The next holiday dear to my heart is dedicated to the man who drove the snakes from Ireland, Saint Padraig of Ireland.
Those who really know about this know that this is a euphemism for his having established the Catholic Church in Ireland and driven the pre Christian Druidic believers either to hell or to conversion – their free choice, I believe. The Druids were animistic in their beliefs, and snakes were part of their symbology. Ergo “driving the snakes from Ireland” is the nice way of saying that he eradicated the pre Christian Druidic institutions. One must recognize an enormous political capability in the man and toasts to this day honor him in that manner – Saint Padraig was a gentleman of strategy and stealth. He drove the snakes from Ireland. Here’s a toasting to his health. But careful of the toastings ere you lose yourself and then forget the dear Saint Padraig and start seeing snakes again.
In many ways that was a real shame, as really heroic Irishman of the time often met wood nymphs in the forests and had erotic experiences with them that inspired them to even more heroic deeds. Perhaps most famous of these was the great Brian Boru himself. (See LION OF IRELAND The Life and Times of Brian Boru) Few amongst us would hesitate to go forth and perform heroic deeds of slaughter for great fantasy sex like that.
While one may idealize nature worship in many warm and perverse ways, at its heart its sociology embodied all the male dominant female subservient mores of organized Christianity and of the Hebraic society which preceded it.
I have enjoyed the society of my father’s countrymen sufficiently to know that the snakes have returned in many forms including franchise companies and their minions, so many of which are toxic investment opportunities. Many modern Irish are and have for years been in litigation with these snakes, having realized that what they were told before investing had nothing to do with the realities of life once their signatures were affixed to the franchise agreements.
There is no modern day Saint Padraig to drive these franchise snakes from Ireland, and there is no anti snake medicine in Ireland to which the about to be bitten can turn for prophylacsis, as the Church prohibits prophylactics and even education concerning any other form of population control, making no exceptions for controlling the rebirth of snakes in the sense of this discourse. Aside from a Saint Joseph Aspirin held between a girl’s knees and the wonderful dry martini, enough of which will definitely prevent any risk of insemination, all forms of birth control are prohibited.
One might posit that it was never intended by God that there be wealthy Irishmen (or women), and that franchising is God’s way of fulfilling that aspect of His/Her will. Conversely put, if God had intended that the Irish be wealthy, He/She would not have created franchising, a variant of “If God had not intended shearing, He/She would not have created sheep”. Of course, for franchising to flourish in Ireland, there must have been flagrant violations of the will of the Almighty, else there would be no Irish of means sufficient to make fleecing them worth the candle.
For those who have so lamented the circumstances of Irish franchisees in assorted communications with me, I am eager to provide this explanation of how it came to be that they have now come to such low condition. To be sure, some have succeeded in spite of God’s will. It is always thus. Without wealth and its temptations no country would have leaders. Who in their right mind would welcome the heavy burden of leadership but for the access to great wealth that it guarantees?
As for those Irish who manage to flee Ireland to the United States before they have been skinned alive by Irish franchisors, American franchisors await them in voracious anticipation. They are told that they can for a reasonable fee be in business for themselves but not by themselves as owners of various mythical enterprises known popularly here as “concepts”. These business opportunity “concepts” abound in areas of business activity long saturated and destroyed by vicious price competition to the point where it is hardly possible even under the most careful management to maintain break even. Notable among these are almost all the QSR food franchises. The disclosed costs of being anyone’s franchisee seem on their surface to aggregate around 12 % of gross sales, but when all those other inadequately disclosed expenses occur they aggregate from 20% to 25 % of gross sales. The way you non disclose critical costs in a franchise disclosure document is to disclose that you can require franchisees to purchase supplies and things from designated vendors disclosing only that you receive revenue from those vendors for that exclusivity. The monopoly sourced vendors then add that commission expense to the already non competitive price at which franchisees buy everything. Franchisees never get the advantage of competitive pricing when they purchase anything for their businesses. When the cost of being someone’s franchisee is of that order of magnitude you cannot achieve profitability and you go broke.
How can that be? Doesn’t the International Franchise Association, the world’s largest franchise industry organization, to which all these franchisors belong, have a code of ethics that mandates fairness and honesty in dealings by its members?
The answer to that stupid question is to point you toward the “holy” ten commandments and ask you to explain why they have not had the moral force to have eradicated sin. The answer is that sin is so lucrative; so much fun; feels so good. Can’t we all confess on our deathbeds; be forgiven; and then be handed a ticket to heaven? If not then what is an Act of Contrition really worth?
There are highly sophisticated people with high falutin educational degrees, Doctors of Philosophy in this or that, specializing in the analysis of how and why fools buy franchises. Whilst I know you with your limited vision may think this a load of shyte, why don’t you smart asses look up such things as Confirmation Bias and read the many treatises that dissect your miserable thought processes – kinda like doing an electroencephalograph on a flea – when confronted with the decision whether to invest in a franchise opportunity.
