I am a business woman, and a pretty sharp one I like to think. As many of you know me personally, you know that I can be very tough but very fair. I am opinionated, strong willed, dedicated, and a hard worker.
Having said that, I am also the biggest push over on the face of the earth. If you have a sob story or need help, I will drop what I am doing and come to help, even if it interferes with things I need to do or get done. I will do what you need to have done; I will short myself on sleep or personal time and even money to help you out.
You also all know I have a creative streak a mile long and a mile wide. I am always making something or painting something or what have you. This is how I got into this trouble in the first place; I have a friend who needed to make extra money, so she wanted to start doing craft shows to sell things she had created. I just wanted to find a way to make things that I knew my family and friends would love and be able to give it away without it putting a huge dent in my “fun money”
Where we were purchasing our supplies at the time just wouldn’t work ( very cost prohibitive if you planned to resell), so we started looking for other resources, in our search to find new suppliers we were coming across equipment to be able to do it ourselves from scratch so to speak, so I started purchasing it. (Where I was going with it is another story) So in our course of looking for new suppliers we came across one that sounded “too good to be true”. The pricing was half or less than what we were paying. They said they believed in making things affordable to people so they could afford to do things. It’s all about helping……. OH you want to learn the business? Well I have been doing it for a while, I can teach you what I know, it will be great to have more people doing this and keeping it alive. You know it is all about helping each other.
This is where my saga begins because I was STUPID and my good nature was taken advantage of. This person pretends to be generous and caring, Oh here take this, you need it, and I have plenty. Oh you helped me do X, Y and Z so take this. They went as far as putting cash back in my purse after I had paid.
So Thanks to You Tube you can learn to do anything, I watched all the video’s I could find to learn what skills I needed in order to produce the “raw product”…. This person offers to show us how to use their high tech equipment….. Why not I say to myself and take an evening out of my life to “practice” using their equipment. I go home and do it the Youtube way. I even showed my 2 little nephews 7 and 4 how to do what I was doing. It was hard work and I don’t have the facilities right now to be able to produce from raw product. So they offer to allow me to use their equipment etc, the problem is there is a curing period involved so it doesn’t make any sense to start the process if you can’t finish the process so that just doesn’t work. Then I am told that if I help do this labor intensive part and the next 2 steps, I can create what I need for myself and I won’t have to pay the finished charge. Well this is a decent deal, not the best as the labor is hard but I am not afraid of hard work. So it progressed very quickly to a partnership. Once the busy season was over I would build a website, get them online, etc etc etc. So I worked my tail off. I got very little for myself because I was too busy doing their work for their orders and their facilities orders. Oh did a get a couple of things, sure but not nearly enough for all of the time and effort I put in. I just figured it would all even out in the end. In retrospect, I should have taken my fair share.
Once my contacts found out what I was doing, I had people that wanted things I could create, they wanted me to come and show them how to do it. I had a very definite interest and in turn was bringing this person more customers and more outside orders and thereby building the business. I had a corporate order that was place that would have netted them a tidy little sum of money, as well as me. When I made money, I invested it into things that would benefit not only me but also this person. There is an entire line of equipment I would love to have and the plan was to buy it all with the profit from the corporate order so it could be utilized by me and them…. A win/win so to speak.
I don’t know if it was jealousy on this person’s part, but they became more and more difficult to deal with. They became physically abusive (they would continually poke me in the arm and laugh when I would tell them it hurt. They would say “I want to see if I can give you a bruise”. WHO DOES THIS? ). OH My labor wasn’t just on making raw product, I helped them reorganize their inventory, build a shed, move equipment to the shed, hold their 4 dogs still while they cleaned their ears out and even helped repair their home washing machine. OH wasn’t this all great, they finally found a friend they could work with, and that they actually worked. You see they tried working with someone but that person didn’t do any of the work.
Of course as I am assisting them in getting all of their product and orders completed, the equipment that I brought to use was sitting unused and waiting. The corporate order I needed to complete was also going uncompleted. I take 2 of my last 4 vacation days to go to their facility to work specifically on the corporate order. I bust my tail end 14 hours 1 day and 12 the next getting as much done as I can.
