How big a reward would you ask for in this scenario?

Obviously a hypothetical with a longish storytelling OP. Less obviously, the sequel to this thread. People who don’t like these but feel compelled to read them and bitch are reminded that the Superbowl is in next week, and while I have zero interest in football, I don’t go into the Game Room to bitch about all the attention THAT gets. Anywho…

Let’s see you have a well-to-do friend who owns a luxuriously appointed cabin in the woods and has offered you the use of it for a couple of weeks so you and your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/fuckbuddy/commercially motivated companion can canoodle. On your first night there it snows, amd what was forecast to be two inches of accumulation turns into three feet, leaving you nicely trapped. Your friend keeps the cabin stocked with food & drink, firewood, a generator, fuel for same, satellite, and plenty of books; there’s enough of everything to let ya’ll ride out the entire winter if necessary. The only thing you’re lacking is phone service. You’re at the beginning of a two-week paid vacation anyway, so at most you’re mildly inconvenienced.

But you’re not destined to be alone. A week later, after it’s begun to thaw, you and your honey are strolling through the woods when you come across a snowmobiler who has crashed his vehicle and been badly injured; he appears to have been there for hours, if not days, and is close to death. Y’all get him back to the cabin, do what’s immediately necessary to save his life, and decide to brave the roads and get him to the nearest hospital. The trip goes without incident, the ER doctors save the snowmobiler’s life; they say that ya’ll did the exact right thing in not waiting for help.

Before you and the honey can leave, the snowmobiler’s two parents’ arrive. It turns out that they’re both famous and wealthy, with a net worth in the net worth in the billions. The mother is overwhelmed with gratitude, and within seconds of meeting you, insists that you’re due a monetary reward. The father is cooler. Out of the mother’s earshot, he says that he’s willing to pay you for what you’ve done, but he doesn’t intend to be held up; additionally, he wants to get it handled now, with a minimum of publicity. He tells you to name your price. Not once has he said thank you or asked if you were injured or inconvenienced by what happened.

Basically, all you’ve expended is time and gasoline (and you would have had to make the drive into town at the end of your vacation anyway. What food and medical supplies you used on the injured kid were kid were in the cabin–i.e., paid for by your generous friend, not by you.

How big a reward do you ask for?

While I wish I could ask for the world I’m afraid my bred to the bone Canadian politeness would kick in and I’d be obliged to tell him that no reward was necessary.

If he feels it’s required a lovely vacation somewhere for the remaining week out of the way of the media and quiet would be great.

I hope it’s not considered fighting the hypothetical to say that my honest reaction would be to turn the question back on them: “What do you think is fair? I’m not interested in extortion. I’m very appreciative that you want to reward us, so please let me know what you had in mind.”

I reserve the right to bitch privately later on if I think they’ve shorted me, but since I wasn’t anticipating any reward, I won’t do much more than bitching privately. Unless they offer $50, in which case, I may not feel terribly bound by that “minimum of publicity” part.

If I burned more than a tank of gas, I might ask for that much. I wouldn’t do a good deed expecting a reward and I’d never ask for one. I’d like to think that my being rescued from a bad situation wouldn’t depend on what the rescuer thought he/she would get in return.

Same if I found your lost dog or some sentimental object - I’d get it back to you because it’s the right thing to do, not because I expected anything, although thanks would be nice.

That is not fighting the hypothetical, except in the very mild sense that you used the wrong pronoun. The mother is the one who offered you a reward; it’s the father who’s being a jerk and making you name a figure.

This is a great hypothetical, Skald, but I bet everyone comes in here saying oh no, I don’t want a reward. Well, I don’t WANT one either, but I would ask for one, mostly because the dad is being such a dick. I would ask him if he has a life insurance policy on his son, and if so I’d like that amount, since that is apparently the value he puts on his son. I guess if he has none, then he values his son at zero and that’s what I’d get.

I’d ask them what they think is reasonable. I know myself, and I’m REALLY bad at “naming a price” - whatever I say is either going to be way too much, and make them furious, or ridiculously low, and make them snigger as they hand me 20 bucks. Given that they’re Fabulously Wealthy, the amount they’d offer is most likely much more than I’d ever be rude enough to ask for.

I would probably say something like I hadn’t angled for a reward, didn’t know who he was when I saved him, but if you’re offering $1 million would pretty much revolutinise my life, and hope that I get offered something approaching that.

“Whatever value you place on your child’s life would be fine.”

Honestly, I would tell them no reward is needed and walk away. I’ve been involved in a few medical emergencies in the past and taking money for helping someone would have soured the experience. If the guy who’s life was saved wanted to buy me a beer after he was better I’d accept it gladly. I don’t want anything from his parents.

I don’t think I’d ask for anything. The father is being a bit of a jerk, but I’ll chalk that up to worry about his son.

There are angels all around us. Sometimes it’s your turn to be an angel.

Now, if Mum were to INSIST and press a wad of cash into my hand, I would protest but then accept graciously. But I’m not going to give them a dollar figure on their child’s life.

I’d somehow figure out what a private ambulance/rescue service would have charged and ask for double, only because they need help spending their money.

$0, and I’d turn down anything that was offered.

What the fuck? They’re wealthy, I ask for a straight million dollars into my bank account. I just gave them back their son, their heir, they can spare the money, I could use a million dollars.

If dad hadn’t let it into play that he was worried about his precious, precious bankroll, then I probably wouldn’t ask for a reward or expect one. Since he wants to make this about money, then what I want from him is an admission that he is a money-obsessed POS whose first thought about the person who saved his son’s life is that he might try to “hold [dad] up.” This admission to be made in front of his wife and son and me.

“Well, either $50 for gas money, or $20 million. It’s really up to you.”

(expecting I would not actually get either.)

Well since the son now owes me a life debt I’d say he has to pay a nice hefty salary for a live in maid/butler/cook for me for as long as I want. And $20 million.

I’d take Asimovian’s approach – “I’ll take whatever you think is fair”.

I would answer $418.65 and offer no explanation whatsoever for that curious figure.

Seriously, I would steadfastly decline any reward.

I would just tell him to write me a check based on what he thinks is fair under the circumstances.

If he’s that concerned about publicity, he’ll make sure to pay me my hush money.