All that is just so much bull shyte. The way you are convinced to invest in a franchise opportunity is that it is portrayed to you as an opportunity to get laid – yes, focking, you blithering ijit!
You probably have never really been laid proper and all, having received only counterfeit sex from someone who in order to get you to buy dinner gave you a hand job or a quickie blow job. If you are really Irish you get sex from a trollop or from someone who allows you to do it to her because you pledged before God and all to pay her room and board and sundry other expenses for life, including those of her weens, come what may.
That is your sexual reality. What you think sex is supposed to be but have never really experienced and never ever really will in all likelihood exists only in your imagination, your fantasy. As we have learnt from that great analyst Sigmund Freud, the quality of a sexual experience is a direct function of your capabilities in the realm of fantasy. The reality of sex is just a matter of plumbing.
In fantasy you imagine that things are far better than they really are. The way one sells you a franchise is to make it sound like you will through the act of signing a franchise contract and paying the fees experience such incredible financial orgasms that women will think you a god and desire your seed, tumescing at the very mention of your name.
Often the sales process includes the presence of some woman whom you are just dying to shag, and her assignment in this conversation is to convince you that she is turned on by men who are capable of making positive decisions. You fanaticize that if you sign this agreement and make these payments, she will wilt onto your pecker like a tub of warm butter. She has conned so many fools like you that she senses exactly the body and other language that gets your pecker hard enough to write checks with.
Regardless of the presence of some slattern or no, the sales process is calculated to make you see yourself as a prince amongst princes, a man of the world, successfully operating a business the net proceeds of which endow you and yours with comfort and security if not luxury. You get promised luxury when you sign the agreements and pay the fees associated with territorial development agreements obligating you to open and develop several stores over a relatively short period of time. Territorial development agreements are for those fools who are the scions of wealthy progenitors, endowed with everything but good sense and equally as gullible as any normal sucker.
You are invited to attend something called Discovery Day, an enlightenment session of one day where you are escorted into the presence of the grand panjandrum of the company, a man whose very name ought to send you running like hell in utter terror. He will inevitably be called Bob or Bud or Big Jim or some other sobriquet to demonstrate to you that despite his incredible success he is just a normal old shoe person willing to associate with the lowly likes of yourself upon proper payment and the affixation of your signature to the requisite covenants, releases and acknowledgements. On discovery day various shills will turn on a machine or two, and show you how easy it is for your assistant, the comely Miss Largeteats who demonstrates the procedure, to fill out the requisite forms to enable the deposit of the enormous stream of revenue into your bank account or into their bank account so that they can save you the inconvenience of having to do any banking or accounting whatsoever, remitting to you in utter fidelity the grand residuum and reckoning after making only the most trustworthy deductions. You will never ever in your whole life get fucked the way you will be fucked when your franchisor gets his hands on your revenue before you do.
This time is spent going from chore to chore, showing you how easy it will be for you to supervise your minions. It is the omnipresent maxim of franchising that you need not know a damn thing at all or ever have come into contact with the business of the franchise. You hire those folks and your assignment is but to manage them in accordance with the simple to read and understand Operations Manual – which by the way is described in the agreements you signed as a holy writ that your franchisor may change unilaterally at his will without your consent, any violation of which is just cause for the immediate deprivation of all rights and privileges and the triggering of all those post termination covenants in that agreement you signed which obligate you to refrain from engaging in that business thereafter and to continue paying ongoing royalties to them as though you remained successfully in business until the end of the contract term, usually ten years. You, of course, being in the throes of pre ejaculatory thrill, never read or understood what the agreement said until your arse was in a sling. Ignoring negative information is part of confirmation bias. Once a sucker has an investment erection going, you can disclose any negative information and he will completely ignore it.
You will also visit with a person introduced as a randomly selected franchisee who will enthrall you with his quality of life, assuring you that Big Jim showed him the way to provide for himself and his family eternal security with enough left over to enjoy boats, vacations, extensive travel, fine dining and damn good whisky, not to mention (because we don’t talk of such things in Big Jim’s presence) all the extraneous sex your libido can handle.
Somewhere in this sales process there will be telltale indicators that the people with whom you are dealing are scoundrels and thieves. Some of these work exceptionally well on the recently arrived because they don’t know that these aren’t important things to discuss in any commercial setting in the United States. These are things that are not taught in law school and that your politically correct lawyers would never say about anyone in any professional context. Your home town business lawyer has no inkling that part of franchise pre investment due diligence includes awareness and sensitivity regarding these ploys.
The first is patriotism. If on discovery day, or on the company website, anywhere in conversation, in art on the walls or sculpture you see or hear about eagles, you are dealing with thieves. Every franchise thief in America believes that the eagle symbol of American bravery, toughness and integrity must be incorporated into his sales pitch and that the sucker must be persuaded to regard him as the epitome of that concept and doctrine. You are offered the opportunity to soar with eagles, for example. Your attention is called to the presence of eagle art on the premises, including especially an eagle sculpture on Big Jim’s desk. Big Jim is a vulture, not an eagle.
