Monday, November 30, 2015

The (Christmas) Party Is Over

I like to think that I have thrown some incredible Christmas parties for my staff over the years. Like many of you, I have thrown parties as a way to thank my staff. Over the years, I have treated staff to limousine rides, fine dining, open bars, disc jockeys, plays in Hollywood, private movie screenings, etc.

But now the party is over. Believe me, I wish the party could go on forever. How does the Prince song “1999” go? “But life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last.”

The reality of owning a small business is changing, and it is not for the better.

In California, businesses of all types are now required to provide their employees with three sick days per year. This sounds innocent enough, until you have to write the check. Let’s say you have four part-time hygienists; each one gets three days. That is 12 days of hygiene you pay for without any additional production for your office. Add to that the part-time assistants and front office staff, and now you are talking real money. You have to recoup this money from somewhere.

Also, the state of California suffered greatly during the Great Recession. So much so, in fact, that it had to borrow money from Washington, D.C., in order to pay the unemployment benefits for its residents. Now the bill is due, and California does not have the money to pay it back. Where does the state get the money? You’ve guessed it, from every single employer in the state.

So instead of thanking my staff during this Christmas season with a great party, I’ll thank them by helping California pay off its unemployment loan. I have no doubt that my staff will enjoy that just as much. I truly wish it did not have to be this way. I would rather patronize a restaurant and tip the staff. I am sure they could both use the business. That will not happen this year. I would rather take a nice ride in a limousine and tip the driver. That will not happen either. 

Tell me, am I the only one? Have dental office Christmas parties gone the way of the gold foil restoration?

Andy Alas, DDS 

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