Soapweed's Ranch Ramblings
The writings of a Nebraska Sandhills cattle rancher!

Bureaucratic Bungling
Dec 4, 2003

Stopped off at a local business this evening, and the owner was seething. A bureaucrat wet-behind-the-ears whippersnapper had been in town trying to tell the local how to run his business.

This establishment is a gas station and a mechanic shop. The owner has a good-sized ranch, and does not need the income from the gas station to make a living. He bought the struggling little business several years ago, more as a community service than a money-maker. He employs two full-time people and one part-time person. We of the community depend on the place to purchase both hiway fuel and bulk agriculture fuel, as well as tires, tire repair, batteries, mechanic work, and on-the-go food supplies. We would be at a great loss if the place were to shut down.

Back to the bureaucrat. He seemed to be in town making trouble mainly to justify his occupation. The main bone of contention is the fact that even though the owner hires his people "by-the-hour" it is more of a salary-type position. No hour time-cards are kept, and the owner is very lenient with necessary time off for his employees. He pays the same amount every two weeks no matter how many hours the employees have worked, or how many days off they have received. They are happy with the arrangement, and it works for him. They have jobs, period, which they wouldn't have if he were to close down. The government man seems to think much more records need to be kept, and time-and-a-half overtime be paid for any hours incurred over the customary forty per week. If the owner doesn't comply he will be subject to fines and penalties. It would be very tempting for the owner to throw in the towel, shut the place down, and eliminate the harrassment subjected on him by those who think they know better how to run his business than does he. I sympathize.






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