Bob Cratchit was a Lousy Clark
I can never watch any version of a Christmas Carol any more because I keep getting bugged by one nagging question: If that damn Bob Cratchit thinks he has it so bad with Scrooge, why the hell doesn't he get out there and get himself another job? You hear so much in the story about how miserly Scrooge is with his, but you know what? I'll bet Scrooge must have been paying a competitive wage for his clark. If Cratchit thought he should be getting more for his work, then he should have found the employer who would have paid him more and treated him better.
But he didn't. And do you know why? It's because he was a slacker. Maybe Scrooge was paying less for his clarks then anyone around him - that's possible - but that was because no one would pay even as much as he did to this guy. Cratchit was plain lucky to have Scrooge pay him what he did and keep him on for as long as he did at any salary at all.
Should we feel sorry for Bob Cratchit because he had a large family to support? Well, who told him to have all of those kids in the first place? I'd bet you if he and his wife had paracticed some sound family planning and had perhaps only half as many children, then the money would have stretched a lot further. Anyways, he was able to put a roof over his families head and food in their mouths. They weren't in the poor house or anything close to it.
But that was the thing: The guy was just a complainer. Look at it from the Boss's perspective. Would you want someone under you who was always complaining about everything? Like, the office was just too cold for Cratchit, so, of course, he has to waste precious coal so that he can be toasty warm. What about the company? Scrooge and Marley is paying good money for that heat, bucko. Wrap your muffler and take one for the company. Be a team player for a change.
Or how about all that extra time off that Scrooge's clark kept asking for? Back in Victorian times, Christmas was a minor holiday at best. Nobody was really asking for Christmas off. Most Victorians worked on Christmas so that they could have an extra day away from their family. It would be like me asking for Captain Kirk's birthday off. What sane boss would grant that request? It was the same with Christmas back then.
I get so angry at the end of a Christmas Carol. Everybody thinks it's so wonderful that Scrooge turns his mean, bitter life around but all I can see is him giving Bob Cratchit and his bad attitude a big Christmas goose and a pay raise when he really should be giving him a pink slip and a boot out the door.
About the Author: Steve Sommers is the author of Breakfast with the Antichrist. His new novel, Rexroi, along with the best of Australian Science Fiction - is available as an ebook at www.rspublishing.com.au, OR if you ABSOLUTELY need to turn pages when you read - at www.lulu.com/content/306670