Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Crisis

Kurt got fired. I might as well have said Kurt grew another arm, that’s how unbelievable it is. Especially because it wasn’t due to the economy. And certainly not because of Kurt’s performance. Turns out the boss was using him to get his store up and running and then when he thought it was stable, he fired Kurt and hired some hayseed who doesn’t know half what Kurt knows for half the pay. We put our all into that store. I even worked there for free. Who does that?


We all worked there--Kelly came into the store to help me clean

It was a major shock. Kurt has never gotten fired in his life. There was no warning. We had no idea. If anything, we were getting pats on the back. So we weren’t prepared. And we were hurt. How could this guy do this to us after how hard we worked? How could he do this to us after we did exactly what we said we were going to do and ran that store like it was our own? Knowing, knowing his store was our only income (don’t forget, I worked there for free) and we had a child to take care of? He didn’t even have the decency to give us any notice, not a single day’s notice, causing us to be in dire straits. In fact, the day before this happened, we spent Kurt’s entire paycheck, part on work clothes for that place. And I couldn’t even return them because I removed all the tags and washed them.

Everybody got sick from it—there was so much stress. This happened right around the time my mother took a turn for the worse so if you want to look on the bright side, if this hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have been able to go up there for as long as I did because I was working at the store.

Even so, bright side, dark side, I couldn’t even talk about it on here until now.

The Chinese character for “crisis,” when translated into English, means “opportunity.” Maybe this was the kick in the pants we needed. In Jersey, we had our own company. But when we moved here, Kurt got wooed by a flooring store who heard abut his background and experience. A company van was dangled in front of our faces. There was a 401K plan, health insurance, vacations, raises. Still, we had to really think about it. We’d always been our own boss. But we were scared. Virginia is not New Jersey. Maybe we wouldn’t be successful around here? There just aren’t as many people down here to even buy flooring. And there’s that Yankee thing going on—will they trust me to do a good job for them? It sure would be nice to have a steady paycheck and not always have to worry and maybe even take a vacation like normal people do… And so we took the job.

Does anyone see the irony here? Couple works for themselves and does fine. Couple moves to a new area, feels insecure, and so works for someone else for the security. Ha! The first guy, though not intentionally bad, ended up giving us bounced paychecks because he was a poor businessman. He didn’t mean it. He was actually very good to us. But he put us in a hole. The second guy, who bought out the first guy’s store, had it all planned. He was the bad one. But that’s okay. If there’s one thing I believe in, it’s what goes around comes around. Anyone who has ever hurt me over the years has always gotten bad luck of some kind. I’ve sat back and waited and watched and something bad always happens to them. I don’t have to lift a finger. It’s nature. It’s karma. It’s even in the Bible. Whatever. The point being is if you are a bad person and you hurt people, your time will come. I’m sorry but somehow that makes me feel a little better.

My other consolation is that I know we are now going to be successful doing what we should have done from the get-go—being in our own flooring business—and the guy who screwed us is going to be crying when our company kicks his company’s ass and he realizes he blew it because he had two of the best people in the industry putting their hearts and their souls into his business.

Now we are putting our hearts and souls into our own business. It’s called Shop-At-Home Floors. I admit, it’s going to be tricky. We’re doing this on a shoestring because we’ve had no time to prepare and the economy is really bad, but that’s okay—if anybody can do it, we can.

And so now comes an exciting journey in our lives. The opportunity.

17 comments:

CountryDew said...

Oh wow. I am so sorry to hear about this change of fortune. I hope that your new enterprise works out great for you, though. I know when those doors are swinging it is hard to see yourself walking through them.
Best of luck to you both.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

So sorry to hear about your misfortune. Best of luck with your new business. This whole situation may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. It sounds to me like you are the type of person who can really make a success of a small business.

Snappy Di said...

We have always lived the corporate world and depended on them for our money, insurance, stock holdings and one day our retirement. I'd like Hubby to go to work for himself but the hassles of filing our own taxes, purchasing our own health care and not having a 401K keeps him from doing so. But, for those of you who have run your own business before I say, "Go For It". Wishing you all the luck in the world, Debi. And yes, Karma, that good old Karma will most certainly come back to bite the guy in the ass.

Di

Gilly said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear all that! I do hope and pray that this new opportunity will be what you were waiting for and will succeed beyond all expectations!

Motley said...

