The parable of the pizza shop


One day a man decided to open a pizza shop. The first week he sold pizzas and collected money from his customers; the happy customers ate hot pizza, and the man made some money.

The next week many of his customers who came in had pizza insurance, and had already paid Blue Wall Insurance for their pizzas. Since so many of his customers had purchased pizza insurance, the man signed a contract with Blue Wall agreeing to discount his pizzas in return for a larger volume of customers. And so it went with United Pizza Insurance, PizzaNet and Pizzaetna.

Pretty soon the man started having trouble getting the pizza insurance companies to pay for the pizzas he sold, and he had to wait a few months for his payment. They also started meddling with his cooking and trying to dictate what toppings he could use. They even restricted the use of some of the more expensive ingredients. He had to hire extra employees to fill out forms and paperwork they required before they would reimburse him. This all cost more, so he raised his prices accordingly.

The next week some elderly customers came in and said that the government was going to pay for their pizzas. So the man agreed to discount his pizzas for the elderly people on the government plan called PizzaCare.

The next week some poor people came in and wanted to buy pizzas with a government program called PizzaCaid. So the man signed a contract with PizzaCaid.

Blue Wall Pizza Insurance, United Pizza Insurance, PizzaNet insurance, PizzaCaid, and PizzaCare all had different requirements for the man before they would pay him. He was going crazy trying to keep on top of all the different things he was expected to do. He had less and less time to devote to cooking his pizzas. He had to hire more employees to do data entry and scanning for a new mandatory electronic record keeping system. His expenses kept going up, and the demands on his time and energy kept increasing. He had to hire more and more helpers and had less and less time to devote his cuisine.

Then these different organizations decided that the man would be obligated to improve the quality of his pizza shop and gave him projects and more data entry to do. They withheld part of his payments until he did them.

Finally, the man said: “Enough!”

He closed down his shop and went gluten free.

Emily Dalton is a physician who blogs at Dr. Emily’s Blog.

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