A Poor Excuse

In Stave One of Charles Dickens’ novella “A Christmas Carol” the case is made for the premise that Ebenezer Scrooge had reached an impasse in his personal development. One piece of evidence to this effect can be found in his relationship with his ill treated employee Bob Cratchit. Specifically, Mr. Cratchit asks his employer if he could take Christmas Day off from work to spend with his family. Mr. Scrooge reacts with annoyance and self-righteousness. He exclaims,

[I]t’s not fair.  If I was to stop half-a-crown for it, you’d think yourself ill-used, I’ll be bound … And yet … you don’t think me ill-used, when I pay a day’s wages for no work… A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!

It is true that Mr. Cratchit should be grateful for his employment with Mr. Scrooge. Certainly, Mr. Scrooge is not obligated to employ Mr. Cratchit and presumably Mr. Cratchit is free to find other employment if such an opportunity exists. At this period of history it is probably not the case that Mr. Cratchit need fear his position be outsourced to an IT support Austin. This is especially true considering the fact that the story takes place in London, England.

On the other hand, expecting one day off a year does not seem to be too much to expect. I do not know exactly how much business would be transacted on Christmas Day in London in the year 1843. It may be the case that Christmas Day at that time was very much like are own era and most people took the day off to spend time with their families. It is even conceivable that even a business providing IT support Austin would take the day off. Accordingly, it remains to be seen whether within the context of the story whether Mr. Scrooge was being unreasonable but the assumption I make is that he was.