The second is honesty. Whenever integrity has to be openly discussed, it is because it isn’t present. People who claim to hate liars are among the most mendacious on the earth. People who lament the lack of integrity in public or other institutions, none of which have a damn thing to do with your decision to invest in a franchise, are pissing down your leg and telling you it’s the rain making your shoes wet.
The third is ostentatious reassurance, telling someone you are there to help them through their biggest problems or trials when the contract you sign says nothing of the sort. You will note that the franchise contract may have several pages under the heading Duties of the Franchisee, but is rather lean on the corresponding section dealing with the Responsibilities of the Franchisor. In addition to that language, you could actually make a project of going through the franchise contract to list all the things and events for which the franchisor will bear no obligation, responsibility or duty to you. Your so called normal lawyer isn’t aware of this opportunity. If the franchisor tells you orally hortatory things that are not there in the franchise agreement, you are being given a dishonest level of reassurance.
The fourth is religiosity. Even though the Church is structured like and conducts its earthly business exactly like a franchise, with distribution of governing rights across diocesan territories, sending money back upstream to the Vatican and a manual of do and don’t regulations right down to the wording of prayers and hymns, the franchise in which you are considering an investment has nothing whatsoever to do with the Lord. The invocation of blessings is always accompanied by the aroma of sulfur. Discussions about the church you attend or that Big Jim attends, or about the importance of bringing your thoughts et cetera to God, or anything else relating to any religious topic are sure and certain signs of the presence of a devil.
The fifth is your being told that anything in any document you are dealing with is there only because the lawyers require it to be there, but that the company doesn’t enforce it or go by it. Everything in every document you sign or sign for to show that you received it is crammed full of things that will work against you and that are intended to be used for precisely that purpose. Nothing is there for the sole purpose that some lawyer wants it to be there. There is no decorative language in documents you sign. Every competent franchise lawyer who prepares legal documents for franchisors so configures the agreements and related “disclosure” documents to assure that you must do whatever the franchisor tells you to do; that the franchisor can do whatever he wants without liability to you for doing it; and that things you know you were told during the sales process were not ever said and, if said, were not taken seriously by you in making your decision to invest. These are all exculpatory and never decorative.
These telltale signs of a serious intent to rob you blind abound in franchise presentations. When you notice them, get out of the room. Go to your car. Start it and drive away from there as fast as you safely can.
This process is highly enough developed that it prevents you from seeking pre investment due diligence assistance on an investment in the actual operation of a business yourself. You become so erect that with the wrong head that you accept that it is necessary that you so believe the nonsense being told to you that they can publish all sorts of dire warnings in the document you sign. It is the Conformation Bias that prevents you from taking seriously all the disclaimers, admonitions, acknowledgements and personal guaranty of performance that immediately precede your signature. Whilst there are resources out in the real world that could save you from this financial account draining orgasm, you deem yourself so brilliantly regal that no one would ever deceive the likes of yourself.
Now that is shearing as God really meant shearing to be!
Having obligated yourself and drained the creative fluid from your financial prostate, you will attend what is known as training, a course of a few weeks of instruction in which you learn that you need only direct your hirelings to follow the procedures set out in the franchise Operations Manual in order to replenish your essential financial fluids.
Then you will have site selection that you must do yourself and that they may approve without liability of any sort, the consequences of incompetent site selection being entirely yours alone. This is followed by build out of your store and ultimately by Grand Opening. At the close of grand opening the franchisor representative shakes your hand, wishes you well and leaves you to your own devices – you are in business for yourself and by yourself, regardless what the mission statement says. The contract is different from the mission statement and the contract says you’re fucked.
Within a month or two thence, you will discover that life as a franchisee is nothing like you were told or that you expected based upon what you were told. When you call your help desk and explain your grand mal difficulty, your help rep may say something like “Thank you for sharing that with me” and then either hang up or transfer you to “the right person” who is never there and for whom the computer suggests you leave a voice message on the tone. In the belief that you must be a bloody fool or you wouldn’t be a franchisee, the computer will also instruct you what your options may be when you are done leaving your pathetic message. If the problem about which you phoned is not a life or death matter, you may survive the lengthy interim during which you await a call back from the right person. In any event, you will then experience that epiphany I referred to just now – My god, what did I just do to myself? It gets much worse as time passes. Horror stories abound.
Not having sought out competent pre investment help, you now start thinking about seeking out a good lawyer – yes, I know that’s an oxymoron! When you consult with the good barrister he will point out to you that you have agreed never to sue the franchisor. You may submit your pathetic whining complaints to mediation which must take place in the franchisor’s hometown no matter how distant. You will then learn that if your matter is not thereby resolved, you may take it to binding arbitration in the franchisor’s home town; that you may not seek exemplary damages in any arbitration; and you may not join with others having the same or similar complaints. The good lawyer will quote you a fee for representation of your pathetic self that will so astound and stupefy you that you leave his office in a trance. I would continue, but this story doesn’t get any better.
By Seamus Muldoon, Himself
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