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. 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 this lazy Bob Cratchit a
big Christmas goose and a pay raise when he really should be
giving him a pink slip and a boot out the door.