Friday, February 20, 2009

A Letter From Your Boss (not mine)

Hah. What timing. The below email was sent to me (and several other people) today claiming to be "from your boss".  This was NOT sent from my boss, who I like and seems to be in a similar position as this boss. Worth the read.

As emailed to me:

To All My Valued Employees, There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country. However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.

First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You've seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I'm sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life. However, what you don't see is the back story I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you. My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business - hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the discount store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden - the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations ... you never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for. Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why: I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.

The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy. Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.

So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem any more. Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire.

You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship. So, if you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever.

If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about ..
Signed, Your boss


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you didn't get a stimulus check. My one year old "special needs" child and I have always lived very modestly but we also feel the plight of the fiscally irresponsible. So while you may have to give up your Mercedes one day and settle for a Jeep, we will be lucky if we can afford public transportation providing, of course, it can take us where we need to go. I am also so sorry that somewhere in your life you got so far over your head with your “business” that is have dominated your every hour and decision. Why don’t you just pack it all in like Gauguin instead of being such an uptight asshole? Oh yeah, we spent out stimulus check on medicine and cheerios. Sorry, Rockefeller.

James Hogan said...

Perhaps if you had some ambition and started your own business you wouldn't have a child at all and instead would have your own business that provided you with the luxury of a Mercedes. Then you'd have no special needs, or not, child to worry about. Your decision to have a child was just that, your decision. It is not a burden I have chose to pay for, nor do I want my money to support you or your child. I'd gladly donate to St. Judes if I felt so inclined.

Perhaps if you had been busy with your company, you could have had a child later in life after you had saved some money? You could have taken advantage of the health care you would have purchased for you and your child so that you weren't spending all of your money on medicine and could afford a healthier food than cheerios.

Perhaps if you weren't such a needy person who felt so entitled to everything, you would have family would tolerated you just enough to help you in your situation. Perhaps if you had started that business and provided employment and a paycheck to a few dozen people, they would be willing to help you out? I'd certainly be willing to give my boss a few spare bills to take care of his kids, because he keeps me employed, but aside from taking my money through your "stimulus check", what have YOU done for ME?

You might not like to believe it, but you simply aren't entitled to anything, nor do you deserve anything. Earn it.

Anonymous said...

..."wouldn't have child at all and instead the luxury of a Mercedes..." hmmm, so let me see, children or expensive cars??? Which is more rewarding??? You truly are a fucked-up individual! What kind of business are you in anyway? Profiting from the misfortunes of others?

Anonymous said...

“…Perhaps if you had some ambition and started your own business you wouldn't have a child at all and instead would have your own business that provided you with the luxury of a Mercedes…”

Hmmm, let me see, a child or a Mercedes??? Which is more rewarding???

And what do you know of the circumstances of my decision to have a child? Perhaps I was in business but the “special needs” were more important! But noooo… just go on rambling about how everybody has an equal opportunity and if you’re not driving a Mercedes by the time you’re thirty you just didn’t try hard enough! Typical kool-aid train of thought! I’d like to know exactly what kind of work you do, you pussy computer programmer! Mommy and Daddy help you out with the tuition and the first mortgage? What do you know of ambition???

What comes first, a Mercedes or a child? You’re screwed-up! Keep your damn money; I hope it keeps you good company when you’re old. And don’t go around pretending to be some pillar of society because you “employ” people, capitalist pig! What service do you provide anyway? How to make money from other people’s misfortunes?


Anonymous said...

First of all, the anonymous commentator was clearly detailing how the economic slowdown has impacted everybody, both the successful and the struggling. She never once claimed entitlement to anything. The remarks about medicine and Cheerios were meant to illustrate the futility of the stimulus package. In short, when she said she was sorry you didn’t get a stimulus check, she was saying you didn’t miss anything!

Secondly, the reference to Gauguin should have reminded you that life has much to offer. She was lamenting your preoccupation and suggesting you stop and smell the roses before it is too late.

In conclusion, judging by your reaction you appear to suffer from a fear of persecution, warranted or otherwise. You automatically dismissed the commenter as lacking ambition. Somehow I imagine that this person with the special needs child knows the meaning of hard work and sacrifice. Again, there was nothing in her post that sounded as if she wanted something for nothing. Quite the contrary! She was attacking the stimulus. The two of you actually share more common ground then you perceived.

Slow down there, partner!

James Hogan said...

Mr. Anonymous Corward, since I, of course, am indeed the original author of the letter as your reading comprehension skills have alerted you to, let me explain my business to you. My company is called the Community Child Care Program, Inc. Feel free to Google us, look for “CCCP”. We’re “The Future of America”.

What my company does is finds parents of special needs children, like yourself, who find it more prudent to complain that the burden of raising your own offspring is too great and we find sponsor families who are willing to help you raise your child. The families, on their own free will, donate food, money, clothing and time to you and your child to aid your family. We take no cuts from these donations; 100% of the donations go straight to the families they are intended for.

In order to keep my company running so that I can provide services to these needy families, I have hired 14 young people, who were on the unemployment line, to operate and maintain the robots which keep our corporate gardens, sewing machines and food production functioning. Without these employees, and without this equipment, I would be unable to assist our donor families or beneficiaries. As an engineer, not simply a “computer programmer”, I designed, paid for, and built these robots on my own time using my own money, knowledge and resources. We sell the produced food and clothing back to donor families at very low costs since my robots are extremely efficient. It is those slim margins that we operate off of on a day to day basis.

Further, I should have completed the back-story of how I received the nice house and the Mercedes. After living in my 300sqft apartment for 3 years, I found myself facing the difficult decision to either shut my company down or save some money by moving out of my apartment. For the next 8 years, I chose to live out of my rusty Corolla. When my employees finally realized that I was living this way, they gracefully contacted a donor to assist me; they called my father. My father came to the office the next day and gave me the keys to his house, and his car. He had no idea I had started this business or was in need of assistance myself. My father then went to work a second job in order to continue to be my donor. What you perceive as vacations are my business trips to find additional donor families and needy families.

Which leads to your final question of a child vs the Mercedes. While a child of my own might be rewarding, I have to say that since I’ve began operating a driver’s education program as part of my corporate offerings, the number of young people who want to learn to drive my (dad’s) SLR McLaren has been staggering. In fact, demand from families that I assist has been so high that I have had to set new requirement for applicants. My requirement is simple; there is no cost, but all applicants must EARN the opportunity to drive the SLR by finding at least five other needy families and a donor for each. It is quite rewarding to be able to assist additional families rather than to be selfish and just worry about me. It is quite a luxury to have such a fine automobile to use for driving school programs, when I tried the same program with my Corolla, no one signed up.

You know my name, you know my company, feel free to post using a real name, maybe someone will want to help you and your “special needs” child.