They knew I was committed on a particular evening (it was one of my dearest friends birthdays), and even though I was committed I had planned on going to their facility a bit later. Suddenly my phone explodes with text messages telling me that the whole corporate order is wrong, and how could I commit to it, that none of it is useable. So I leave my dear friends birthday party and go chasing over to the supplier only to find out that they had taken it upon themselves to do the “finishing touches” on the product ( all of which I was capable of doing and had planned on doing). As I go rushing into the facility I find over half of the order ready to be put in boxes, that it wasn’t unusable, it just needed a downsizing of accessory pieces. I stood stunned asking what was going on, I was told that the accessory pieces I had were too large so they switched them for some smaller pieces they had. So while they had put the “finishing” touches on some of them, I did the majority of the work. Well this set the stage for them to royally screw me out of all of my time, effort, product and equipment.
The following day we were setting up for an exhibit and they were extremely unhappy and moody. I let it slide honestly I was not in a happy place as when I arrived at their facility, they were not ready to leave to set up for the exhibit. All of their things needed to be prepped and packed. I feel that they did not like that fact that I was not letting them set up as they wanted to. They wanted to change the whole display and I didn’t want to invest any more money in display equipment as it was the last exhibit of the season. I said repeatedly that it was all a great idea and that we would certainly do it in the coming year.
At the exhibit they asked a simple question which I answered, and they decided that I had a “Tone” when I responded and refused to speak to me. I tried to explain I had no tone and if I did it was unintentional…. still the cold shoulder. They wanted to undercut everyone’s price at the exhibit and I tried to explain that they couldn’t do that and they accused me of telling them how to run their business. Odd, that they had no trouble telling someone else how they should run theirs.
I received a text later telling me I was horrible and that they no longer wanted to “have a relationship” with me, much like a child that doesn’t get their way. Again told them that they were blowing things out of proportion…. cold shoulder. SIGH This is supposed to be a friend????
They texted again a few days later and said that they were upset that day and wanted to talk it over. That they were my friend and they really wanted to work it out. So I said Fine, gave a day and time and that wasn’t good enough. I tried to make arrangement to pick up some of the things I needed…. They had an explosive tirade again via text. This went on a couple of times, any time I did not say what they wanted me to say…. Which I am guessing was to reassure them that they were the absolute BEST and I SUCKED. (Which to me is groveling and I just won’t do that.) They held my corporate order as hostage to try and beat me into submission or to control me. I informed the company that ordered it that there were issues and that they needed to buy something else. They took care of their corporate gifts for this past year.
I was told by family and friends to wait and settle everything after the holidays, which I did. Time did not help I can tell you. It made this person more irate than before. They went as far as to send me a death threat. Seriously??? I am currently out nearly $9000.00 dollars in labor, time, equipment and supplies and they are going to threaten me? So I went to try and pick up my equipment, I refused to even step foot on the property, I don’t know if they have a gun and after all the hostile text messages they had sent me I was going to be cautious. Yes I called the Police Department when they refused to give me my equipment, hoping that they could help them see reason. They had the poor police playing messenger boys for them, I thought it over and discussed it with my advisors and we determined that they were not getting another dime of my money.
Thankfully I remembered to document some of the things, the one thing I didn’t remember to do as a business woman….. Get everything in writing. I do that every day in my business, WHY did I think this was different? Because it was a hobby that I was trying to turn into a little side business, did I view it as less than a real business? Did I not bother with all of that because I considered them a friend and I thought for sure they wouldn’t screw me over? Also, Label every piece of equipment you have as your property, don’t lend or leave anything anywhere without having a signed agreement that they have borrowed it so you can get it back. So if I don’t get my property back, this will be a very expensive lesson to have learned…. But I can assure you not one I will repeat. My only saving grace is that although they denied to law enforcement that I was their partner, they failed to remember an interview that they gave to a cable TV station where they distinctly identify me as their partner. So even though I don’t have it in writing… I have the words coming out of their mouth.
In case you want to know, yes I will probably be less inclined to help someone out. Ah who am I kidding, that would be like asking me not to shop ever again….. I will just be a little bit more choosey. So in the future, if I decline to help you, it is not you……. It is this person who claimed to be a friend that screwed me over, OH and YES I am a firm believer in KARMA, and Like Karma I am ………….