Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Day After Christmas Carol

Category: Issue 13

“Good morning, Mr. Scrooge.”

“Good morning, Bob, my dear boy.”

“I just want to say again how wonderful it was of you to bring my family a Christmas goose yesterday. My wife sends her warmest thanks. She is taking Tiny Tim round to a doctor this very day, now that I can afford it with the raise you gave me.”

“I’m delighted, Bob. I tell you, I am a changed man. It feels so wonderful to help people. And from now on we will be closed for Christmas every year.”

“I assume that’s a paid holiday.”

“Er - what?”

“I don’t work on Christmas Day, but I get paid for it.”

“Get paid for a day when you don’t work?”

“New Year’s Day also, of course. I’ll need a list of all the paid holidays.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

“I’m going to stay home on Saturdays now, too.”

“What, EVERY Saturday?”

“Sure, that way I’ll have two days to spend with my family every week. I’ll call it a - weekend. Yes, I like that.”

“Do you expect me to pay you for these Saturdays off?”

“Not at all. I don’t want to demand too much of you. You are my friend as well as my employer now.”

“That’s all very well, but…”

“How about three paid sick days and three paid personal days? And paid vacation, of course. One week the first year, two weeks after that.”

“Two weeks? I..”

“Oh Mr. Scrooge, you are so generous. Two weeks the first year it is. Now let’s talk health care. I need a plan that will cover Tiny Tim, with his special needs. And all the kids, plus pre-natal care for my wife when she has the next one.”

“Bob, I am trying to be a compassionate employer, but this is…”

“I’ll need family medical leave whenever a new baby arrives. Say, six months?”

“Six months off? Are you mad?”

“Don’t worry, that part is unpaid. But you have to hold my job for me.”

“But but but…”

“If Tiny Tim lives until he is eighteen, I’ll need to make enough to put him through college. All the others as well.”

“I am losing my patience, Bob…”

“You need to establish a pension fund, of course, so I can live out my golden years in comfort. I’ll pay into it, and the company can match that.”

“Bob, you’ll ruin the firm with all this.”

“I think we should unionize the shop.”


“Use collective bargaining, so that all of your employees can get a good deal.”

“You’re my only employee, Bob.”

“If we don’t get what we want, we go on strike.”


“We don’t work until we get a new contract.”

“Why, I’ll just hire new people. Er, a new person.”

“But you can’t, because only members of the union are allowed to work for you. No one will take a job here if we are on strike.”

“I’m getting very upset with you, Bob.”

“Don’t you see, Mr. Scrooge? These new rules will allow millions of poor people to become part of the middle class. They will be able to support their families, and live with dignity. They will buy houses and carriages and the economy will explode!”

“Are you saying that millions of poor people will rise up? That I will have to treat them as equals?”

“Yes, Mr. Scrooge, yes! Isn’t it wonderful?”

“Bah! Humbug! That would be social chaos! The poor are poor because they are inferior! They must be kept in their place! Now get to work! Do not expect any more Christmas geese from me! I expect you to be here every day of the year, and to accept any wage I feel it proper to offer! Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir, but there’s one more thing.”

“What’s that?”

“I think you just founded the Republican Party.”

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