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Letter to employees ....

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Bob Schultz, Jan 23, 2009.

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  1. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    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
     
  2. J.Woolsey

    J.Woolsey Member

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    Why can't the Democrats understand the reality of what Bob just so eloquently explained? Could it be that it would destroy their "You Owe Me" voter base. Our system is broken, and in need of serious repair. J.W.
     
  3. bigbore613

    bigbore613 Active Member

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    "Socialisim is fine until you run out of someone elses money" Margret Thatcher
     
  4. remman

    remman TS Member

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    Well stated. Those who have never started a business, went through the worry and deprivation, have no clue. The politicions are not only ignorant of the causes of the problems but continue to worsen the economy with their fixes. I hope somehow we can survive this mess, but with the likes of Pelosi, Reid, Franks etc. it doesn't look good. I'm sure some liberal dipstick will tell me how it makes sense to be able to buy a $200,000.+ house with no downpayment and credit that would not qualify you to buy a car. We are guaranteed the OPPORTUNITY to succeed, not the RIGHT to all that we desire. Jim Rose
     
  5. Turtle29728

    Turtle29728 TS Member

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    Well said, Bob.I recall once selling a pint of my blood once to pay for my books while in college preparing myself for the business world. I couldn't begin to count the fried egg sandwiches I ate because that's all I could afford in those days.I finally quit working 60-70 hour work weeks when I was 55 because I was destroying my health. I am sick to death of these fools who think that 50% of my AGI (in the form of State and Federal income taxes)is my "fair share" of the ridiculous tax burden foisted onto the backs of the people (including me) who provide the goods and services that drive the American economy. This doesn't even include sales taxes, property taxes and all the other myriad "hidden" taxes (e.g fuel taxes)and fees that seem to have no end. As for retirement, I am pleased that you have managed, in this increasingly hostile environment, to retain sufficient assets to make that a reality. I received today my year end statement for my retirement account and find that it has lost approximately 40% of it's value in the past year. I expect that the rampant inflation which will inevitably follow the unbridled spending proposed by the new administration in Washington will only serve to devalue my savings even further, rendering a comfortable retirement impossible. So much for the "American Dream".
     
  6. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Readers,

    I wish I could take responsibility for the authorship of the first post above. I received this from a friend and posted it as it reflected his and my outlook on the tax situation.

    When I started my business 31 years ago, many of the hardships were shared by my wife. Missed vacations, stupid hours, and many hours of worry on how to pay the bills were the norm. I drove crappy cars and ate bag lunches for a lot of years. It was worth the effort.

    However, unlike the author above, I won't give up on my country. I still have the (possibly old fashioned) belief that no matter what, the USA is way better than any other place on the planet. It might get ugly before it gets better but I'll be here ....probably working.

    However,I do appreciate your thoughts and kind words, thank you.

    Bob Schultz
     
  7. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    That letter should go in every newspaper in America, but then again only 35% of the people in this country can read.
    You think Katie Couric would put it on the 6:00 news?
     
  8. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    "From the day Obama was elected to 9:30am Tokyo time on Monday morning, the S&P 500 index has lost 17% of its value, after absorbing Obama's proposed cabinet and hearing the gist of his economic stimulus plan. That can't be blamed on Bush. It counts as the "Obama crash"."
     
  9. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Mr. Schultz:

    I have a lot more respect for you than I do for your friend. As someone who's also struggled with the challenges of running a small business, and has libertarian and tax-minimization leanings, I was on completely board with his letter for a while.

    But when he started railing against his own employees, saying that they "mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm," and threatening them because of things over which they have scant little conrol, I sterted getting a clearer picture of who he really is. Who hired these lazy employees who don't mentally check-in until noon? Who supervises them and allows this to go on? Aren't those problems your friend's fault? And why is he posing for holy pictures for building up a company to 14 employees in 28 years? Big deal -- my dentist has 20 employees. Having a business with 14 employees is not a bad accomplishment, but I think his head sounds a lot bigger than his brain.

    Is your angry friend an educated man? From the way he speaks to his employees (the people who helped him do the work and pay for his current lifestyle) it doesn't sound like it. Did he really distribute that letter to his emlpoyees, or it it just the phony rant of a frustrated blowhard? When you start a business you know you'll need to manage it through Democrat and Rupublican eras, good times and bad, and all the political corruption and economic woes which have gone on since the beginning of capitalism. Has your friend ever read a history book?

    Yes, most of us who earn decent money know that the government is screwing us and residrubuting what should be our income. But the kind of hateful, self-serving rhetoric in your angry friend's letter just pits workers and government against us with anger-in-kind. Where are the constructive suggestions to his employees explaining what they might do to help make things better? Why is he so angry and hateful toward them?

    So again, Mr. Schultz, I respect you and appreciate your positive comments. But your friend is a jerk. I also suspect that he is a liar. I have a hunch that he's run his own business into the ground and is now looking for a scapegoat. At the very least, he's a liar about renouncing his citizenship and leaving the country.

    If I'm wrong, when he does it, identify him and his company specifically, post his letter to the government renouncing his citizenship, and I will personally chip-in the first $100 toward flying his @ss permanently out of my beloved country.

    In the mean time, let's all thank God we don't work for a pompous, big-mouthed, paternalistic jerk like your friend.

