Ever Been Bribed?

Ever been bribed? Or had someone attempt to bribe you?

Obviously there are some professions where bribery is very much frowned on, if not illegal. But popular opinion would have us believe that in some jobs a little bit of bribery is run of the mill. It’s just a way of jumping the queue, or making sure you get preferential treatment. I’m not talking about generous tipping here, I mean money as an inducement to break or bend the rules.

But how much does it happen?

The reason I ask is because I’d never have the nerve to try bribery in most situations and wonder just what reaction I’d get if I tried. Would I get laughed at, thrown out or arrested?

So, has anyone ever tried to bribe you? Did you accept the bribe? How did it make you feel? Flattered? Insulted? Guilty? Would you do the same again? For how much?

I was in a position where bribery was a very real possibility and we received training specifically on how to deal with the issue.

As a land use planner attached to the Vice Department with the local police department I worked at neighborhood revitalization efforts by closing down illegal rooming houses, nip joints, crack houses, brothels, etc. The owners of these places were ususally pretty shady to begin with, so bribery was real possibility. We were instructed by the police to do the following:

  1. If you are approached, be non-committal. Let the property owner give you his sales pitch.
  2. After the meeting, get thee immediately to a telephone and call the Director of the Department of Community Development; your immediate supervisor; the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office; and, the City Attorney’s Office. Record the date, time, location, all participants and as much of the conversation as you can recall.
  3. Come back to the office and give a notarized statement to the police.

A co-worker was approached, wired, and participated in a sting-operation against a local slum-lord. He was given $100 for a certificate of occupancy. It cost the slum-lord a $10,000 fine and 5 years in jail for attempted bribery.

My advice - don’t try and bribe someone. If you think your’re getting away with someone, you probably really going to end up in jail.

It completely depends on the situation. I’ve bribed people in fancy resturaunts to jump the line before. A twenty goes a long way. A friend of mine (currently in Indonesia) says that bribes are a part of life over there. To get anything done you need to spread the cash. He’s made bribes as high as $30,000 (US) before in order to make sure that a shipment makes it to where it’s supposed to go.

States side the practice of bribery isn’t as accepted. Attempting to bribe a cop can land you in jail. Minor things (queue jumping) isn’t practiced too much, but believe me it does happen.

I accept bribes every day.

I call 'em “tips”.

I inadvertently accepted a small bribe once, if one can do such a thing.

I was an admin assistant handling the paperwork for a grant program. I had no input into the decision making process. I knew many of the applicants from my previous job, which among other things was to assist people in putting together grant applications.

I accepted a dinner invitation from one of my old aquaintances (we’d actually together on a couple of public radio productions). The dinner was purportedly to celebrate another grant he’d received from a different agency, so as he put it, “Dinner and drinks are on me”.

What he really wanted, I discovered over dinner, was insider info on the grants program. What was my boss’s thinking? Who had the inside track? I got very uncomfortable very quickly, repeated the same general guidelines I would tell anybody on the phone, and got out of there. But I let him pay the bill.

I didn’t report it, and I had not received any specific instructions to do so, other then an employmeny agreement with the agency not to provide confidential information (which I didn’t).

And I didn’t accept any more dinner invitations from applicants. Then again, I didn’t receive any.

So was I bribed?

I think I was asked for a bribe once, but was too naive to realize it. In 1976, my company needed the approval of the State X Insurance Department to authorize our insuring a large state project. We met several times with the Insurance Commissioner, who was non-committal. As we left one meeting with him, another Insurance Department employee pulled me aside and helpfully said, “You know, you are using the wrong approach. You’ll never get approval that way.”

I thanked him for his advice and said that was the only approach we knew. Then I hastily scooted out.

After considerably more effort and perseverance, we did eventually get approval without paying a bribe.

I don’t know … maybe $20 will refresh my memory…

As a newspaperman I regularly get people trying to give me money or things to either get them in the paper or keep them out.

To the best of my memory, I have never taken one, but I could merely have a very selective memory. I don’t know. I have turned down things as small as free drinks and as large as major amounts of money. I don’t think I’m especially noble. I just know the news business does not work right if it can be bought and paid for.

Probably the hardest thing is when it is friends giving you gifts or cash. You have to ask yourself, “Is it being given to me because I’m a friend? Or is it because I’m a newspaperman?” I think I have insulted more that a few friends by sending back gifts because they had either been the subject of a story or might be someday.

I remember the first time I had someone attempt to out-and-out bribe me. I was little more than a cub reporter working on a very trivial society story and a guy came in and offered me money to keep whom he was at the society function with out of the story (as a matter of fact, I wasn’t even going to mention it in the story). I was so stunned that I was somebody who somebody else would want to bribe, I went to my editor then and there and told him what was happening.

He laughed out loud and shouted to the rest of the newsroom, “Hey, guys TV just got his first bribe offer. How about that?”

