Business Truths I’ve Learned from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Business Truths I’ve Learned from How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss

As December opens and the Christmas holidays draw near, I often think about how the stories of childhood affect our adult lives, and how I see my friends who still work in the Radio business have changed.

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a story beloved by millions. Like Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Dr, Seuss told a tale of a sour Christmas-hating man who achieves forgiveness and redemption even after his many bad deeds. The story was told in a way small children understand. For me, it also explained why people do the bad things they do; why goodness often is the end result of badness.

It did NOT explain why some still can only mistrust even as they stare into the faces of those who wish to help them.

So, with deference to the author for I am no poet, MBMI now presents a story of one broadcaster’s quest for redemption in the eyes of his employees, and the hard learned truth that life goes on.

Every Worker down in Worker–ville
Pretended to like working a lot…
But their Boss,
Who toiled for Corporate
No longer liked it…Could NOT!

The Boss hated Corporate!  But not a single worker knew
That the Boss was pretending, til they dropped that last shoe.
It could be said that his head
Held Boss facts and Boss numbers.
It could be that Boss work stopped him
From getting Boss slumbers.
But I like to think it was ethics
The Boss’s likeliest reason of all,
That made the Boss hate that job
That job that made him feel small.

But, whatever the reason,
His budgets or his Z’s,
The workers said Christmas meant
Firing whomever the Boss pleased.
He’d stare from on high, from his lofty Boss perch
Ready to preach business, like a priest in a church.
Wearing his expensive suit like a big ol’ Boss crown
He would stand in the window, no smiles, always frown.

And it was true.
The Boss did stare at every Worker in Worker-ville beneath
Because he knew they were dreaming how to punch him
Right in his Boss teeth.

The Workers all thought that he’d say with a sneer,
“They want a Christmas present! Their intentions are clear!
They’re putting their hands out! I hate this time of the year!”
Then surely he’d growl with his Boss fingers nervously drumming,
And say, “I MUST find a way to keep this year’s bonus from coming!”

But alone in his room, the Boss knew deep in his heart
Their hate was not for him, he plays only a part.
And tomorrow, he sighed, to his office they’d dash
For worker gifts of expected holiday cash.

And then!
Workers would fret about what they WOULD get;
Not a check, not a bond but a free Honey Baked ham.
Then it would hit them…BOOM! TAKE THAT! WHAM!
That bartered ham was dripping in the company’s ad traded honey!
But there’d certainly be no extra Holiday money.

When the Workers came to his door begging for their festive loot,
All the Boss could provide them was the big corporate boot!
And they’d scream! They ’d yell! Some would threaten his life.
One worker felt better after waving a knife!
They would blame it on him. He was the reason for their anger.
They’d want his Boss scalp! They’d try to hang him from a Boss hanger!

Thus so began his plot to show he was not
The jerk as they saw him, the monster they thought!
The Boss would do good
Show his corporate Boss masters
The financial upside of deejays and newscasters.
But instead of a Thank You for the figures and facts
The Boss’s bosses looked  bored and handed him the holiday axe!

The Workers’ eyes would cry, cry!
The Workers’ hands would wring, wring!
The Boss knew he had failed and the sadness
That his failure would bring.
The more the Boss thought, “I must stop this darn thing!”
Why, since deregulation, I’ve put up with it now!
I MUST stop the pink slips from coming!
…But I have to think of just HOW!”

Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!

“I know just what to do.”
The boss laughed deep in his throat.
He put on a Santa hat and he wrote out a note.
And he chuckled and clucked, “What a great Bossy trick!
Who’ll ever know it was me?
Why, I look just like St. Nick!
No one will guess who wrote such insightful words
I’ll tell everyone why this business is for birds!
Truly outrageous and brave is this caper.
All I need to finish this is one brave  trade paper!”

But truth is now scarce, and trades scarcer, too,
Most are even owned by Corporate bosses, the same ones that own you.
Did that stop the bold Boss?
“No!” The Boss simply said,
“If I can’t find a trade, I’ll just blog this instead!”
First he’d present all the evidence that no one knew that he had
Then send it off to the Net on his brand new iPad.


He wrote what he knew about making the grade
About missed profits and losses and plans that he’d made
For Promotions and talent and of things he thought mattered
Before his hopes became ashes and his dreams were all shattered.
And as the CEOs slept all snug in their beds
The Boss surely thought he’d serve up their heads.
“My workers all hate me!” he said with a tear.
“But this is the truth and I should have nothing to fear!”
The Boss’s bosses kept dreaming sweet dreams without care
As the Boss wrote the first sentence and it hung in the air.
“This is Truth Number One,” the excited Boss hissed
And he pounded on his desktop, making a fist.

Truth Number Two, that he wrote about his firm
Was designed to reveal truths that would make stockholders squirm.
He got stuck only once, between Truth Nine and Truth Ten.
But he just kept on writing to earn him some new Worker friends.

