Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm going to have a nervous breakdown

Sunday when we were at the movie theater, I excused myself and went to the ladies room. While I was washing my hands I looked in the mirror.

Hell, is that what I look like? My hair was completely flat, and this looks even worse as it has been a while since my last haircut, and I haven't even had the money to get my bangs trimmed. (I suppose that I could ask my mother to do it, but we really don't want to go there.)

So a few hours later, I am lying around in bed, mostly watching the X-files. And I get up to get some water from the bathroom sink, and I look at myself in the mirror.

Now I look just gorgeous. My hair looks a bit wavy or something. Why do I look so good now when I looked so awful a few hours ago? Why can't I look good when someone will see me?

But enough of looking gorgeous. It is hot, and I have work to do. Better put my hair in a ponytail. I go outside and get the area of my future wildflower bed ready to dig. I don't get started with the actual digging, just sort of mark off the area and move everything out of the way so I can get an early start on it Monday morning. Then we watch Friday's episode of Eureka with my brother.

So that was Sunday. Things are tense, but we feel a little bit better after we watch a movie and I make plans for the rest of the week to work on the wildflower bed.

Monday morning I actually get up and start digging the wildflower bed. It is hard work, and I give up on it before noon. Working after that is out of the question. It is way too hot. But I get about half of the hole dug. Major progress on the project.

The thing that sucks about doing a lot of serious physical labor in the morning (okay, one of the things) is that you just sort of wait around the whole rest of the day for it to be time to go to bed. I'm too tired to really do anything, but if I actually give in and take a long nap that means I probably won't get any sleep at night.

We watch True Blood and Hung. The opening titles of Hung have the main character doing a Reginald Perrin into a lake, which is kind of funny seeing that the new Reginald Perrin does not do a Reginald Perrin into the ocean.

And what the hell kind of name is Sookie anyway?

So after we watch that stuff, it is back to the X-Files, and waiting for the day to be over so that I can go to bed.

The guy that my husband works with who is involved with the new business thing calls. The two of them are talking a lot, cause the business thing is supposed to get started for real on Saturday. Anyway, the guy says some odd things.

Like he wants the credit card payments to be made out to the business, but he wants the checks written to him personally. He says that it is time that they started running the business like it was a real business.

So that doesn't make any sense. Why should the checks be written out to him, and how would that make things more like a real business? Writing checks to him is the exact opposite of running things like a real business. And the reason that we got the business account in the first place was so that the checks could be written to the business instead of just written to my husband, cause we thought that would look bad.

But even then, the checks could be written to my husband, since his name is on the business. The other guy's name isn't on the business or on the business account. There's no way the checks are going to be written out to him, and he's just not making any sense.

Okay, so that was Monday.

Tuesday morning I got up and dug more of the hole. I got most of that done. I had a bath.

The guy who works with my husband called again. He wants to have his name on the business and on the business account and all of that. And if my husband doesn't agree then he won't work on Saturday.

This is nuts.

These guys are always talking about going into business for themselves and how it isn't fair that when the company has sales of three thousand dollars or so, three of them get about three hundred dollars each while the company gets the rest of the money. Not that the rest of the money is pure profit, there are expenses to take out and a lot of other people at the company still need to get paid, but sometimes it just doesn't seem like a fair split. If only they could start their own companies, they could make more money.

So for three years this guy has said that if my husband ever starts his own company, he would like to work with my husband. And for the last eight months, they have seriously talked about starting a business together, only the guy usually says that he doesn't want to start a business himself, he just wants to work with my husband if my husband starts one.

So that is what was done. My husband started a business, as sole proprietor, and this other guy was going to work with him. My husband bought the computer, bought office supplies, created a website, paid for an advertisement, etc.... The business and the business account only has my husband's name on it (though I believe I have access to the account in an emergency). So all the money put into the business has been my husband's money, and most of the work done has been done by my husband.

Until recently, when we just totally ran out of money.

There were a few more things needed (or at least wanted) to get the business started. Like they needed some samples (or some more samples, I'm not sure which). And I don't know whose idea it was to buy the samples, just that we didn't have any money left, so either this guy would have to buy them himself or we would just have to do without them. So the other guy bought the samples.

And the business is going to start Saturday, and we need to do a few more things, like we need to rent some equipment. Only, we have no money, so it was either call to cancel their first account, or this guy would have to rent the equipment with his credit card. The guy agreed to use his card. He was supposed to meet us on Friday so that we could pick up the rental equipment.

Hopefully on Saturday they would make a lot of money, and then make a bit more the next Saturday. Then they would take out the money for the rental equipment and some other expenses (not even the expenses we're already out, just money we will actually spend for the two days that they work together), they would split the remaining money. The expense money would be at least six hundred dollars (more if business was good), and they were hoping to take in two or three thousand dollars Saturday, and a bit more the next Saturday.

As exciting as that sounds, that wouldn't even get us caught up on the bills, but it might at least get us caught up on the car and such.