    -Gary
     
  10. kgun_shooter

    kgun_shooter Member

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    Well said Gary! Most of the CEO's I have worked for didn't do anything but sit in their ivory towers and let me do all the work. As a matter of fact they were to blame for the companies going under because of all their lack-luster spending, NOT ME! I had to sit back and do all the hard work just to find out that I was getting a meager 2% raise for all of it while they were getting six figure bonuses.
     
  11. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    What flincher fails to see is the economy started to price in Obama's presidency long before he took office-and it's not very good!!
     
  12. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Schultz, A well written and well thought out letter.
     
  13. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    I guess one's point of view depends on which side of the isle or, in this case, desk you are sitting on. I have been blessed with long term employees who do their job and earn their pay. Still, the motivation for ultimate success of the business is not formost in their hearts. It's a job. If the poop hits the air mover and the business fails, they are only out of a job not their lifes work.

    CEO means "Chief Operations Officer". Rarely is he the "owner" of a business ... he is just higher up the ladder than the guys in sales or the folks in production. In large corporations his responsibilities are enormous and the pressure to please the shareholders is extreme. Companies don't pay those super-high salaries because they like the guy ... he best be making them money or he, like any other employee, will be history.

    I am not blaming BHO for anything yet. He simply has done nothing other than get elected President. No small accomplishment by any measure, however let's reserve sainthood until he actually helps the American people. I will however blame ALL government for the mess we have now! Both parties elected officials have failed us when we needed them most. We elect them to watch our backs in our national defense, home security, financial integrity and government fiscal responsibility.

    Time to go to the gun club and shoot something! Hope all of you have a great day.

    Bob
     
  14. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    I see where two pissants missed the whole point. By the way you were paid and you had the choice to move on or stay, so don't blame anybody but yourself. Remember if there was no one at the top you wouldn't even be in the game.

    Add some more taxes and mandated programs to me and I'll close shop and put my 5 employees in the hand out line. I have had a small handful of very good employees over the 40 yrs I have been in Business and a whole bunch of liars, thieves, time wasters, what's in it for me, incompetent and very undependable ones.


    Don
     
  15. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Robert Sprinkle, Accountant, Cubicle #42.

    You sort of prove my point. Instead of risking everything and going out on your own as a CPA, you CHOSE the safety of the cubicle. If thats where your horizons are, fine. We as busness owners are not obligated to take care of you from cradle to grave. We pay you a fair wage for work performed. If, in a rare instance an employee shows the initiative to be extra hard working, diligent in his duties or shows a lot of promise by thinking out of the box. (Cubicle.) We generally reward them with more money or benefits. Trust me, this is a rare occurance.

    The concept that someone else is responsible for my well being is alien to me so I generally fail to understand the argument. Get off your butt and do something with your life or you will be in that cubicle for 30 years or till you die, whichever comes first. If the boss you have does not treat you fairly, quit and find another line of work. But, please, don't cry in your beer about your lack of initiative and blame it on "the man".

    Bob
     
  16. kgun_shooter

    kgun_shooter Member

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    "The concept that someone else is responsible for my well being is alien to me"

    Maybe to you but didn't we just bail out a bunch of big wal-street a-holes and bankers? Maybe if they would have thought outside the box they wouldn't be in the shape they're in now. You know it is the same rhetoric all the time. I started the business so I have the right to pay my workers nothing while I buy twenty houses, blah, blah, blah. Fine, if you're so great then run the dam business by yourself and dont' hire anyone. Just remember if there are no good paying jobs for people then there will be no one to buy your guns, hence no more business. This is the reason the economy is still tanked they keep giving the money to the wrong people.
     
  17. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Todd:It's called the 60 day miracle. They interview great, look great, work great and then once the 60 days are in their bad habits appear and now it costs you more money to get rid of them. Please tell me how many people you have interviewed and hired and then paid them with your own money??

    Bill: I pay my employees very well. If you knew anything at all you would know that you can't threaten or intimidate an employee or a lawsuit will follow.

    That's what used to make this country great, you could run your business yourway. Now the State and the Feds want to tax you out of business and regulate you to death. Please tell what you two geniuses have done.

    Don
     
  18. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    kgun shooter,

    Once again, taken out of context and twisted up a bit. What on earth does the bailout money spent on big banks and the auto makers have anything to do with me or my small business. To the best of my knowledge, I have not written any bad mortgages or hyper-inflated the values of any real estate.

    I pay my employees well and provide a pleasant work environment. They are rewarded with bonus incentives too. I value my employees as not only workers but friends. Most of them have been with me for over 10 years.

    If you have never experienced the dubious pleasure of hiring employees, don't judge BIGDON to harshly. All of us who own small businesses have been lied to, stolen from and cheated out of hours of work by people who interview well. Previous employers (by law) can't tell you anything other than their dates of employment or they will get sued into bankruptcy. So you do your best and take your chances. My personal crystal ball which evaluates a man's character in an interview has been out for repairs for some time now.

    Why do you question my independence? I truly don't understand why (you?) folks feel that someone else should take responsibility for their lives. Sheep need sheperds to keep them from harm. People should have enough sense to learn, work, save and play without someone herding them around like frightened sheep.

    Fun discourse, no?

    Bob
     
  19. DanBee

    DanBee TS Member

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    Bob, in case you didn't know it already, your thread has shown that the "entitlement" mentality is alive and well....even amongst TS.COM contributors!
     
  20. Dove Commander

    Dove Commander TS Member

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    stuffing envelopes?
     
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