He wrote through the night, about Bob and Dan and The Brothers.
He knew they would like it, but  he was writing for others.
When he was all done, he’d show THEM who is BOSS!
He thought only of winning. He never considered a loss.
“I’ll make this a GREAT Worker Christmas!” he exclaimed with pure glee.
“There’ll be cheering and singing around the Workers’ brightly lit tree!”

He thought the Workers would love him
They’d all revere his name.
The one who told the truth.
The one who’d changed radio’s game.
They’d throw him a party or at least raise a glass
To the guy who’d helped them by exposing his ass.

But, you know, that old Boss wasn’t so smart or so slick
He wrote up those truths, and he wrote them up quick!
But the Workers all gasped when they first read that blog.
They quickly surmised who had lifted the fog.
They guessed it was him from the details of the prose
And at the same time the Boss’s Bosses temperatures rose.

At Legal, they’d start a big corporate investigation
If they had to, they’d interview the entire Worker nation!
So they asked and they probed. And the story was laid bare.
The attorneys had found some frightened Workers to scare.

The workers were blind to the process
They threw the Boss under the bus
They called the Big Big Bosses and said,
“Blame him! Don’t blame US!”
It was HIM!  Yes, the BOSS!  Who said all those bad stories.
We LOVE how you run things. Why, it’s all hunkies and dories!”

At that moment, they became like the Boss, the one they hated so much.
Because now THEY had a chance to be King, get the corner office and such.
They said what he’d done wasn’t easily dismissed.
They couldn’t imagine it was for them that he’d created his list.

He had hoped to make things all better
By exposing the truths contained in that letter.
Why machines replace people and only part-timers get hired.
Why HR makes up reasons for fifty-pluses to be fired.
Of how Bosses who say they want input, but don’t
And pretend to say yes, when they know damn well that they won’t.

Now one might just think that the Workers would learn
That the Boss took these steps to insure what they earn.
But uncertain they’d riddle: “How could it be so?”
This good deed from the man who always said NO?”
They riddled three hours til their riddlers were sore.
They were STILL riddling when the Boss’s Bosses
Tossed the Boss out the front door.

The workers all kept THEIR jobs
And what happened then…?
The day that Old Boss decided to say, “WHEN!”
Well…in Worker-ville they say
That the Old Boss’s small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
He was no longer a fart.

Some of them even enjoyed their Worker Christmas feast
The ones who weren’t fired, seemed to, at least…
But the Old Boss who was out had to pack up his family and car
Put the dog and kids in the back. He was no longer a star.

But the Old Boss had done what his conscience told him to do
For the Workers and their families, and maybe stockholders, too.
The Old Boss left that high pressure job without sadness or sorrow
He’d learn to love his new job at Home Depot tomorrow.

So, if you have a new Boss who seems too hard to bear
Maybe you’re not alone. Because the Boss who stands there
Where the Old Boss once stood and a new one will follow
May be filled with great dreams that one day will go hollow.

Like you, his paycheck is a fraction of what it once was.
Like you, he listens to rumors to hear every bad buzz.
And the Old Boss, at his new job with feet out in the cold,
Stands puzzling and puzzling: “Was it because I’m too old?
It came without notice! It came without warning!
And the Old Boss stands puzzled through til the next morning.

Maybe one day the Workers will think something twice!
“Maybe love for your work doesn’t have to come at a price.
Maybe, just maybe, the world holds just a little bit more
For a man’s pride in his work can’t be bought in a store.”

And what happens then…?
Well in Worker-ville they say
The light of understanding will light the Worker’s dark way.
The Old Boss that they hated will become quite all right
And the New Boss finally will lose the feeling that his chest is too tight.

So that’s the story of how one man who just couldn’t settle
Helped the workers all learn of his true character and mettle.
So holler he did and yes he had fired
But in it together they had all been quite mired.

For the actions of all often are seen in the actions of one
And the Old Boss, had tried to get important things done.
In the end, the Old Boss took the great fall
For the Workers for whom he’d given his all.
For the ones who thought the old Boss was ruthless
For the ones who thought that he always deceived.
They didn’t know he always was there and he always believed.

Now the truth was out there
The Old Boss had paid for all his bad deeds!
With a big corner office that now he no longer needs.

But did they learn their Great Lesson?
Did the Workers ever raise up that glass?
No! At the next Worker party they whispered,
“The New Boss is an ass!”

Post by

Bill Pasha

Bill Pasha is President/CEO of The MBMI Companies, LLC., the parent firm of MultiBrand Media International, Maximized Brand Marketing International and Valoriant Safety. Before joining the entrepreneurial world, Bill was recognized as one of the top Program Directors in America and as an authority on consumer consumption of media. He continues to consult broadcasters around the world.

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