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Friday, November 9, 2007

The Visit

Had a visitor yesterday who ran the gamut of clichés involving employees of the state. At first they’re funny; and then they become annoying, followed rapidly by enraging. The most important fact us common, private sector people forget is Government employees do not produce anything. Aside from police, firemen, and the many times incompetent so-called leaders, the remainder of government employees are in positions created to solve problems. The only problem with that job description is if they solve the problem, they’re out of a job. Therefore government never solves problems, it exacerbates them.

Thus, over the years I’ve entertained a wide variety of these parasites, coming by to stick their authoritative noses into my business. They come in various endeavors from the federal, state, and local parasitic main frame. Yesterday’s representative of all things arrogant and condescending stepped into the shop looking like he just walked out of GQ’s fashion pages. At first, I thought, wow, doctor, lawyer, plumber :); but no, he was from the government, and he was here to he’p me. I won’t name which parasitic branch, so I will refer to him by the name GQ Leach. Some of these folks steal so much from businesses, they should have a gun and a mask when they visit. Others, like Mr. Leach, wish to dictate how we do business. I won’t go into all the details of Mr. Leach’s pitch, because I do believe in the black helicopters, but I’ll relate some of the more humorous points.

“Hi, can I help you,” I asked in my most reverent tone, cause he could have owned a brand new Cad Escalade, and he’d be the first in my neck of the woods.

GQ Leach doesn’t say anything right away. He merely scans the inside of my building. GQ then hands me a card, with some abbreviated nonsense on it, along with his name and phone number.

“Are you the owner?” Mr. Leach asks, with this tone like he was auditioning for Muldar’s job on the X-Files, and I had Area 51 behind the building.

“Yes,” I answer, with I’m sure disappointment in my voice, cause if this guy owns an Escalade, I ain’t ever going to see it.

“Can we talk?”

“Yes,” I admit, he does a great Joan Rivers imitation. I motion to the office. “Come in the office. I can give you about fifteen minutes. If that’s not enough, it’ll have to wait for a different day.”

GQ did not like that, but he follows me inside anyway. Mr. Leach gives me this five minute spiel on community service; which starts ringing alarm bells in my head, as I unconsciously reach back to see if my wallet is still in my pocket.

“Just a second,” I break in with a polite hand gesture. “I give to six legitimate organizations, where nearly every cent of my donation goes to help: Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Salvation Army, Marines Toys For Tots, Operation Gratitude, and Operation AC. If you ain’t one of those, I don’t donate to you.”

“I’m not representing a charity here,” GQ retorts. “As a small businessman, you surely understand the importance of giving back to the community. I…”

“No, as a matter of fact, I don’t,” I break in again. “This isn’t a charity either. If I don’t do a damn good job of fixing cars and trucks here, as I have for over thirty years, the community would have put me out of business long ago. The Community and I have a great understanding: they don’t give me something for nothing, and I in return don’t give them something for nothing. Listen, Mr. Leach, let’s get to the bottom line here. Put it in plain words for me. What are you after me to do?”

GQ looks around the office, doing some mouth tightening exercises before responding.

“We’d like you to become involved in hiring…”

“This is a one-man-shop,” I cut him off, now realizing where this is going.

“Yes, well… we’d like you to consider hiring someone as a way of…”

“I’m not hiring anyone. I’ll tell you what though. If your agency picks up the tab for workman’s comp, health care, liability insurance, payroll taxes, SSI, and all vacation and sick days, I’ll consider it.”

GQ laughs. I don’t. I stand up. We’re done, because Mr. Leach has not a clue what it would cost me in real money to adopt his little work program. It may be a game to whomever he represents, or maybe to him. My business is not a game to me.

“Sorry, I can’t help you,” I reply as a polite way of saying get out.

“I think you should reconsider,” GQ stands up, but stays with the pitch. Maybe he works on quota. “After all, you…”

“No,” I open the door for him, as he finally takes the hint; but favors me with some muttering about short-sightedness, which will definitely warm me up to his plan.

After he’s gone, I think about my favorite George Washington quote:

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” :)


Jordan Summers said...

Now you've went and ruined the neighborhood. ;)

BernardL said...

Yea, Jordan, thanks to me, it's the end of Western Civilization as we know it. :)

raine said...

Well that took a little bit of nerve...
Don't businesses in 'neighborhoods' have to do silly things like property upkeep, pay federal, state, and local taxes, etc. already?
(and yes--the black helicopters are REAL, lol).

BernardL said...

The Men In Black don't count all those silly things, Raine. :)

Erica Ridley said...

OMG. That did not sound like a fun conversation, but you handled it very well. I haven't had that particular experience, but from time to time I do suffer from the occasional charity worker who refuses to take no for an answer. Frustrating. Like you, I give when I can, and I simply cannot contribute to every single worthy program out there.

BernardL said...

Yea, Erica, if we gave to everyone bugging us for donations, we'd be on the soup line. :)