Letter from the owner of a business

A Boss Who Tells it Like it Is …

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 acompany, 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

16 Responses to “Letter from the owner of a business”

  1. ZerCool says:

    Talk about punishing the child for the sins of the father… jebus.

    He makes good points, but if I was working in private industry and was told that, I’d have my resume plastered across town in a matter of hours.

  2. liberalgunlover says:

    Sounds like a real sore looser, but he dose make some good points.

  3. Huck says:

    He makes some excellent points and he’s so right about the lazy getting rewarded and the workers getting the shaft.

  4. William says:

    Atlas is shrugging.

    When something isn’t worth doing, you don’t do it. When businessmen decide that business isn’t worth doing, questioning their character is ridiculous.

  5. ben says:

    Id have my resume plastered across town in a matter of hours.

    Good luck with that right now.

  6. JD says:

    It says it all. I agree with him but if it was my boss I would start looking for a new job too. . . . no reason to sit and wait for the end because you know there are new taxes on the way. . .

  7. #9 says:

    Atlas is shrugging.

    After hearing President Obama’s speech I have to wonder if Atlas shrugs does it rock the world?

    The government cannot employ everyone.

  8. Armaggedon Rex says:

    I just walked out of a meeting here at the high tech company I’m employed with in Silicon Valley. We just laid off 10% of our work force. And this just hours after the Obamassiaha ascended the throne. This wasn’t the hope and change I was looking for. Stock up on canned goods & ammunition!

  9. Rabbit says:

    There has been a rumor around work that when 4thQ 2008 figures come out later today, it’ll preceed 16,000 layoffs company-wide (nationally, likely, not internationally). The date is not lost on anyone on my team.

    My resume is updated and I’ve had a couple of interesting calls from recruiters in the past week. I’ve got a feeling that soon Apu in Mumbai will be doing my job, albeit for the same pay per week that I make an hour.

    I’m not burning any bridges, though, but I do have a torch handy. Right beside my pitchfork.

    Regards,
    Rabbit.

  10. Linoge says:

    You know, if this is real, I honestly cannot blame the individual who wrote it. America has made an industry of punishing those who succeed in life, and our new President has made it clear that he has every intention of continuing that trend.

    So to speak, he was the proverbial straw that broke the proverbial camel’s proverbial back.

  11. Good_ol_Al says:

    This guy is not alone in thinking closing about his business. There will be fewer places to send your resume.

  12. #9 says:

    You can only beat a dog so much until it will bite.

    You can only push a mule so much until it halts.

    Why would Atlas shrug? Let’s not find out.

    I know many business people that feel betrayed. Middle class America is small business. With 14 employees this is a small business. I don’t have a source so I don’t know if this letter is true. But it sounds true. At least to me.

    Pray our new President gets it. Pray the Congress gets it.

  13. DirtCrashr says:

    Bosses *know* that you’re already looking for another job – that’s the nature of employment, they are also looking for another employee, too. And one guy I know who owns a company (and a market niche) might move all his stuff to Ireland for the rebates and incentives.
    I also know he’d never move to California because we hurt business more than most places. Daljeet in Bangalore is already doing what I used to do…

  14. geekWithA.45 says:

    I dunno guys, that letter sounds a little too pat.

    As much as I sympathize with the sentiment, I think a huge grain of salt is warranted without a good, firm citation.

  15. Martini says:

    I have seen something like this before, and while I don’t think it is authentic, in that it was written by a an employer and sent to his employees, I think it sums up the situation we find ourselves in very well. In short we could be very well screwed.

  16. Robert says:

    He’ll also find out that if you retire and move to another country, that the goverment will take more than half of your assests as a penalty for leaving. You think they’d just let you go and keep all your hard earned money?