My Millionaire Boss Hit Me Up for a Romney Donation
I work for The Villages, a large retirement community in Central Florida, and one of the top 20 privately held corporations in the state. My employer records annual sales of over $1 billion dollars, and the company's CEO, H. Gary Morse, is a multi-millionaire (possibly even a billionaire).
In contrast, the company's employees are underpaid and have no benefits. I haven't had a raise in six years. I am a part-time hourly employee, which means no paid vacation and no paid sick leave. This year, thanks to cuts in my hours, I'm on track to gross less than $10,000.
I have already decided to start my own small street food (ice cream) business next spring and quit my job. But a letter I got this weekend from my employer merely solidified my decision to part ways with this company. Follow me below the orange squiggle for more.
I had just come back from a trip to see my sister in St. Augustine. I wasn't feeling well, and had to call off sick from work (for which I don't get paid, and won't get a make-up day). So I wasn't in the best of spirits when I checked my mail box and found a letter from my employer.
To our entire Villages Team:
The Villages is a great example of the "American Dream" come true. Together, we have created jobs, established businesses, founded an award-winning school and set the standard for enjoyable, affordable retirement living.
Only in America could such a community be created ... but that America will soon disappear if we don't change the leadership in Washington, D.C.
This is, of course, pure bullshit. Nothing that the Obama Administration has done is in any way a threat to The Villages. Will some things Obama has or might do affect the business' bottom line? I doubt it in any significant way. Of course, Obama's increasingly hard line on taxing millionaires like Gary Morse will affect his bottom line - but even that won't be enough to do more than put a tiny ding in his extravagant lifestyle. But then came the pitch:
That's why I'm asking you to join with me in the final push to put Mitt Romney in the White House. Electing Mitt will change the direction of our country, putting us back on the path of opportunity, growth and prosperity.
Yeah, the opportunity for his company to continue to screw its employees in new and creative ways, and the growth and prosperity of his personal bank account at our expense. But wait, there's more - and the really hilarious part is coming.
The Villages has been built by a lot of people with different skills pitching in. Today, I am asking all of you to, once again, "pitch in" by making a contribution to the Romney for President campaign. Any size gift will be greatly appreciated, but it must be a personal check payable to "Romney Victory, Inc." and it can't be more than $2,500 per person. If it is a joint checking account and the amount contributed is $5,000 per couple, please have both donors sign the check. You may also contribute using your credit card.
You read that right. My employer is graciously letting me know that, while any amount will be appreciated, it can't exceed more than 1/4 of what he's paying me for the entire year. Sure, boss! Whatever you say!
So let's bring it home now:
Any gift will be appreciated and will help propel Mitt into the White House. Enclosed is a postage paid envelope for your contribution along with a simple form that must accompany your gift. We will gather all of these forms and contributions and present them to Mitt and Ann ... letting them know that "The Villages family" is "all in" as we work together to change the future of our nation!
Thanks to all of you - together we've been able to do great things - and there are more good times to come!
The letter was signed by Morse himself.
In response to this disgusting letter asking me to contribute my hard-earned money to a candidate who will do nothing but allow my employer to add more millions to his bottom line at the expense of myself and his other employees, I returned his post-paid envelope to him stuffed with the blank form and no check, instead including the following unsigned note:
As a part-time employee of this company who works his ass off for [our customers] with no benefits, no raise in six years and no paid vacation or sick days, it should come as no surprise to you that I decline to acquiesce to your request that I donate a portion of my meager income to a candidate who will further facilitate your ability to screw me over in the name of your bottom line and your personal lifestyle of ostentatious extravagance. Instead, your letter has persuaded me to donate my entire next paycheck (admittedly not even close to $2,500) to the Obama for America campaign. Thanks to you, I can't really afford to do that, but it has become a matter of supreme importance to me to ensure we re-elect the man who is truly dedicated to putting this nation on a path of "opportunity, growth and prosperity" for all Americans, not just you and your greedy ilk. In short, I know who's looking out for my interests, and it damn sure isn't you or "Mr. 1%" Mitt Rmoney (that's not a typo).
I have no doubt many upper-level employees will happily fork over money to my boss' bundling effort. But I sincerely hope others of the rank and file - the majority of this man's employees - will either ignore the letter or do what I'm doing. I really can't wait until the day I tell these people to take the job and shove it. If that day were closer, I would have signed the note!