When I was growing up, my family managed an apartment complex in South International Falls, Minnesota. All of us six kids had chores to do, including mowing the lawn, shoveling the sidewalks, picking up trash, etc. As a family we painted each unit between renters. My job was to scrub with a Brillo pad the plastic baseboards to remove any paint splatters that happened while the older kids paint-rolled the walls.
In addition to all of that, once a week we were each responsible to tidy the common areas of one of the buildings. This meant picking up cigarette butts, vacuuming hallways and stairs, sweeping and mopping the laundry rooms and wiping walls and laundry machines as needed. You can read about our compensation for this work here.
One day my dad came into the house, brandishing a fresh, crisp $20 bill. "Kady!" he called, "Look what I found behind the washing machine in your building!" I immediately began
spending saving that money in my mind. For an actual minute I really thought he was going to give ME the money he found in MY building. Ha!
Instead, he folded it slowly and dramatically placed it in his wallet. "If only you had done a better job of cleaning, this could have been yours", he said, and shrugged his shoulders as if it really weren't his decision to make. (Remember that $20 when I was eight is the equivalent of about $1,000 today.)
You better believe that for the rest of my tenure as a cleaning person at the South Falls Apartments, I was scouring that laundry room with a toothbrush, hoping for another cash money windfall that never came. It was only last week that I asked my dad on the way to ice fishing if he really found that $20 bill behind the washing machine in my building.
"I never found a $20 bill in my life." He said.
Now THAT'S good parenting.