I believe that I have earned the right to talk to you about business. After all, as the richest man in Bedford Falls, I have achieved the type of monetary success that few people will ever have.
As I sit here dictating this letter to you, I must admit to having some mixed feelings. On the one hand, I want to congratulate you on choosing to do business the way I would. I love it when you raise prices prior to a "sale," so that the customer thinks he is getting a bargain. I think it is terrific business when you coerce a customer to tell you what she wants to spend, under the guide of "helping her", only to then raise the price of the good or service to what she told you she wanted to spend.
I have spoken with your sales employees who have been taught by you to lie and cheat to push products and services on your customers. I have visited your real estate developments, driven your cars, eaten your food and worn clothing that was made as cheaply as possible to increase your profits.
I am amazed that you have invested more of your resources in something known as "search engine optimization" (quite frankly, I am not sure what that means) while you seemingly reduce or eliminate investing in your employees and customers. It is fantastic to see you get more excited about a new software upgrade, computer system, building method, and/or marketing campaign than you do about your very own people. I enjoy seeing your people stuck in an endless trap of non-advancement, while still instilling in them a sense that they should feel privileged and honored to work for your company.
So what if they call you "Mr. Potter" behind your back? So what if they call your development, your company, your store, dealership or anything else, "Pottersville?" Who cares if 60% of your employees don't like working for your company?
After all, why effectively train people you can replace? If they want to leave, regardless of the thousands of dollars that you have invested in them and how talented they really are, let them go right? If they're foolish enough to leave your company and take their talents somewhere else, because they are disillusioned and discouraged, those aren't the people you want.
Yet with all of these things, I see that the there is another gathering at the Bailey residence and this leaves me feeling conflicted. I saw Mr. Martini bringing over some food, Mr. Gower the pharmacist was by earlier with some medicine for the children (I don't think George Bailey even paid for it), Ernie the cab driver picked up little Zuzu from school (again, no charge) and Bert the policeman is roasting a chicken for the Baileys right now. If I am not mistaken, I think some of the other townspeople are carrying a basket full of money to the Bailey home?
Even through my insulated window, I can hear the sound of the piano playing, Christmas carols being sung and, can you believe this, I believe that I just heard George being called "the richest man in town." I don't understand it. George is a lousy businessman and he is only in this mess because he didn't listen to me and take more of those people's money when he had the chance.
Thankfully, some of you are listening to me!
The rest of you in Corporate America, who have found a way to create profits, be sustainable and responsible, while still valuing your employees and clients, and taking the time to know and develop meaningful relationships with your people, your customers and your community- I don't think there is any hope for you; and you are giving the rest of us "Potters" a bad name.
After all, everything in business is only about money right?
Still, I wonder...I am the real "richest man in town," aren't I?
Mr. Henry Potter
(As dictated to Rommel Anacan)