Sue: Changes and Trust

March 4th, 2012 admin No comments

Well I am not sure if that horoscope last weekend was really true – it indicated that things could not really get that much worse.  Actually, they could and they did and I am no longer in a job having walked away on Tuesday.  When I first decided to accept an offered directorship and shareholding with my main client in November last year I knew I was taking a risk.  The two guys involved I had worked with for 8 years and I knew that they were just electricians at heart but I had such hopes of working with them whilst the company developed around them into more professionalism and less innocence and trusting ways.  However I was wrong to think this and my hope is also my downfall – I trusted that I could work through changes but what I should have done is listened to my reservations then and walked away.  I didn’t and things have got a lot worse but at least now, with one of them having contacted me and put in writing those fateful words about the fact that I was never a proper part of their company then I know I have taken the right decision.  So what happened?

Over the last 2 years with this company there have been many financial hiccups and whilst these difficulties with the company have been ongoing I have not said anything through my diary, today, however, I have to be frank with myself here … have I taken the right action …. morally yes, financially no.  As I said above, I put my belief into 2 men that refused to listen to their finance person about the fact that they were overspending and they would not be able to make ends meet.  They had continued to spend on their holidays, their golf, their house updates, their cars until the business was unable to support them any further.  Every time I found a chance to point out the financial concerns, I was listened to but no changes happened.  It was as if I was just nagging for nagging’s sake and that all my words just fell on deaf ears – they owned the company and they would do what they wanted.

We had been going through the banks for assistance with working capital for many, many months and we kept getting refused.  It tended to be security that was given as the reason for refusal.  Eventually though, through another organisation (I could not give up trying to find ways round problems) a different kind of finance company came to light and the other 2 directors agreed with me to apply for finance through them.  The company I worked with met all the criteria but we fell at one hurdle – the directors had not responded to the downturn in their profits and had continued to take a major amount of director payments over a sustained period of time.  It finally caused my 2 co-directors to stop and really re-think and therein lies the issue.

When you are in a company as a co-director you have a board meeting to agree on what is happening.  The 2 guys simply had their conversation without telling me anything and entirely excluded their other director in the decisions being taken.  When they did choose to tell me that I needed to go back to my other business and just do a couple of days a week with their business I was told this whilst in the middle of a stationery superstore – yes, seriously that is how I was told!

Everything from that point was about them and their company (they said to me in their letter that it was always me trying to be all about me) and I was truly sidelined so I took professional advice from business people and eventually chose to walk away.  I could not trust my co-directors any further and more so in their letter to me when they said that at no point was my being a director ever meant that the 2 of them had to consult me in any decision that they took.  I know now that I took the right decisison and that my belief that I was never going to be listened to was correct.  They saw the business always as theirs and were never going to accept anyone else within its inner circle – I was right (oops – I am saying I too many times again – its all about me isn’t it!”)

The worst part at this time though is my understandable lack of trust of their words and the fact that I have lost so much money.  When I joined them in November, I put capital into the business – this was used to pay me for the work I did between November and January so in effect, I have used my own money to pay me to work.  With the company possibly not able to continue to trade in the coming months (even with the action the 2 of them have taken to lower outgoings, when I left they were still spending and not keeping to their words) there was no reason to actually stay with them.  They could not even keep to what they said was going to happen with their expenditure.

The other issue I have such serious concerns with was in relation to their accountant.  With the 2 guys refusing to listen to my concerns on outogings over a year ago, I had approached their accountant with my worries.  Their accountant told me I was looking at the wrong set of information and the balance sheet was where I should be looking (I looked at the cashflow), and within 2 months of that conversation, the accountant told the guys they could increase their dividend payments!  I jest you not.

All in all, the lesson learnt here is of my own doing.  I believed (yes I have said “I believed” here) I could help them grow away from the plateau they were on.  I was wrong.  I listened to my heart and not my head and when I finally thought about me and not their actual business, I realised I had to walk away for my sanity.  Having lost a lot of money the next objective is to save my house.  Can I do it?  I am nothing if not a fighter but today, my hurts and loss of trust in people have again surfaced and I am, I am not afraid to admit, frightened of what the future may hold.

As I said above, do I regret taking the action I did, morally …. no …. financially …. I do not know how I can recover.

Is it really all about me as they said to me in their correspondence.  I can put it back to them and say clearly, if it was all about me then why did they invite me to join them if they believed that the only person I care about is me.  It is always amazing to me how people try to put blame on anyone else.

Having taken the action I did in trying to get paid for the last 4 months work (remember the only money I have been paid is what I gave them!) I was protecting myself and in that case, they are right, I was thinking about me, yet I looked at the cashflow, organised everything to ensure that they got through to June without a major problem so long as they did not continue to spend on unexpected items, I left a clean financial scenario and I get told, its all about me and no you are not due to paid for the work you did, you are not entitled to any further money.  Can I pursue this legally?  We all know that red tape and solicitor’s fees are likely to tie this up in knots for a long time.  Can their business survive past the next few months?  Only time will tell on this front.  I finally did not believe in their words and they, through my leaving them, no longer believe in me.

Perhaps my readers now know why I have been so quiet for such a longer period of time and as for changes and trust – changes are happening and trust is none.  Will I lose my home through this?  It seems likely but again, time will tell.

Anyone know of any good jobs for a control freak!  Joking!

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