
  • Suspected as much?
  • Been tempted to ‘grease the rails’ in your favour?

For the record, I once considered bribing my ‘builder’ to do what I’d paid him to.

But since he already had all our money (plus a lot more that didn’t belong to us) I realised the effect would be negligible.

It’s now down to you.

Think carefully.

And tell all!

Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire