By Jude Morgan

Dear Binston Swongo, 

I’ve reached my breaking point. As a small business owner, I believe fully that this cruel and terrible world has it out for honest people trying to make a living. I started off as a humble arms manufacturer, just trying to make a buck and change helping out the common folk. Yet as of late, it seems as if society looks down upon hard workers like myself, choosing to favor more trendy ideas such as “ethics” and “workers’ rights” and “undergraduate labor unions”. It pains me even further to see the once great institution Grinnell fall down this path. What’s next? Paid leave? I shudder at the thought. 

Despite my many qualms I still continue to exceed profit margins beyond my wildest dreams, but deep down my feelings are hurt. How can I sleep at night knowing that there is no hope for the preservation of tradition? 

– A Morally Ambiguous Alum 

I’m glad you have reached out, my fellow proprietor! As a former business owner myself, I am always glad to instill wisdom upon all those who may find themselves faltering on the one true path to success and self fulfillment. As I have said time and time again for the past one-hundred seventy-eight years, nobody wants to work anymore! These younger generations simply don’t have what it took to earn anything. Instead, they are too busy pursuing fleeting joys, such as gaslighting and mansplaining. 

I remember back in the day when I was fresh out of college and just a young and inexperienced entrepreneur, looking to find my first score. Using some minor political connections and good old nepotism, I became well acquainted with the lesser known William D. Rockefeller. From there I aided in the founding of Standard Oil, and with the three of us in charge nothing could stop us. Life was swell! Given the time period and the more favorable laws, we began to really rake in the big bucks. Unions? Ha! We busted those strikes like they were nothing.

This was until a great falling out between me and Willie that occurred over a gentlemanly dispute over my recreational elf bar in the workplace. This and the multiple DUI’s I had accumulated on company horses was the final straw in our friendship. As a result, I was subsequently removed from the wikipedia page and history entirely (do not fact check me on this). Following this terrible rift in our partnership, I soon capitalized on the fur trade. Admittedly there was very little competition due to the textile industry (which no one informed me of) but I soon had the most stable monopoly north of the Mason-Dixon line! 

Yet the real purpose behind this story my friend, is to criticize the draconian laws that the great oppressor Benjamin Harrison and his band of goons stained this once great nation with: The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. Oh the tragedy! In real time I witnessed the collapse of my once great empire during the historic court case of Swongo v. United States. All I had worked towards was lost, and I soon fell into a deep depressive episode. 

As a result of no income, my desperate times lead me to apply for a position at the B&S, where I would spend the rest of my days as a humble servant of the college, providing my deep wisdom and knowledge to any student who happens to find themselves in a dilemma. 

So take this advice my dear friend. Never let people discourage you from achieving the great success you want to see in the world or exceeding profit margins. I truly wish this great story will give you the ease of which you need to sleep at night once more. If you ever wish to find me again, I have been locked in the pubs office since 1923, so any company is welcome.