Mars or Bust!
Chapter 8: Profit

Copyright© 2021 by GT Dodge

I really only got stuck with all those pennies for two months. I had it down to a science. Jog a stack so I had one edge in line, whack the stack with a paper cutter bar. Shake the coins out into a bin. Wave the stack over the metal detector. Shake out any remaining coins. Send the stack to the machine that handles envelopes. It didn’t care if the edge was already open. It would scan the check and add it to the deposit, out of my hands. When the coin bin was full enough, pour it through a coin separator. No more envelopes? Time to bag the coins. Weigh each bag of coins. Estimate value. Send to the bank where they counted them and spit out rolls of coins. Compare the deposit to the estimate. It was always close.

Johnny hired a lady to replace me. Promoted me to Project Manager. Someone called him, he told them I invented workflows. My pay went up, I got a desk and a draft table.

On track to a career at le Foundation!

My real boss told me I was Johnny’s Fulfillment Team: how Johnny churned out money making ideas and waited for someone else to make them work. That was me.

Who turned expenses into profitable enterprises?

That was me.

Look how I turned the tables on Linc’s travel arrangements: no more weekly roundtrip airfare for a popular lecturer and his staff! Instead, a series of mobile college seminars, using Linc as the professor, built around the chartered planes flying him out to a new city or flying him home. The remainder of each course took place either at le Foundation in New York or off-site at the hotel he needed for the week anyways. After I got through, le Foundation made as much from the traveling seminars as from the $1000-a-plate dinners that started Linc traveling in the first place. After that first year, when the fundraisers stopped selling out, the seminars were Linc’s – and le Foundation’s - bread and butter.

First weekend of every month: “Exo-Exploration: Science and Strategy© “. Sold out, NASA chartered the first six months, filled it with career bureaucrats, congressmen and military types. MIT grabbed 2 months, the University of Phoenix took the next year’s worth of months then purchased the rights to the seminar from the Foundation.

The second weekend: “Non-Profit Fund Raising for Fun and???© “. Sold out, a no-brainer. Non-profit organizations have tons of money to spend on fund raising. I took the seminar myself and I copyrighted my own bumper sticker, Real Spacemen Only Phone Home! Except the declaration was refused by the Patent Office. Someone had beat me to it. They called. They never call. The caller even said they never called, that they never told Party A who Party B was. Except, she’d recognized my name and the relationship. And she said that since everybody knew Johnny and my relationship. – I nearly laughed. Tabloid fiction! – she wanted me to know that Johnny had copyrighted it already. And he’d turned down all sorts of money. He just wouldn’t print it for some reason.

The third: “Corporate Sponsorship: Splash your name across the Milky Way!© “. Johnny designed and delivered that seminar personally, one time only, had himself videotaped and trained a team of professional instructors to take over. My favorite part was him explaining a plan to turn the moon into a huge billboard. He used an orange and a flashlight. Johnny franchised that seminar. We won’t talk about that anymore, Johnny ended up in court over some venal copyright clause in the contract.

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