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Business Owner Livid When Son Quits The Family Company For A Better Paying Job

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Working for the family business has its built-in benefits. But in regards to the future of the company, it doesn’t always pan out as expected.

One Redditor just challenged the future and stability of his parent’s business, and the conversation that followed did not end well.

Redditor sds133 is a 28-year-old male who has been in an important position at his parents’ company for over a decade.

Recently, he heard the good news that would have a positive impact on his own future.

But when he apprised his parents of his prospects, their unexpected reactions led him to visit the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, where he asked:

“AITA for quiting my job and leaving my parents to certain financial ruin?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained why he wanted to leave the company.

“I (28M) have been working for my parents’ (62 Male & 62 Female) company as a tradesman for the past 11 years. It has been great working with my dad and I have learned a lot.”

“It is also a small company with only a few employees and I perform a vital role in their business structure. However I feel that I am underpaid for my role, essentially only able to save a small amount each month.”

“They are not intentionally underpaying me as they are not making much profit since the start of COVID. Additionally I live in an area that I hate, and my girlfriend moved to another state that I would love to live in.”

“I put my resume on Indeed to see what kind of salary I could demand from my parents and after a few weeks had many recruiters asking for interviews, and one company in the same city as my girlfriend.”

“I interviewed with that company, loved what they had to say about the company and they offered me a job paying about 70% more than what I earn now.”

“I went to my Dad expecting him to be disappointed but ultimately happy for me. He was not happy.”

“He said that I was stabbing him in the back and that he was now financially ruined. He has very little retirement saved and without me to help with the business they would not be able to make enough profit in the coming years to sustain that and they might need to sell the house.”

“He also said that he would have been able to retire by now except that he prioritized my training over profit expecting me to take over one day.”

“I understand he is scared of the future but what he said was very hurtful. I ultimately decided that I need to do what is best for me and take the new job.”

“I haven’t moved or left the current job yet but it is coming up fast.”

“I know that I am doing what is best for me but I can’t help but that I am the AH for leaving. Do you think I am the AH?”

Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

Many Redditors sided with the OP as not the a**hole here.

“NTA. Your father claims that training you is the reason the company cannot provide for their retirement? What? He clearly did not have a solid business model. Do what is best for you and your future.” – nothingclever4now

“Even complicated trades like plumbing or electricians do not cost the equivalent of 10 years of retirement pay.”

“Basically Dad is lying. He wants his son to continue working to support himself (the dad), and I suspect that it would be buying the business rather than being gifted the business. Dad should never have banked on underpaying his kid forever.” – ExcitingTabletop

“Makes me kinda wonder if dad & mom blew a lot of their money & his idea of ‘leaving’ the business to his son actually meant he planned on selling it to him which would give him his money for retirement” – MsPeaches-2846

“My only thought is that Dad spent his time training OP instead of building up the client book.”

“Yet, I don’t see how that even helps the business long term. It leaves OP in the same position as his parents…skilled without a client base to profit from.” – businessboyz

“OP should also take over this business and live from what? A second and third job? If it is the ruin for the parents if OP leaves the business, and he needed to work underpaid, this business was not healthy. Leaving and starting an own career is the best he can do.”

“And not giving the parents any money! NTA” – EvilFinch

“NTA seems your parents were only sailing by because they were underpaying you. Meaning your father may not be as business savvy as he thinks. You can’t let yourself be tied to that and congratulations on the new job.”

“70 percent more is insane and kind of crazy your parents were doing that to you… essentially having you support their livelihood by screwing with your.” – RLuna911

“NTA – Whatever happens with his business is his responsibility, just as making the crucial decisions as an owner is. It is not unjust for you to actually take a chance at life outside of what your father expected of you, he might’ve made decisions with you running his company in mind, but it doesn’t sound like you’ll be much better off financially if you stick around.”

“It will likely get harder until the day you’re not around your father and his business, then you’ll likely feel relief. Even if you fail (for whatever reason), this is the future you CHOSE.”

“No parent has the right to take that choice away from you.” – 3tzamani

“If the job OP is doing is worth that much, but apparently only makes the company so little money they can’t afford to make profit and pay what the job is worth, then someone is doing something wrong.”

“Either OP (most likely not, otherwise he wouldn’t have had this much outreach for him), the company or most likely the parents. Or they are lying and gaslighting and have enough money set aside. Op should get the hell out of here.” – cero1399

“NTA – you are not responsible for your parents’ financial security at any age. They are adults and should be able to handle their finances on their own.”

“It is manipulative that they would bully you into staying for their security. I’ve been there too. I was paying for more than half the mortgage on my family’s house while one of my parents refused to work.”

“They always brought up my younger siblings like it was my job to take care of them. At some point you stop being the ‘help’ and start being the ‘used’.”

“They will get over it, but you have to not feel bad that you want to claim back your own independence. You are doing the right thing. My parents lost their house and blamed me for awhile, but they eventually came back around once everything settled.”

“I hope the same happens for you. I am glad you are taking that other job for yourself and I hope you get all the happiness in life that you have given to others around you.” – Mental-Towel-7714

“NTA. So your parents’ plan for retirement is to give you a business that is barely scaping by and thus make you responsible for taking care of them, wether you can lift the business or not…”

“Sounds like they have spent the last 10-20 years just assuming having a family business + a kid would magically save their butts from bad financial management.” – DancinginHyrule

“NTA. If they’ve been underpaying you their business failed a while ago, they’ve just been refusing to see the writing on the wall. Unless you’ve seen the financial documents yourself I’m not sure I even buy that the business is in such dire straits, rather than knowing that non-family will be harder to underpay/losing you being inconvenient.”

“Either way, don’t put other dreams on hold for the finances of people who have had decades to get themselves in order and haven’t or a business you don’t currently own.” – inkpaperdream

“NTA. I dont see how training you cut into their profits, unless you literally did no work. I’m going to guess dad was never going to retire. At best, he’d say he would, and would then continue to tell you how to run things.”

“If the company has value, he can sell it and retire. If it doesn’t have value, he wasn’t going to turn it to you and retire anyway.” – Mission_Ad6235

In edit, the OP clarified something Redditors repeatedly brought up.

“I’m gonna make an edit because this is a question alot of people have, but essentially he changed his business plan to be working in the field training me instead of hiring someone with experience and working in the office to grow the business.”

“He thinks if he had spent the time in the office the profits would be much bigger right now and he could have comfortably saved by now. Personally I don’t think it would have worked so well because he has trouble adapting to the business practices of 2022.”

Overall, a majority of Redditors had little sympathy for the future of the family business as they thought he had the right to carve out his own path towards a successful future without any obligation.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo