Help Me Save My Business, Please
By: Jim Byrd
Well, it has come to this: I must implore my readers to help me with a horrible business venture I am currently involved in that has gone awry.
It all started about a week ago whilst I was following the disgraceful act of AIG handing out $165 million in bonuses to their employees. My epiphany came during one of Chris Dodd’s many utterances with regard to his writing an amendment to the stimulus package that would specifically allow, by law, AIG to pay the bonuses. The historical evidence and the prodigious intellectual prowess of the characters involved: Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Charles Schumer, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Tim Geithner was, quite frankly, much too overpowering for me to ignore–especially with the limited intellect of a mere citizen. Once the warming effects of the epiphany subsided, I became, instantaneously, a Democratic supporter, and a repentant and reformed basher of the left. I saw the light. These anti-proletariats have all along been economic, financial, and constitutional geniuses; I was so handicapped by my conservatism and constructionist views of the constitution, that I was blind. Even Warren Buffet supported Obama. As insane as their methods may seem, there has to be a method to their madness. And for God’s sake, even Warren Buffet supported Obama, and Berkshire Hathaway has lost almost half its value since–Buffet must surely know something I don’t.
My plan was to use the historical record and current measured and cognitive actions being taken against AIG, by the above mentioned esteemed legislative prodigies, forcing AIG into profitability and subsequently vaulting them into a position to retire the hundreds of billions of dollars the American taxpayers loaned them.
My plan and plight: After cashing all my retirement accounts, savings, etc, I was able to amass enough capital to try my hand at capitalism, Democrat style. I was able to purchase 60% of a failing business in my community that had enormous potential. The plan was to procure the continued services of the current proprietor, as he is considered a very competent operator who made a few missteps along the way. The other pieces of the puzzle were to have the other 40% of the business’s outstanding shares purchased by several other investors, as their capital would be crucial for the resurrection of the infirmed enterprise.
Immediately after the sale was consummated, and funds transferred, the ex-owner, and current operator, used the newly acquired capital to pay the top three producers their overdue bonuses for meeting their agreed upon goals in their respective departments. Once knowledge of this Democrat-considered aberration manifested itself, I took swift and magisterial action. I demanded that the top producers return the bonuses or else. Since they had iron clad employment contracts, they returned the else. I was so outraged by their not voluntarily returning most of their income, that I audited the salary and bonus history of all employees and the current owner for the preceding years. My outrage was further fueled by the discovery of bonus after bonus for all employees who met their goals. Not having a legal standing to take away their money, I instantaneously changed the pay scale going forward eliminating all performance based pay, and fired the ex-owner. I also, in an attempt to recoup the bonuses, started charging only the employees who took the bonus money $300 per day for parking.
Then to further teach them all a sound lesson, I was able to arrange a press conference with a local affiliate of a major network. I lambasted, cajoled, threatened, belittled, and announced to the world how incompetent this company and its employees were. I proclaimed that anyone would be a fool to invest in such a wicked company, and they would be lucky to ever see a return on their investment. I also took out an ad in the community newspaper announcing the same. And I also used billboards. As it will surely work for AIG, it will work for me. I was ecstatic about my company’s future prospects.
After a few short days, I am now left operating a business that I am offensively unqualified to operate, as I have no experience in this industry, and to be honest, I have failed at every attempt at operating anything. I am out of capital, as the investors for the other 40% for some reason are not returning my calls. I am at a loss as to why our sales have dropped 80% in a matter of ten days. After slashing the bonuses, two of the top salespeople quit, and the production of the third has dropped by 90%. I did hire two fine employees to replace the two that departed. I ran an ad in the local paper for sales representatives willing to work for a salary that I thought appropriate and free of the pressure of being based on performance. I received two outstanding resumes from ex-postal workers; I hired them on the spot. Government trained, you know. But they have not produced any sales to date, and I can’t seem to account for their whereabouts half the time, and they sure seem to take a lot of breaks.
So, dear reader, I am at my wit’s end here. I am out of money, I am running a company, that frankly, I have no idea exactly what it does, none of my sales staff will produce, my investors won’t call me back, and I am being sued by the two ex-salespeople for breach of contract. And please no more hurtful emails about how my business plan is idiotic, communistic, imbecilic, and yes, even a classic Democratic party doppelganger. I will entertain all legitimate offers of help, but please do not try to alter my business plan, as with Hope and Change–in the long run, it will work.
Jim Byrd's website is A Skewed View.