Rant of the Week

I'm not paid Enough


I just read in the Globe and Mail (November 11, 1997) that Disney Corporation has settled a suit with Jeffrey Katzenberg. Katzenberg quit after he was denied a promotion by Michael Eisner. So he sued Disney for-- get this -- 2% of all future profits on any product developed during his ten years with the company.

Now you may think this is a very strange idea. You work for a company. You go into a snit because your boss doesn't give you a promotion. So you quit. In the real world… pardon me… in the world that people who do real work exist in, if you quit your job you're told to turn in your tool kit or your notebook computer and get lost. Just imagine your bosses face if you asked him for a percentage of all future profits based on anything you worked on while you were there? But then, that is the world of unionized employees who we all know are ruining our society with their ruthless, greedy demands. Now let's get back to the rarefied world of capital gains deductions and private boxes at the Skydome.

So, is this another of the endless cycle of incidents demonstrating ruthless greed among the upper classes in our society? You'll be surprised at my reaction: I think this is a great idea. And since all citizens in this country are treated as equals by the law, I intend to contact my lawyer and initialize similar proceedings against all of my previous employers. I figure that when Katzenberg wins-- actually, I think he has won-- Disney settled out of court-- I can appeal to his precedent.

So I am going back to all my previous employers, including United Grain Growers, and demanding a specific percentage of all the profits they have made since I worked there for four summers about twenty years ago. Let's see. I worked for three months driving a truck and moving things around in a warehouse. I'll have to get some figures from them: how much profit did they make while I was there? What percentage of the total work activity performed by all employees at that time did my hours comprise (judging from the level of activity at their downtown office, I'd say about 50%)? How much profit have they made since then? Fifty million?

Let's see. If they had 5,000 employees at the time, then I represented about .02% of the workforce. Since I only worked from June to August, I'll have to accept a measly 25% of my .02, which is .005. Now multiply that times total corporate profits of $50,000,000 and you have a modest $250,000 that United Grain Growers owes me right now. But I'll tell you what, Wheat-Boys: pay me $125,000 cash right now and I won't sick my twisted lawyers on you!

Boy, I can see now why Disney hired Katzenberg in the first place! The man is a genius! And don't forget-- this is the same company that paid Michael Ovitz $38 million dollars to quit. Why? Why does a company as smart as Disney pay someone $38 million dollars? Because he made their stock go up? Because he masterminded the production of several brilliant movies that won loads of Oscars and grossed hundreds of millions of dollars? Because he opened a new theme park that had to be expanded right away because it was deluged with rabid fans from all over the world? No, my friends. He got $38 million dollars from Disney because-- hold on to your hats-- he failed. Yes, he was FIRED because he stunk up the place, and Disney preferred to pay him $38 million dollars than put up with his incompetence any longer.

Now kids, before you go to work tomorrow at McDonalds or Burger King and try these same proven strategies for personal success, remember one thing: you don't make the rules.

All Contents Copyright Bill Van Dyk
 1997 All Rights Reserved