Anyway, they were either going to lose some money if business was really bad on Saturday, or if it was good, they would split a thousand dollars or more. Since this guy usually sells something around two thousand a day (and on a regular basis he brings in three thousand or more), they were hoping for something in the four to six thousand dollar range for working the two Saturdays, taking out a thousand or so for expenses, and then splitting the remaining money. I'm not sure that they had discussed whether or not they would equally split the six hundred that they would lose if they made no money at all, or if my husband would be totally responsible for that. Maybe the guy was worried that he would get stuck with the total rental bill of four hundred dollars. I don't know.

But anyway, out of nowhere he wants to be a legal partner and he wants his name on everything, and if we don't do it he won't work on Saturday.

Well, I don't even think that anything can be done with less than a week to go anyway. And if we wanted to do that, he isn't here to sign anything. I suppose that we could make some arrangement to give him access to the business account, but I don't trust him after this stunt. So I said, don't do it. Either cancel the whole thing or maybe I'll try to do his job Saturday, but don't put his name on anything. Something is up. This just doesn't make any sense.

I asked how many customers were expected. My husband said about thirty-five. Thirty-five each Saturday? He said no. So, I thought, if not thirty-five each, thirty-five total. Which probably means twenty customers or so on Saturday. I convinced myself I could do that, even though I haven't done this in about seven years and don't really want to do it ever again. But, it would be better than putting this guy's name on the business account and making him a full partner, when he didn't want to be a full partner until two days ago.

At this point, we started to worry about him working with us at all, even if he apologized and said that he did want to work Saturday. I mean, he would be there with the customers, and he could just say, make the checks out to me, and then he could just go cash the checks and leave us to pay the bills without any money. So if he did want to work on Saturday, I would have to babysit him and deal with all the money myself, cause we just don't trust the man anymore.

Oh, and this is the guy who is out of town with our computer.

But at this point he says that he will meet with us Friday morning to give everything back.

I am wondering if there will be a fight over these samples. I will have to have some to work with, but we still don't have any money and can't pay for them Friday. If he says he's going to keep them until we pay, we can't pay now, and the samples will be of no use to us later, so we shouldn't pay for them later if we can't have them on Friday.

I'm picturing us in front of Judge Judy.

Anyway, I agreed to work Saturday, thinking that I would have twenty customers or so. But again, my husband wasn't clear about that. There are thirty-five customers on Saturday, but he doesn't know how many there will be on the next Saturday because names are still being added to the list.


Okay, when this used to be my full-time job seven years ago, and I used to know what I was doing, I could handle about twenty to twenty-five people, and on a good day I could take in about a thousand dollars. A thousand dollars would not be so great on Saturday, cause that would only leave us about four hundred dollars profit (plus whatever we could make on the second Saturday), but compared to what we expected the other guy to bring in, that's just not very good. But I used to do that level of business, and I used to be happy with it.

On my very busiest day, when I was used to doing this, I had thirty-nine customers and brought in more than two thousand dollars. But it was very hard to do that, and I didn't have time to eat lunch or anything. That sort of thing makes a person panic, even when that just means that they'll make twice as much money.

I don't think that I can handle thirty-five people in one day, after not having done this stuff for seven years.

And I don't look good.

And what am I going to wear?

I could just be sick.

But, I agreed to do it, and my husband told the other guy that we didn't need him.

That left us short one credit card.

Well, we do have one credit card that we've kept up with, but right now it is totally maxed out, so we can't buy anything with it. So I doubt we can use it at the rental place either.

So we're back to borrowing from my mom or his brother again, after we haven't paid back either of them from last time.

So my husband goes to work, and he's like, you'll talk to your mom about the money, right?

So, I call my mom. I don't really feel up to talking to her at all, and here I am calling to ask for money.

It doesn't go well. At first she sounds pleasant enough and is interested in the whole story, even though I am up front with her that the point of it all is that we need to borrow money and if she doesn't want to we can skip the whole rest of the story. Just say no, and I can go back to gardening or something, and he can try to borrow the money from his brother.

But my mother gets on to other subjects, like why don't I like being a salesperson? Like she wants to talk me into being a salesperson. It doesn't make any sense. It just makes me feel like I'm a bad person. Just let it go. It doesn't have anything to do with anything. I don't want to go back to this full time, but I'm so desperate to not have this guy involved with us anymore that I've agree to do something I really hate for two days. That's all that she needed to know. We did not need to have an argument about it.

So, she can't decide without talking to my brother first. And then my brother can't decide without knowing just everything about the business. I can't really see how that helps. Just say yes, you're in trouble and I'll help you out, or no, I can't loan you any money cause you haven't paid me back for last time. The details of the business don't really matter that much.

My husband comes home and he talks to my brother. They seem to have a much more pleasant conversation than my mother and I did, even though my brother seems to start out saying this is a very bad idea and we should just cancel.

They finish talking, and we try to go to bed and get some sleep. Only neither one of us feels good. I keep waking up. I almost get to sleep, and then I feel sick and have to get up again.

As long as I am awake anyway, I should go outside and look for meteors.

