The Little Business License That Couldn’t – Father/Son Edition

Father & SonThis was supposed to be yesterday’s post but was preempted by our breaking Rapture coverage. We now join our regularly scheduled post already in progress…

In some cultures when an elder passes away, it’s often equated to the loss of a “library.”

Gone with the elder is a lifetime of stories, knowledge and experience. The elder will live on, though, if those stories have been passed down to others in the community.

My boss is the owner of the small business where I work. He decided it would be a good idea to help his 16-year-old son start a business, too. Lord, you should see how he swells up with pride at the thought of his son becoming a capitalistic entrepreneur, a money-grubbing reader of the Wall Street Journal like himself.

For newbie readers of the blog, here are a few things you should know as way of introduction to my boss that should help you digest this post. Like my last boss, he holds himself up as a paragon of Christianity. That’s all well and good, at least until the hypocrisy kicks in. Both have, for example, fraudulent pictures of their retail stores on their websites, a peculiar commonality to be sure. Both of them took random pictures of buildings where their stores had never been located and photoshopped the name of their business onto the photos. And did a shitty job of it, too. Then comically and laughably put those images up on their ecommerce websites.

What are the odds of working for two assholes like that? And one right after the other? Am I lucky or what?

The last boss did it because everything about his business was a lie. The new boss did it to prove to suppliers that he has a retail location or else they wouldn’t sell him product. (He doesn’t.)

They have other things in common, too. Like lying on their websites about products being “in stock.” The argument here is, “Once you get their money, you can usually talk them into something else. Above all else, keep that money!” Note that the customer’s actual needs don’t factor into this equation.

The new boss goes a little further with his elaborate house of cards and lies. That’s because he’s been “blacklisted” by manufacturers of the products he sells because he breaks their rules. So he establishes dummy companies with fake identities and has mail drops across the country so he can keep buying from the places where he’s been blacklisted.

“I’m a good Christian and a good person who’s saved. I’m going to heaven and you’re going to hell. And I break the shit out of commandments like ‘thou shall not lie’ based on my own wants and justifications. Most people like me believe the ends justifies the means.”

It’s always touching when father and son meet and come together in precious family moments. There they were in the office working together on the new ecommerce business which was going to be remarkably similar to the existing one. Just a different flavor of widgets from the product catalog. There they were, as father and son, discussing business names, logos, products, websites, and more. Aye, so touching. It brings a wee tear to me eye.

It was decided that the son’s company would use one of the boss’ existing suppliers. Now this is a bit interesting. With this supplier there’s a woman who is our account manager. The boss has worked hard to cultivate his relationship with this woman. It’s a tactic to get good deals and ply her for information. To this end he frequently checks in with her on the phone, faking sincerity, cracking jokes and demonstrating his most impressive business acumen. (Excuse me while I go projectile vomit.)

He even went so far as to meet her at the industry convention in Las Vegas where they had a meeting and she bought him dinner. Yes, he’s a true player extraordinaire.

The point is that his relationship with this woman and his supplier is very important to him. For his own selfish reasons, of course. And it’s something he’s rather proud of.

He got the supplier on the horn to establish an account for his son’s new venture. That company would need its own account for buying things. And he was told by this woman he has befriended that part of the process was that a business license would have to be submitted.

At last! The heart of the matter.

You see, a business license from the city would cost money. And, above all else, the boss (just like my last one) is a freakin’ tightwad. This presented quite the quandary. It’s basically “I want something but I don’t want to spend the money to get it.” What to do? What to do?

Photoshop to the rescue! The boss put his arm around his son, grabbed his business license, and the download of knowledge from one generation to the next was about to begin! “What we need,” he explained wisely, “is to photoshop this document so it looks like it’s yours. It just needs to look real enough that they’ll accept it.”

Look carefully at what's coming out of my ass, son. Do what I do then you will be successful in business.

It’s another touching Hallmark moment between father and son! Quick! Somebody get me a Lifesaver! [sniff]

Tom B. Taker

Ah. Tradition! The boss is helping his son start a company. Teaching him the basics like how to forge a business license in Photoshop.
May 16, 2011

And so the son earnestly went to work, hunched over his computer, original document in hand, his nose to the photoshop. And I have to admit. He did a good job. A damn good job. When he was done he had a fraudulent document that would even fool me.

The apple had not fallen far from the tree.

The fraudulent document was sent to the supplier and all was well with the world. Just another successful day of “business” in capitalist America.


The boss got a call from his supplier friend. It seemed there was a minor problem with the document he had sent. You see, she took the extra step of calling the city to verify the document’s authenticity. It seems that – somehow – the city had no record of that business!

Mwuhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Eat that, motherfucker!!!!!!!

Sometimes even I have to admit – positive things can happen in this world! Truly they can! Verily I say unto you!

So yeah, that’s the way this story goes down. The boss took a powerful shit on the relationship with the supplier he had tried so hard to cultivate. I guess you could say this is where “What I want” meets “reality.” I have to admit, it was quite a refreshing moment. It almost makes life worth living to be able to witness moments like this.

He basically told her: I don’t respect you. You are dumb enough to fall for this. I am not trustworthy and I lie to you.

That woman must be an angel! I’d like to buy her a beer!

Is the boss contrite? Did he fess up and apologize? Has he learned his lesson? Any regret or remorse for what he’s done? Of course not! He acts as if nothing happened. The only emotion he’s expressed is irritation at getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

The end of the story is that the boss went to the city and forked over the money for a real business license and sent that real document on to the supplier. They are now considering his “application” and taking their sweet time, too. Ha ha ha!

Where do assholes comes from? The answer isn’t that surprising. They are carefully handcrafted by existing assholes. Great assholes aren’t born – they’re made.

14 responses

  1. I like to think of it this way…no job, no boss, no blog. I’d miss you.

    Of course, Mrs. Abyss would think…no job, no boss, no blog…but a life and he’d have time to spend with his wife. (And no blog bitches lapping up his every word.)

    Tough call.


    1. How is it you always manage to be a step ahead of me, hmm? You just spoiled my next post. 🙂


      1. It’s the time difference. Plus, I’m half Vulcan and can mind meld with other species.


  2. Splitting hairs again — don’t think “thou shall not lie” is one of the Original 10. We had a big discussion on that “bearing false witness” part in theartdept one day. We have some serious Xtians (we don’t get into it with the Christians, only the fakers) and we have an atheist who was a “Bible Christian” meaning he can quote the whole Scripture, so he knows his Scrizzle.

    It came out that that bear false witness BS only applies to BEARING FALSE WITNESS (as in court). Any lies outside of a court of law don’t count.

    Interesting when they explain themselves.


    1. Exactly! I’ve read interpretations on this commandment that attempts to prove it’s not about lying. Bullshit like how it only applies to testimony in court and nonsense like that.

      In other words, the goal of biblical interpretation (in this case) is to justify that it isn’t a sin to lie.

      Funny how that works. When it is stuff in the Old Testament (like our dear friend Leviticus) that has to be taken literally. But when it’s stuff that “we” do, suddenly literal goes out the window.

      “Here, let me interpret this for you. Let me show you how it’s okay to lie.”



  3. and they take such pride in passing on their asshole traits. that kids first forgery is as big in his dad’s eyes as his first step.


    1. The more I think about it, the more defeated and depressed I feel.

      I think there’s a word for people who pursue an honest living: The poor.



  4. You need to get the hell out of there and do a better job vetting your next boss!

    Is it the industry you work in? Maybe I’m still naive at the age of 46, but does this happen a lot? My goodness, your boss is something else!


    1. I tried to vet him. I admit, though, I did have warning tingles before I accepted the position. I was caught between the frying pan and the fire. It was a question of flambé vs charbroiled.

      It’s hard to vet and make a decision when you only have one to choose from.

      Yes, he’s deceitful and fraudulent in business, but probably no more so than my last boss. Although annoying and frustrating as fuck shit, at least he’s a nicer guy.

      Win some, lose some.


  5. The story made me smile. Unscrupulous bosses. I have a few stories on that score


    1. I’ll bet you do!

      I really enjoyed this piece because, first of all, it is completely true. No embellishment. Secondly, because it is a wonderful microcosm of what goes on in business. IMHO. If there is money to be made, the HOW and WHY isn’t important. All that matters is the WHAT. That makes me wanna puke.

      I know when I’m out in the world as a customer myself that I’m going to be treated pretty much in exactly the same way. Lie, cheat, steal. Not exactly the kind of people I want to be doing business with.

      It’s not just little mom and pops, either. Sony Pictures made up fake reviewers at fake newspapers who wrote reviews of their movies. (Source.) Coca-Cola once cheated at taste tests screwing over Burger King, their business partner at the time. (Source.)

      History is replete with many more similar examples.

      You can’t trust anyone.


  6. […] day he brought his own son into our office and taught him how to photoshop a FAKE business license rather than pay a $35 fee to the city. I shit you not. It was a touching generational moment of the […]


  7. […] ever seen although he sees himself as a paragon. This is the same guy who taught his son how to photoshop a business license rather than pay a small fee. There was also the time he told his staff about the “great […]


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