With the guy sitting over at my desk just a few feet away, everybody in the newsroom came over and slapped me on the back and congratulated me in loud voices that I had, as it were, lost my virginity. The guy slipped out of the office and never came back.

Once, at the end of a semester, a student gave me a calendar. I said thanks, but students often give little gifts to teachers, so I didn’t consider it a bribe. Then leaving, he hesitated, turned back, and said that he hoped I’d remember this when I assigned grades.:rolleyes: You want a good grade in exchange for a calendar??

I’ve always wanted to be offered a real bribe for a grade, you know, big bucks or sex, depending on the gender of the student. (I’d turn it down. No, really, I would.) But so far, only a calendar, which I neglected to consider when I assigned grades.

I’ve been given bribes. Huge bribes. COLLOSAL bribes. And I’ve accepted every one of 'em.

Once, I saw a couple of Italian guys in nice suits carrying a large back with what looked to be… err… laundry, in it. One of 'em said “I’ll give you a hunnerd bucks to forget you saw anything.” I said “Make in one-fifty… I wanna buy a new video card.”

The guy smiled and said, “Yer gonna buy an ATI card, right?”

Stupidly, I responded, “Hell, no… I’m gonna get me a phat GeForce-3, yo.”

This pissed him off, and he dropped his end of the body… er… laundry bag, pulled a gun, and said, “Get an ATI card, you lousy little punk, or I’m gonna make you dead, dead, dead!”

I said okay, took the money, and bought the ATI card. It died in about a week (they do that), so I had to go back to my old video card.


(Note: Parts of this story are fictionalized… I did not, in fact, use the words “phat” or “yo”.)


Yes. But they called it a “raise in pay”

I quit anyway.

That’s what you get for doing somethings as immoral as buying an ATI card! Wait, what was the moral of the story again. . . .


Not to use words like “phat” and “yo”, yo.

A client tried to bribe me once. I rejected it politely at first, but they were insistant and kept after me until I got angry and they got embarassed. It was very uncomfortable and I won’t share details, but I did keep my honor intact.

Not me, but my favourite teacher in history was once approached by a student. She came to his office, begged him for help on the term. “Don’t you think this deserves just a little bit higher of a grade? Please?” or something, unbuttoning her top slightly and leaning over and adopting a sultry voice.

Did I mention this was Brian the Extremely Gay English Lit professor? :smiley:

“Honey,” he said, “You haven’t being paying attention at all, have you?”

I understand she failed the term.

I was given five thousand dollars last year to keep me quiet about what a scam the “standards” testing in California is. I took it, figuring it was safe to accept bribes from the government.

They’de better keep it commin’, though, or I’m a-squealin’.

I work for the Social Security Administration and used to spend part of my time taking calls at its toll-free info/help line. Once I got a call from someone wanting to check on the status of her claim for disability benefits. After telling her that we were waiting for a decision from the Disability Review Board and how long it would be before we could request a status report from them, she asked if there was anything I could do to help her get her claim approved, adding “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
Since I couldn’t have done anything about her claim even if I’d wanted to, I pretended not to understand what she meant.

Oddly enough, I was offered a bribe just a few hours ago.
I work graveyard at a hotel here in Florida, just off I-75. With spring break and all, all the hotels in FL are very busy, and this last night was no exception. I turned away quite a few people while waiting for my last reservation to come in. One of these people spotted the key pack I had waiting.
“What’s that?” he asks.
“That’s a reservation that hasn’t arrived yet.”
“I’ll give you a hundred bucks for the room, and another hundred for you to keep.”
Me taking a moment to collect my jaw
“No, sir, I’m sorry, but that’s a guaranteed reservation. I cannot sell it to anyone else.”
“You stupid ***, you’re not going to take my money, you * * *!”
“No sir, and if you don’t leave right now, I’m gonna call the cops.”
He stomps out at that point. Ten minutes later the reservation arrived.

A sap? I s’pose. On the other hand, I get some comfort at the thought of him either asleep in the back seat of his car, or wrapped around a tree somewhere because he was too stubborn to do so.

I was prepared to offer a bribe last month to have a key copied. It had “do not duplicate” etched into it. Well, as it happened, there was a teenage kid running the key cutting machine, who apparently couldn’t read. Kid missed out on some cash. I got my key anyway. heh.

Had a friend once who claimed he made upwards of $100 a day taking bribes as a car emissions tester. aparently it was easy to rig the test, and people would offer him 10-20 bucks to do it.

When I worked at Jones Beach (Long Island, NY) in the 80’s, taking tickets at the parking lots was considered a plum position because of the opportunity for bribes. At the beach cars had to wait on line at tollbooths before driving to the lots and handing tickets to the attendants. People were willing to pay more than the cost of parking just to avoid the wait.

I was assigned to side lot and actually resisted taking bribes but patrons would get very upset if you didn’t take them. One day after listening to the attendants at the main lot discuss what they were raking in I decided to just go with the flow. The next day I was promoted to the information station, ruining my chance to be a corrupt public servant.