Here’s 100 Grand for your good work

This person laughed at my gift!

Miguel A. Calles
Published in
2 min readFeb 11


Photo by Denis Agati on Unsplash

I once worked with Government personnel. They had stringent rules and could not accept any gift. Even buying them lunch could threaten their jobs. The Government was concerned their personnel could be bribed and had strict rules about receiving gifts.

One time, I was working on a multi-week project with a group of Government employees. I was working with one of them more than others. He was a great guy, and we enjoyed chatting while working in a lab for weeks.

One day I thought I would show him appreciation. I went to a dollar store and picked up a small token of my gratitude. I know he couldn’t even accept a dollar gift, but I was okay with the momentary sign of appreciation before he would give it back or throw it away.

When we were in the lab in the middle of some work, I told him:

“You’ve been doing a great job. I want to give you something to show my appreciation.”

I pulled the gift out of my coat pocket. I put it on the table with my hand covering it. I started sliding it to him with my hand still covering it.

“Here is 100 Grand for your troubles.”

I saw the worry on his face. I slowly uncovered the gift and showed him this…

Photo from

He laughed and patted my back. Surprisingly he kept the candy bar.

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Miguel A. Calles

Engineer · Author · Serverless · Cybersecurity