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Spiritual_Lie2563 t1_ja1dlcq wrote

"...I have no interest in all of that. I made this shop to have a simple, quiet life. I'm not expanding the business- if anything I've made the shop smaller since I got it!" The time traveller looked at me.

"No, no. You don't get it. You're destined to make it a ruthless and exploitative corporation. You will bring ruin to the world if you run this shop..."

"ENOUGH! I've heard this over and over again, I've told every one I'm not expanding the business. I closed every location I had but this one, and moved this one into a smaller store. I've donated most of my stock to charity and slashed the prices to the point I'm barely keeping my head afloat here. I have went past unionization and turned the shop into a co-op and all my employees have equal shares in the success of the business, and I made a point to hire anyone who asks for a job, sight unseen. I've done LITERALLY EVERYTHING possible to make it clear I am NOT going to expand the business. So, I am not going to sit back and let you time travellers keep trying to kill me until I get some goddamned answers for why you keep coming after me when I make it clear I don't want to expand!"

The time traveller just looked at me.

" want answers, do you?"

I glared. "YES. I think I deserve that much."

The time traveller stared at me.

"'re too good."

I was taken aback.

"...what." The time traveller continued.

"You heard me. You're too good at running your business. You're a kind shopkeeper. You're a fair, honest shopkeeper. You run your shop like a well-oiled machine. Your prices are reasonable without being undercutting. Your product is great quality. You manage your employees well and know when to get out of the way of your underlings, and if they have problems you understand and give them the time they need. Your shop is run incredibly well for a mom and pop shop. You are a talented merchant."

I was shocked.

"Well, thank you. But why are you trying to kill me if you know I'm a skilled merchant?" The time traveller shook his head.

"You ARE a skilled merchant. Once upon a time, so was Sam Walton. Once upon a time, so was Jeff Bezos. None of the ruthless, exploitative megacorporation superstores started with an evil, ruthless mastermind who was hellbent on destroying humanity. They always started with...well, a skilled merchant who was dedicated to giving the customers what they want, doing their job, and doing it right...and the people in your town know this about you. They know they can trust and go to this store."

"Well, of course. My shop's dedicated to doing what's best for our customers- and if that means staying as small as possible, I will."

"Don't you get it? The customers make their decisions about where they want to shop, and they vote with their wallets. By being so talented a merchant, it's inevitable that the customers will demand this store expand, and keep expanding, and keep expanding- and eventually, if a store expands too much, it becomes impossible to remain a well-run business. Inevitably a store that becomes too large will become an evil megacorporation, no matter what the merchant tries. And even if you say you'll run it well- and we know you've never become a bastard, no matter what we do? One day, you're going to die. Or your kids. Or THEIR kids. But one day, it's inevitable that a piece of shit will be in charge of the company, and then it'll cross the line and no matter how good a company you run, it'll all be for nothing."

"I can teach them."

"You'd be surprised what happens when someone grows up in unchecked luxury. Why do you think we go after you now while you and your high school sweetheart are still dating and haven't married yet? It's a damn sight better than the alternative to cut it off at the source."

"So, it's inevitable?"

"The heart of any store is the customers. No matter how evil a megacorporation is, if the customers just all refused to shop there, the store would fall into ruin immediately. It's happened to store after store that was seen as too big to fail, and it'll happen over and over again throughout history...but then, the customers have to agree to not shop there."

"So, this isn't my fault?"

"It's not. But, in order to make sure we don't get these megacorporations, then we have to make sure the only merchants for mom and pop shops who can succeed are the ones who have some flaw or another that means they can never really make a revolution in stores. You're just too good at this for us to let you continue to run your store."

", what should I do?"

" you have ANY other dreams? Any other hope?"

"...not really."

"Take some hobby up. And when you get good at it, quit your day job."


Atreigas t1_ja5eh53 wrote

Sad but true. Not the time travel, the exploitative megacorp stuff.

Same with governments or anything big.