When I first read this article by Mr. Gene Marks, I thought it just another tongue in cheek attempt to run down the OWS movement, which I believe was the intent, and chucked it aside after the first 3 paragraphs. Something kept nagging at me so I went back and read it again. Do you remember that old saying: “The person who laughs last at a joke has found another meaning”? That’s what I found and just had to share it with Mr. Marks.
Dear Mr. Marks:
I read your recent article in the Huffington Post and would like to share with you my observations and give you what help I can.
In your article, you ask the protesters, “hanging out, waiting for the next opportunity to do your protest” to “study up on programming languages like C Sharp or Visual Basic and some advanced SQL server techniques” because you “can’t seem to find skilled people” to do the work you do have in your business. However, in the very next sentence, you state “And when we do find experienced people they tend to be too expensive and our clients refuse to pay for them” Methinks you protest too much, Mr. Marks. Because its not due to a lack of “skilled people”, that you state you are “forced to farm out work to India or Eastern Europe”, it’s due to your stated goal of “keeping your overhead low”. Business 101, Mr. Marks. To state otherwise is BS.
Just want to let you know that at the demonstrations that I have been at I have seen numerous students doing exactly that. Studying. Whether they are specifically studying what your business requirements are, I can’t speak to. But, of course, the news media does not film these demonstrators nor do you have the time to personally find out for yourself (Interestingly enough, you did find the time in your busy schedule as a “small business management columnist, author, speaker, and business owner” to pen this tripe, but I digress).
Mr. Marks, I submit to you that you DO indeed have a choice. There are Americans out there who CAN and WILL do the work you require at a price you CAN afford.
Step 1. Delete the word “forced” from your vocabulary.
The use of this word limits the very talents that have led to your success.
Step 2. Be what you are, an American, a business owner and an entrepreneur.
1. Offer living wage
2. Provide a good working environment,
3. Treat your staff with respect. They are an integral part of your business. Your staff also wants you to be successful.
4. Offer flex time. Non-standard work hours. (None of my programmer friends work standard hours). Seems to come with the profession.
Regarding your request for OWS help in convincing “greedy Wall Street guys to invest”. OWS is already helping you by being out on the streets asking that exact question. Why isn’t Wall Street investing in you and everyone else’s future?
You talk about the cost of education for your children. OWS is also asking why has education has become just another big business? Why are many of our youth coming out of school with debts of $30,000 +? Your kids are lucky you are able to help them out financially, not every parent has that ability.
You say “my company sells Microsoft products.”. Then you request that OWS “rail against some other greedy companies” like “Apple and Google”. That is YOUR problem, Mr. Marks. What part of “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”, do you not get? Competition is the American way, is it not?.
In my effort of full disclosure: I am an Accountant. I have worked both in the private and public sector and must ask you a question regarding your navigation “through regulations, taxes and my competition.” We have already dealt with competition and everyone has to navigate through taxes. So, lets concentrate on regulations. What regulations are you speaking of? You cite NONE. Please be specific. It has become quite the “in” thing to rail against regulations, quite another to name ONE. I rail against some of the regulation where I live but I also recognize that human nature is what it is and these regulations are needed.
You may not have recognized it yet, Mr. Marks, so let me be the first to say to you:
Welcome to OWS.
We’re out there for YOU too, Mr. Small Business.
Political Ole Lady
P.S. Don’t worry about not being able to join us, we understand that you have a business to run when you are not writing articles, books and speaking at engagements. Did I repeat myself?