Small business gives thanks to necessary evils

   With Thanksgiving only a few days away, I thought it appropriate to offer thanks to those people who are instrumental to the success of small business.
   So clasp your hands together and lower your head to the appropriate position. Personally, I prefer to continually bang my head sharply on the table in front of me while giving thanks, but that’s my choice. So here we go.

Bankers: Thank you, Lord, for providing small business with bankers, who are always there for us as long as we don’t need any of their money, which they prefer to loan to Bolivia. But they’re always available for lunch, which is something, and they quite often pay.

Landlords: Oh Lord, you have blessed us with this solid class of people, the landlords, who scrimp and save so they can purchase a roof to place over our pathetic little heads. What a noble gesture, and we are eternally grateful. Excuse me, Lord, but perhaps "eternally" is too strong a word. As a matter of fact, "grateful" might be stretching it as well. We’ll let you know when the lease expires and we check the new rent structure. If we’re out on our ear, scratch this part.

Partners/inventors: How can we thank thee, Lord, for our cooperative, supportive, non-mingling partners and investors? We can’t , because that type does not seem to exist. But we can thank you for creating people who have nothing better to do with their money than throw it to us in blind acts of faith. And we understand their neurosis, their suspicions and their anxiety. We just wish they would go away and leave us and their money alone.


Insurance salespersons: Lord, in your infinite wisdom you created insurance salespersons, who flock to our telephones and places of business to passionately deliver fiery oratory about the coming of various forms of business Armageddon. Fire, liability, business interruption, health, disability, worker’s compensation and, of course, life insurance are all showered on us to prepare for the dark days ahead. Thank you, Lord, for bringing these people to us. Now we no longer fear death, not because we’re insured, but because we no longer will be forced to listen to our impending doom.


Lawyers: Oh, Lord, this is too easy. But thank you anyway for sending these ministers of justice, these ambassadors of equity into our lives. To pay a mere $250 an hour for a smidgen of knowledge and advice from these preachers of common sense is more than any small-business person could expect. Or want. Or need. Oh, Lord, you do work in mysterious ways. We only wonder why we have to pay so much for it.


Government/taxes: We thank you, Lord, for allowing us to pay our fair share in taxes so we can keep the wheels of our government turning, enabling it to continue running over us until we are completely flattened. And we thank you, Lord, for President-elect Bill Clinton, as we were tired of blaming George Bush for everything. As we carve our turkey, we are reminded that fresh blood is the best blood. But seeing as patience is indeed a virtue, we’ll graciously give him a week after his inauguration to turn things around.


Employees: How do we thank employees, Lord, without also raising their pay? They are the body and soul of our business, but they want to be paid with more than bread and wine, and cash is not always available. We do our best to compensate them for their efforts and we are grateful for their patience. They are indeed worth more than they receive, but that will remain our little secret.

Customers: Now we’re talking thanks, Lord. If our employees are the body and soul of our business, then the customers are the eggs and sperm. We would not exist without their purchases, Lord, and we thank you for creating such a fine group of consumers. The last thing I wish to do is upset these people, so please let me know if they object to being labeled eggs and sperm.

     That completes our list for this Thanksgiving, dear Lord. There are undoubtedly many who have been omitted, and we thank them for their assistance as well.
    Now, let us eat. We’ll start with the lawyers.



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