So you think you have a good, secure job?
Let's Don't Be Naive…Again
Once upon a time there was an employee (maybe that's you) named Fred (or perhaps Fredricka - Fred for short), who worked for a good corporation. This employee worked hard and worked smart, and pretty soon he (or she - you get the point here, so let's get on with it) began moving up in the company-more money, an office, and increasing responsibility. Many years passed, as they always do, and at age 45, he had a good title, a good income, and faith in the future. He was a loyal company man, and his retirement pension, funded with his good solid income, began to grow.
But then a plague called inflation swept over the land, and times weren't so easy as before. The company began issuing memos on ?cutting the budget? and ?tightening the belt.? Several secretaries in each department disappeared suddenly, and the employee's salary ($72,435) was frozen in an ice storm that swept through the halls. And at last, the fearsome word that had filled the minds of all, but had crossed the lips of none, was finally heard: ?Downsizing.?
Many, like our employee, believed that they had secret shields with magical powers: ?It'll never happen to me-I've been here twenty years.?
But the shield could not protect against the vicious army of stockholders who shouted for profit above all else. And in the end, the company bowed to the will of the army, for it saw that the surest way to bring a million dollars to the bottom line was to terminate ten middle managers. And our employee then learned the most important fact about a company: A company has no heart, and it has no soul, for a company's loyalty, first and foremost, is to its shareholders.
The sword of change sliced through Fred's magic shield, severing him from the company forever.
Our employee, with the full complement of spouse, mortgage, and two children (one starting college) was thrown into despondency. He vowed never again to allow others to control his destiny, and he bemoaned the many dollars he had spent, like the grasshopper, on insignificant frivolities like vacations and shiny cars.
He went from palace to palace, pounding on the gates, demanding (and then imploring) to be allowed to work, and at last he was finally taken in by a small (but kind) company at a much diminished salary ($51,363). Rejoicing at finding a port in the storm, he and his wife danced and sang and feasted, and soon he forgot his vow not to give others control over his life.
But his wife could not forget. She remembered the fear and the helplessness, and she held her spouse's vow like a small candle in her heart.
Several years of prosperity crossed the land, and the employee began working his way up the ladder again. But this time, each time he stepped up a rung, his wife would say to him, ?Remember, my husband, the company has control, and the company has no soul.? He wondered at her words but soon turned his thoughts to other matters.
When he moved forward the third time, however, he began to feel unease at her words. What if the nation again fell upon hard times? What if this company were merged with another? He began to study the cycles of economic change, and he saw that the bad times would inevitably return.
From that moment forward, he and his wife determined that they wouldn't be foolish a second time. They began to save their money, and with their frugality, they were able to save $30K- enough money, they felt, (along with a generous overlord, the SBA) to start their own business.
And at last, after a long search, they found a business that they could love - one that made them safe and secure in the knowledge that no longer would an uncaring behemoth rule their lives. It was called a franchise, and they researched and analyzed, and found that many others just like them had found shelter within its doors.
And so, in the manner of many others who own their own businesses yet get assistance from a benevolent overlord, they worked even harder than before but lived happily ever after.
Written by Cheri Carroll
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