Companies, stop being so shortsighted

So, one of the problems I keep running into with $COMPANY is that they are making decisions which make short term profit at the cost of long term profit. They keep encouraging their employees to sell .. with increased commissions.. while not having equipped all the employees to sell online or having prohibited in person events. This is a really dumb thing to do, but it reminds me of my conversation with a carny who was setting up a ride at the Prince William County Fair.

He was being really intent, carefully checking every bolt, every cotter pin, and he told me “Kid, you never want to kill a mark. You want them to come back next year so you can fleece them. Kill one mark, and a thousand marks won’t come next year because they will be too afraid. I check my ride until I’d be willing to let my own kids ride on it.”

The logic which doesn’t escape carnies but does seem to escape $COMPANY is that encouraging selling right now if it risks in person interfacing is potentially killing both customers and employees and therefore costing long term profits. I understand that we are not mentally adaptable enough to switch to a alternate RAS just for this emergency and then switch back – that we’d literally rather die than do anything that smacks of collectivism. All I can do is sit back and watch the carnage. Lately I’m thinking the USA will be 5x the deaths of the nearest competitor.

3 Responses to “Companies, stop being so shortsighted”

  1. Steve Seman Says:

    On the other paw, since everyone is stuck in a capitalistic economy and society, if $COMPANY doesn’t continue generating revenue, said employees will not have a job (income), shareholders will lose their investment (retirement/401k), landlords will lose rental income (used for upkeep and taxes on rental units), governments will lose income from taxes (used for infrastructure, social programs, departments that regulate ‘bad’ $COMPANY’s), school district tax income (providing ‘free’ education), and so on.

    I understand that there are alternative economies and societies, including what you offer. However, we all exist in the ‘here and now’, not in the ‘what could be’. I manage a grocery store in a very rural area in south-central Pennsylvania. All of us at the store are exposed to risk because of the virus, and yet what we provide (for a profit), keeps us fed and the lights on.

    Very few people are self-sufficient enough to survive without participating in our materialistic society. Some large populations pockets in the country have access to grub-hub, contact-less prepared food delivery and so on. But the majority of the country is rural where these services don’t exist.

    It’s easy to live in an ivory tower where ideas lead to philosophies about what is right or wrong, however most people don’t live in an ivory tower. Instead, we live in an economy and society where capitalism and consumerism is the norm. This can change gradually and slowly (witness how acceptable the LGBTQIA movement has become).

    Instead of saying how ‘DUMB’ $COMPANY is, find a way to teach and change $COMPANY, keeping in mind the existing world $COMPANY operates in.

  2. sheer_panic Says:

    This is a valid viewpoint, and I thank you for providing some balance to my admittedly somewhat extreme point of view. I guess what I really feel is not so much that $COMPANY is being dumb as that we, collectively, are dumb to not have agile government and resource allocation systems that can adjust to changing circumstances.

  3. Steve Seman Says:

    Not dumb, still evolving…

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