We tried throughout last summer and heading into both the Primary and General election season to inspire our crew to get involved and explain to them how important this election was. Through one on one meetings and in group settings we talked about the impact to business, our business, whenever we could. Ultimately we were unable to breakthrough the superficial and fabricated Obama Cool Factor coupled with relentless attack media, widespread coverage of Occupy, and promises of free everything. But we were also facing something much worse.
We are in the hospitality business and as such our 100 member crew is made up almost entirely of 20 some things with a few early 30s on our management team. After employing this age group of young people for nearly 8 years, I now hold a tremendous fear for our nation in the next 2 decades. I have never seen a more politically apathetic and ignorant demographic than the broad – of 20 something society that we employ.
Almost every one of our employees would be a perfect fit for the next edition of Jay Walking.
They don’t know the ideological differences between the parties, the members of the cabinet, who their representatives are, or even any of the issues currently facing our country. This broad spread ignorance is not segregated by race, economic status, gender or even education. We have college educated 30 year olds who are neither registered to vote or even watch the news.
It is a frightening prospect.
Earlier this week something happened that made me wonder against my will if Obama might not be the best thing to happen to our young adults in quite a while. Coming from a parental culture of being coddled, catered to, and told how special they are, they truly believe that if they do nothing, the world will continue to revolve around them. The raw idiocy of the Occupy Movement is a window, albeit at a much more perverse level, into this entitlement mentality that has so warped this generation’s perception of reality and their own self-importance. Despite my wife and my best efforts, even offering to take many of them to register and to the polling place, many of those in our employ did not vote, saw no point, didn’t understand and worse simply did not care because the world would always take care of them because they are special.
That is why this week is was with a certain amount of smug satisfaction amidst my own personal dismay at the election that “A Teaching Moment” came into my life. One of our General Managers who manages a million dollar line of business for us, 31 years old and who “Never found the time” to vote, came to my office and said, “Did you see what happened to our paychecks? Did you get hit like this too or are you just passing it onto us?”
I could not help but chuckle at him and didn’t try real hard not to. “Yes, we got hit with it,” I told him sarcastically, “ but I would pass it all onto you if I could. In spite of being told how important this was, you in particular, who we offered to take to the polling place, didn’t vote. You deserve to pay all of it. See, your President doesn’t need your vote anymore, so he allowed this “Tax Holiday” to expire, (I had to explain that to him), but this is just the beginning. I would be prepared to see your take home pay drop by $3500 this year, and to whatever extent I can, I will be passing my share onto you through eliminating salary increases, restructuring hours and headcount, and reducing or eliminating many benefits. You didn’t vote and most of your associates voted for a false persona, a charlatan, and a Socialist, without knowing the facts, doing the research and thinking that it was just going to affect “The Rich”, like me. But it’s not, and it never does. And it won’t affect any smart small business owner to the extent that it will affect their employees. Oh, and wait until you see what we have to do to get around Obamacare! Plan on having to go healthcare shopping as we reduce all of our hourly staff to 28 hours and terminate our program on the remainder who fall within the grace number. I’ll be putting the money I would have paid toward half your premiums toward the increased Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid taxes I’ll be paying.”
He looked shocked and muttered, “This just sucks”.
I almost smiled when I replied, “Elections have Consequences. Don’t be so Stupid next time”
Lesson 1 over.