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Seeking my dwindling fortune

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If we don’t get our fuel tanks topped up tonight, we may be prevented from turning up for our character-building jobs later this month

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Seventy-five cents per litre! Seriously? An extra 75 cents for every litre of petrol I purchase this December out of my already anaemic salary?

That’s ridiculous! I am even sorry that I learned how to drive!

Look, my little buggy is pretty economical, I get well over 800km on one 50-litre tank and that’s with driving in the city; to me that’s really not bad at all.

However, from midnight it’s going to cost me an extra R37.50 each time I fill my tank; and with the possibility that South Africa may face a further round of downgrades by ratings agencies , there’s no guarantee that the price of fuel won’t keep climbing next year.

This was such a concern to me that I marched into the boss’s office the other day and demanded a raise. He raised his eyebrow so I thanked him and dutifully went back to my desk to chip away at the rocks in my salt mine.

It’s funny how it becomes almost impossible to cope with the daily grind as the year winds down isn’t it? The looming festive season makes the day-to-day drudgery (to earn money to buy things like fuel and food) even more dull.

No wonder people flock to casinos hoping to hit that big jackpot and break the bank. Sadly many do not realise that gambling is just that – a GAMBLE; and there is no way that so many casinos would exist if they were not making a monumental profit off desperate people.

There are numerous tales of people gambling away their nest egg, or their homes and, more often than not, their monthly salary cheques. There are those who suggest that the occasional big win is “engineered” to entice victims to keep on feeding the beast. Remember, the house always wins.

Perhaps the lottery is a better option? Maybe not; the thing is that from the end of July this year the national lottery operator increased the number of balls from 49 to 52.

Now consider the following: With 49 balls the chance of winning the jackpot was almost one in 14 million; assuming that this is true, that means that increasing the number of balls from 49 to 52 will mean that, much like the fuel price, the odds of hitting the jackpot has shot up to just over one in 20 million.

Most countries have just 49 numbers in their draw, while the Australian lottery’s numbers range from one to 45, meaning that chances of winning the jackpot Down Under are about one in nine million.

Isn’t it any wonder that some turn to alternative employment, where they can earn a “passive income”; and to this end multi-level marketing companies offer promises of amazing profits the more people you recruit.

The strategy is simple: just recruit five people and encourage them to recruit five, and so on, and one day your business will work for you and you won’t have to lift a finger while the cash just rolls in.

But consider that if your plan works perfectly, and you manage to recruit five, who in turn recruit five and so on, then within just 12 levels you would have recruited the entire population of South Africa?

And just two levels beyond that, you would have just about exhausted the population of planet earth.

It’s a concern that these days mankind is more interested in prosperity than doing a good job. They don’t realise that all the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless they do.

Sam Ewing once hit the nail on the head when he suggested that you can tell the character of a person by how they view hard work. “Hard work spotlights the character of people,” he wrote. “Some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.”

And if we don’t get our fuel tanks topped up tonight, we may be prevented from turning up for our character-building jobs later this month.

One more thing in closing ; this festive season choose your shops carefully. I think it may turn out to be far too expensive to drive around the city hunting for bargains.