What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

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  • What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

    I have a situation where a criminal group is offering money to a truck driver, who's just a regular, non criminal citizen, to drive a truck to a place they're gonna rob, wait for them to load the merchandise and then drive it off to a drop point.


    Now, my story is set in America, but not being American, I don't know what would be a reasonable amount of in dollars to offer such a person for something like that.


    So, this is a straight citizen, so you're assuming he would be very reluctant to get involved in something like this, plus it's dangerous. What would be an offer that you would assume might entice someone like that?

  • #2
    Re: What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

    Depends. How long would it take for the truck driver to do this job? How much effort is required? Is he the only one that can do it, and therefore has leverage in negotiations? Is it supposed to be a simple job, or is there some risk involved? What's the truck driver's financial situation and moral flexibility?

    If it's a one day job, and there are no forecasted complications, I could see someone that needs the money doing it for as little as a few hundred bucks.

    Like I said, it depends on the variables, but there are enough desperate people in America that I think you could get them to be a part of something like this for much less than you think.

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    • #3
      Re: What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

      Do we need to know the number? Sometimes, when I encounter things like this in my international or period piece research for a script, I might just show an open bag with a bunch of money (= a lot) or a "wad", without hearing the amount.

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      • #4
        Re: What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

        I'd concentrate on his need for the money, rather than the amount, which doesn't really need to be specified. He gets a share, same as the others.

        An example:
        A competent driver with a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) probably makes decent money already. But, CDL drivers are subject to random drug/alcohol testing. A failed test would make him unable to support his family, at least in a legit driving job.

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        • #5
          Re: What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

          Originally posted by Dimitri001 View Post
          So, this is a straight citizen, so you're assuming he would be very reluctant to get involved in something like this, plus it's dangerous. What would be an offer that you would assume might entice someone like that?
          Originally posted by Mitchell McLean View Post
          I'd concentrate on his need for the money, rather than the amount, which doesn't really need to be specified.
          IMHO, Mitchell is correct.

          Reason 1: The driver is tempted by the offer because he needs to pay his daughter’s medical bills or lose his house.

          Reason 2: The driver is “tempted by the offer” because when they ask him to do it, he now knows about the heist. He has to do it, or they will kill him.

          Reason 3: Reason 2 + Reason 1

          Is the driver a sympathetic character? Do we see him throughout the script? Is he the protagonist? If none of those, then he’s not too important to the story except as a getaway driver. A fardel of cash in a small gym bag could be enough temptation, no price mentioned.
          Last edited by TigerFang; 04-24-2020, 08:39 AM.
          "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

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          • #6
            Re: What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

            Truck driver job pays reasonably. And it's not a job that goes out of style. So someone with a specialized license and ability to work doing a highly illegal activity for a few hundred bucks? They would have to really be in a tight situation to do it for that little, no?

            Anyway, I agree that sums don't often need to be disclosed. Especially as what can be $100 today can be $1000 in ten years and $1000000 in fifty years. You never know how values or currencies inflate or fluctuate.

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            • #7
              Re: What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

              Folks are suggesting workarounds to duck the issue, but that doesn't work because of the nature of the story/scene. An amount has to be offered.



              Originally posted by catcon View Post
              Do we need to know the number? Sometimes, when I encounter things like this in my international or period piece research for a script, I might just show an open bag with a bunch of money (= a lot) or a "wad", without hearing the amount.

              We do, because the driver is gonna reject them and they really need someone, so they're gonna try to talk him into it, so it's natural that they would give him a number and that he would ask if he was the least bit tempted.


              Originally posted by Mitchell McLean View Post
              I'd concentrate on his need for the money, rather than the amount, which doesn't really need to be specified. He gets a share, same as the others.

              They're not gonna be giving him a share. The score is too big and he's doing too little, they'll just be paying him for the driving.

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              • #8
                Re: What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

                https://www.indeed.com/career/truck-driver/salaries


                Have them offer a yearly salary (or at least half). Some people would be tempted to do something illegal for an entire annual pay in a day if the job sounds easy and untraceable.

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                • #9
                  Re: What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

                  It wouldn't be that much money. The book Freakonomics actually went into numbers. Here's an excerpt from the original article:

                  Why Drug Dealers Live With Their Moms?

                  [...]

                  As it turned out, the gang worked a lot like most American businesses, though perhaps none more so than McDonald's. If you were to hold a McDonald's organizational chart and the crack gang's organizational chart side by side, you could hardly tell the difference.

                  The gang was one of about 100 branches -- franchises, really -- of the Black Gangster Disciple Nation. The franchise leader whom Venkatesh befriended, a college graduate named J. T., reported to a board of directors. J. T. employed three senior officers and, depending on the season, from 25 to 75 "foot soldiers,- or street-level salesmen. (Autumn was the busiest season for selling crack; summer and Christmastime were slow.) At the bottom of the organization were as many as 200 "rank-and-file- members, who weren't employees but did pay dues, hoping to one day become foot soldiers.

                  J. T.'s gang took in revenues of about $32,000 a month. Not counting wages, it cost J. T. about $14,000 to operate, including $5,000 for the wholesale purchase of cocaine and another $5,000 as a kickback to the board of directors.

                  J. T.'s single largest expense was the wage he paid himself: $8,500 a month, for an annual salary of about $100,000. There were roughly 100 leaders of J. T.'s stature within the Black Disciple network. These were the drug dealers who could indeed afford to live large, or -- in the case of the board of directors -- extremely large. Each of those roughly 20 directors stood to earn about $500,000 a year.

                  So the top 120 men on the Black Disciples' pyramid were paid very well. But the pyramid they sat atop was gigantic. Using J. T.'s franchise as a yardstick -- three officers and roughly 50 foot soldiers -- there were about 5,300 other men working for those 120 bosses. Then there were the 20,000 unpaid rank-and-file members, many of whom wanted nothing more than a chance to become a foot soldier. And how well did that dream job pay? About $3.30 an hour.

                  https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-...r24-story.html
                  Manfred Lopez Grem
                  Writer - Director

                  REEL - IMDB

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                  • #10
                    Re: What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

                    Originally posted by Dimitri001 View Post
                    So, this is a straight citizen, so you're assuming he would be very reluctant to get involved in something like this, plus it's dangerous. What would be an offer that you would assume might entice someone like that?
                    To not get shot in the face.

                    To not have their father's care home burnt down.

                    To not be force fed their daughter's eyes.
                    Know this: I'm a lazy amateur, so trust not a word what I write.
                    "The ugly can be beautiful. The pretty, never." ~ Oscar Wilde

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                    • #11
                      Re: What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

                      manfred, the data ignores several issues regarding this story - the way Dmitri has written, this is an already licensed, already employed truck driver. Why would someone like that risk doing something highly illegal and lose everything for 'not that much'? As mentioned in the excerpt you posted, the college graduate gets 100k a year.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What would be a reasonable sum of money to offer in this situation?

                        OP asked a straight question concerning money amounts, not for us to 'fix' his story or motivations. I have no idea what the story is about. All I know is that in reality it is extremely easy to find willing people to participate in illegal activities in organized crime because it is seen as glamorous by many. The other reality is that the regular foot soldiers taking all the risk don't actually earn that much. They do it because they want to prove themselves and move up in the organization. The people earning 100k annually aren't the ones driving the getaway trucks.
                        Manfred Lopez Grem
                        Writer - Director

                        REEL - IMDB

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