Reader’s Digest Joke

I sold a story to the Reader’s Digest “All in a Day’s Work” anecdotes column for $400. I saved $100 for taxes and split the rest with the other guy in this story:

A fellow employee was struggling to attach a four-by-eight-foot poster on our cafeteria wall. When I saw him struggling, I walked over and offered my assistance. “No,” he replied, “I can do it myself.”

After much solitary effort, his job was finished and the banner proudly proclaimed this message: “Together, we can find the answers!”

This was sort of a “sting” because I knew what the banner said. It was our marketing slogan. I wondered if he would let me help.

The Honeywell Employee Stock Option Plan would end at the start of October and we would get our stock in November. One year the stock price fell in the interval and I thought I could get some money back by sending that story to Readers Digest. They contacted me about a half a year later and wanted to know if the story is true and to talk to the other person in the story. My delay plus their delay led to the story being published the first month they had raised the fee for an anecdote from $300 to $400.

I saw the international version of the story. The size of the banner was changed to one meter by two meters.