Dallas is on one side of us, and Fort Worth is down the way on the other side. And at the time I go outside, the almost full moon is directly overhead.

No meteors for me. I go back inside and try to sleep.

So that was Tuesday.

Wednesday I don't get up early as I have been. After feeling sick and waking up several times during the night, I finally get back to sleep and don't wake up until about eight. I'm trying to drink more water, but this time I go straight for the cola. I get very little gardening done, but that is all that it takes to make me hot and tired. I have more soda and a bath and then watch an episode of the X-files.

My husband calls the place with the rental equipment and finds out that while you need a credit card number to leave with them when you take the equipment, you don't actually have to pay with the credit card. That's just supposed to insure that you bring the equipment back in good shape. (I'm not sure how that is, since even if the card had any credit on it, that wouldn't be enough to replace the equipment, but whatever.) And then you don't actually pay for the rental fees until you return the equipment, cause you might bring it back late and have to pay for an extra day or something.

So it doesn't appear that we have to borrow a credit card or money or anything, as long as we make some money we can just pay the rental fees on Monday. The long conversations with my mother and brother were unnecessary.

At about eleven I feel up to having a look at the computer program I am supposed to use on Saturday.

It has been too long. My husband tries to show me a few things, but he goes too fast for me to follow the simplest things. What have I gotten myself into?

It goes a little better once I am sitting at the computer instead of looking over his shoulder. I can work some of it. We go to lunch at Arby's, and then come home and see if I remember how to do anything.

Okay, I think that the part we practiced isn't that difficult, but I'm just going to be slow no matter what. I have to stop and think about things that I used to have memorized. It isn't fun.

And then there are parts that I just can't practice with on this computer. I need the laptop, but the other guy has it.

And I haven't had customers in seven years. I can't practice that part either. I don't know what to say to people.

I might not know what to say to these people anyway. Several of them don't speak English. There will be translators hanging around, but that will slow things down even more. But I used to have this whole speech I was supposed to say, and I thought that it was rather long, so I cut it down to what I thought was important and then slipped in this little bit about the sales making the program possible (and then I tried to just be nice about it after that and not bully people into buying stuff). I don't have a speech this time, and I don't know how to politely suggest that they need to buy something or we won't be back to do this sort of thing again. Just the most basic information that used to roll off of my tongue will now be very awkward.

My husband went to work. I have been alternating playing with the computer program in between watching X-Files and looking at other stuff on the Internet. I get the basic idea of the thing now, but there's just some stuff that I don't know how to do and I'm not going to get to be any good at by Saturday. So, I don't know what to do at the beginning of the day to get started. And then once I get started, I don't know what to say to the customers. And I don't know how to finish up with a customer, and if he's paying with a credit card I don't know how to do that, cause we have to do something with the phone cause we don't have a card swipe thing on the computer. And then when I finish with the customer, I don't know what to do to move on to the next customer. And then if I don't fall apart and run home, I don't know what to do at the end of the day to wrap everything up.

And I'm hoping that part doesn't take too long. I was supposed to see my friends Saturday afternoon, which now I'm not, but maybe some of them will wait around for me if I can meet them by six or so.

Anyway, I don't know what else to do. I try to figure out how to do something, and then I go watch some TV, and then I come back and see if I can remember what I was doing. And I know that I'm not doing much, and I should be doing more work and less watching TV, but I'm not sure what else to do without the laptop and/or a practice customer.

F^&*ing thirty-five customers in seven hours. If we get started on time and finish when we are supposed to. And no lunch break. That's like twelve minutes per customer. (Less than that if I'm ever going to go to the ladies room or get a soda or something.)

I'm not in a happy place.

Going to have another soda and watch more TV now.


dmarks said...

"Sookie Stackhouse" sounds to me like a very Southern name. I've read the first book, and look forward to the others, but I don't recall the name being explained in the book at all.

The Wiki page gives no other name also.

I have no idea how much the TV show follows the books, but I know at least that the TV show has Eric and Bill (from seeing a picture in Entertainment Weekly magazine), and that they killed the Indian bartender vampire after 4 episodes. He died in the middle of the first book.

As for the new business.... business partnerships can and often do mess up, where one partner runs away with everything, leaving the other high and dry. You said "but I don't trust him after this stunt.". I can sure see why. Even if he is a great friend of your husband, and your husband trusts him, sometimes messy business partnerships end friendships and trust

Sounds like you are really in a spot this weekend. If it doesn't go well, I hope no one jumps on you about it, for sure. You were only dragged into it the last minute, and it looks clear that you will try your best.

As for remembering how to use the machine and all, I sometimes have dreams where I am trying to figure out how to use a certain cash register that I used a lot, but haven't used in 25 years.

Ananda girl said...

Yes, Sookie is a southern name. It is old, not new. When I was a little kid there was a Sookie Sue song that was popular. My grand daugher is called Sookie and has been since before I ever heard of the series. Her real name is Sequoia. My mom used that name when we were being smart alecs.

Yike! You sound stressed. I know very little about business. What you say makes sense to me. I'll be thinking about you on Saturday.