Debi, I think you will do great in your new business, you are a "go getter". Those employers(idiots) didn't know what they had! Take what you've learned from this, and make the new company flourish. The reins are in your hands now! And yes , those idiots will get what they deserve, don't worry.

Good Luck,

Motley

Leonora said...

Debi, I wish you the VERY best in your family's new business venture. It's hard to read how your husband (and family!) was mistreated by that employer. You guys sound like fighters with that entrepreneurial spirit counts for a lot. "Shop-At-Home-Floors...sound like my kind of store : )

Cynda said...

I know that jerk and it doesn't surprise me one bit! He will walk over any one to get what he wants but I know what kind of work you all do and he blew it this time. Your store is going to put his store to shame and I will tell everyone where to get there flooring from now on! Be strong. You are in our prayers.

Beth said...

Debi, I know that you and Kurt are going to ultimately do well because you have so much going for you. You're honest, hard-working, and you have such drive and initiative. And you are brimming with fresh and innovative ideas. I think the idea of a flooring store that comes to YOU is a great idea. I pray that it will be a grand success---you deserve it.

Amy Tate said...

Debi, you're inspiring! I am so sorry ya'll have been going through so much hurt. Good things are ahead of you, gal! And your new commercial ROCKS! (Can't you tell I've been around kids for too long?) Seriously, you're going to do just fine. You'll do so well that this other fella will be out of business in no time.

Claudia Condiff said...

Debi,
love the Karma thing...and yes it does work!
The Yankee thing...so wierd, I never knew I was a Yankee until I moved down south! I never knew anyone one who fought in that awful war, but it doesn't matter, cause I'm from up north, so I'm a 'yankee'...and it is always said like a bad taste in their mouth...
well, you know who won that war ! Thats all I am saying...
You and Kurt will do just fine, because you are good people, whether you are from the north or the south, good people will win out!

Country Girl said...

Reading this, I was shocked. It's so debilatating to a person to 'get fired'. I know this because it happened to my husband. Twice in the past year. He's now disabled and it's a long story. What I took from this post is that you're going to pull yourselves together, get behind one another and move on. And I really love the Chinese symbol for crisis. That's perfect!

Rural Rambler said...

Debi I hated reading about Kurt getting fired after all the time and care that you put into this other person's business. I am a firm believer in "what goes around comes around" particularly in retail. I know you will do fine with your new business, the economy is starting to come around and just from what I have read in your blog you guys have a great work ethic and integrity. You will do this together and that other business will be sad they ever messed you over. Nothing beats knowing your product, kindness and taking care of your customers.

Good Luck to you and your family, you will be in our prayers!

nyredhead271 said...

That guy just made a crucial mistake by letting you two go. His store doesn't have a leg to stand on if he was that stupid! He is a hay seed! Be happy. It's going to work out better in the long run. I thought you were giving him too much anyway. And to be so cut throat, not even giving you notice!What is wrong with people?! Why don't you move up by us? Anthony would bend over backwards to get you in our store! :)

Jamie Ferraioli said...

You've always taught me to believe in karma. We're good people! I really believe that everything will turn out for the best one way or another. There's a vintage poster with a slogan on it that all the "cool hipster" kids love. It says "Keep calm and carry on". Actually..here's a link to the back story on it: http://www.keepcalmandcarryon.com/pages/history
We're all fighting some kind of war.

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Look at the daughter trying to comfort the mommy. I raised a good girl.

I just went to that link. Very cool. And interesting since I often say, "Carry on." Now I will add, "Keep calm."

Also interesting that it was 1939 and the start of the war. Pop-Pop said World War II started the year he was born and 9-11 happened on his birthday. We should get him one of those t-shirts!

Going Crunchy said...

Been there, been there, still there!!!! I'm so sorry for the shocker. It can and does stink.

Andrew was laid off right after we bought our house in 2001 - two months before our wedding.

All in all, his starting a business has actually kept us afloat now when everybody else is going through the same thing. He formed an LLC - and it was a good way to go.

Keep us posted - and it is hard to start your own thing- but you can do it. Shannon

Kritter Keeper said...

i understand the yank thing too...coming from north of the mason dixon line myself but in wv it isn't as bad as virginia as we were mostly union. kudos to you for staring your own biz. get it online and promote it. good luck! i hope you become the most successful flooring business in the area! ;~)