I had hoped the times were changing

As a working mom and someone who’s tried to behave like a fiscally responsible adult, I am mad as hell at the current economic situation. I’ve got about 100 posts on this topic knocking about in my brain, and I guess we should all be thankful I’m too busy with other things to write them. It’s never a great idea to dash something off in anger. But when I saw this this morning: AIG’s Post-Bailout Spa Trip Angers Lawmakers I just about threw my peanut butter toast across the room.

Immediately after receiving $85 billion from taxpayers (that’s ME and YOU), AIG sent its executives on a posh retreat where the tab for spa treatments alone came out to $23,380.

I guess I’d hoped we were entering an era when people like this would at least pretend to have some shame and decency. Part of what got us into this mess is the attitude on the part of overpaid executives that they can pretty much do whatever they want and the rest of us will look the other way. I thought, perhaps, that getting exposed for the incompetent, greedy imbeciles they are would force a few of these yahoos to slink under a rock, at least for appearances’ sake. I mean, if you had to go to your parents for a bailout because you ran your household finances into the ground, wouldn’t you think twice before spending a chunk of that cash on a trip to Disneyworld?

Sure you would. But then you’re an average, working mom like me. You have some common sense and decency. You’re probably scared for your childrens’ futures, just like I am. And dang, wouldn’t YOU love a spa treatment right about now? Me, too. But it’s not in the budget, so I’ll have to pass. Who would have thought living within your means would be such a revolutionary idea?

Edited because I appreciate accurate reporting – OK, so it wasn’t a trip for execs, it was a trip for independent salespeople to reward them for doing a good job. You know what? I still pretty much don’t care. It’s all about appearances, and this company should have though about that before letting this trip go ahead. The rest of the nation is panicking about their finances, and they’re angry at having to bail out derelict companies. This is not the time to be spending nearly a half-million dollars on something that is going to appear excessive and frivolous to the average Joe, especially not after receiving the kind of bailout AIG got (and they’re asking for more). A lot of good people who had nothing to do with the financial crisis are making sacrifices. If that has to include some salespeople who normally would have gotten a bonus trip to Shangri-La, then so be it. Seems like PR 101 to me.

7 thoughts on “I had hoped the times were changing

  1. Marketing Mommy says:

    I was about to write this very post this morning, so thank you Sara for saving me the energy (and likely reaching a lot more people)! What is it with these executives? Are they so far above the rules of law and human decency?

    It makes my blood boil.

  2. It’s the days of Gordon Gecko all over again. Does this comment totally age me?

  3. Ugh…I couldn’t agree more! When I saw that headline yesterday I was so infuriated! Just who do these guys think they are? The amount of money these CEO’s and senior executives take home is absolutely obscene. I honestly can’t even grasp the concept of the amount of money these guys make…and then to take additional company $$ after being bailed out by the government–ie taxpayers!–on a spa retreat is absolutely outrageous. I completely agree with Sen. Obama’s call last night at the debate to have them return the money and they should all be fired!

  4. I am livid!!! I want these guys to go to jail, repay all the money and have to give back all their goldent parachute monies. If this commitee doesn’t do something about this, they should get emails to bust their system from us women. We work hard inside and outside the home. We have all the responsiblity of making ends meet. Damn it, this is so wrong and illegal. We need to push this committee into refusing to bail out AIG and put the money where it will help us. I am spittin fire. If I had the money, I’d go to WA. DC and let them know in person what the hell is really going on in this country. Then, I’d go to Congress and scream at them. I was against this bail out. No one ever comes to our rescue so why help them? Did you see their CEO’S are on retainer for ONE MILLION DOLLARS A DAY!!!! I’d love that handout. I don’t want to just see them fired. They need jail time since they were in the bottom of the tank 2 or 3 years ago and these jerks still got their multi million dollar bonus’s. Since McCain didn’t even mention this, I am voting for Obama and hopes he stays as mad as I am and puts them all in jail.

  5. TXbighair says:

    What in the world are these people thinking. Regular folks like me are stressed out, worried about the overall economy and these folks are at the SPA?? Give me a break!!!!

  6. It is sickening! I can’t believe AIG had the audacity to do that. What a slap in the face!

  7. jennilea6 says:

    TESTIFY! I signed my 401K up with AIG just over a year ago. Not having invested much, I didn’t lose much and was going to ride this through with them … a lot of financial institutions are in the same boat. HOWEVER, upon reading about that, I called and requested forms to change institutions. The representative was very kind, patient and understanding … explaining that my money was safe becuase it was actually with AIG VALIC. I responded with the truth — that I was leaving AIG because of their poor lack of judgment and lack of respect as a customer and taxpayer. I am a single mom of 2 working 2 jobs to keep the wolf from the door. I can’t afford a vacation for my own family and I won’t pay to send someone else on vacation — when the company is failing. If you are financially responsible and in the black, reward your employees all you like. But when I have to bail you out, you DON’T take a holiday. I understand the event was planned a year ago — 1) the company was failing a year ago, too and 2) I would have preferred that you cancelled, even if you had to pay contract penalty fees with the resort. $440,000 is not a good deal if you do not have $440,000!

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