Sunday, 29 September 2013

Back To Ballito

Who would have guessed??? I thought our trips to Ballito would be no  more. I even blogged about it over here. Our business in Ballito was sold to someone who even fooled cynical old me, or was it just wishful thinking on my part, because it was not an outright sale. Collect money, handover business, say goodbye, move on. No it was trusting a stranger enough to give them a good deal on terms - 24 month terms. No credit checks, no references nothing. You can't get credit at a clothing store for R500.00 without credit checks done and giving your whole history, references, contacts etc. In fact the letting agent would not change the lease to his name, it had to stay in Mark's name. Why?? because they did credit checks and he was not credit worthy or a good credit risk - that should already set off alarm bells, but it didn't - not to Mark anyway. That was in December, 7 December 2012 to be exact and by March 2013, the rumblings of a huge mistake already started.


You might ask and you would be correct in thinking, Why us all the time? It can't be everyone else that is wrong, that takes us for a ride, no there must be more to it and yes there is more to it. Mark always trusting the wrong people, Mark always giving someone, the wrong person a chance in life. Trusting the wrong people, in spite of what I say, despite what I think, because of what I think/say just makes him more determine to go and help the wrong person. 

So we have had this on going late rent payment, late installment for equipment paayment since March. We had to pay their rent and they paid us back, because in March he paid late and Mark received emails; phone calls, text messages by the dozen on the 2 March from both the owner of the premises and letting agent, because rent was late. Then the lies started and something went wrong with the payment - "no the only thing that went wrong was you did not pay" and the denial and lies just carried on. In June, Mark and Chad went down to see what was happening. The payments were getting paid later and later, we heard the staff were not getting paid and the rumblings of another huge mistake was getting louder and louder.  Long story short, Mark brought some of the more expensive equipment back and told JJ (person who bought business on terms)  that he can stop paying us for the equipment until he gets back on his feet and just make sure the rent is paid on the 1st and that he pays his staff. His receptionist worked for us and part of the sale agreement was that he had to keep her and the workshop assistant on for at least 3 months or give them 3 months notice. 

I just had this idea that if they were not paying us for the equipment and paying the rent late then they were not paying Savash, so I phoned her and I was right, but she made excuses for them. As I said the rumblings got louder and Mark went down there. In March, Mark had already said to JJ that if he wanted Mark would go into partnership with him to help him if he was battling financially  (good old Mark to the rescue again). No he didn't need help, he knew it all, he was doing fine, something went wrong with the payment.

Then we heard that the wife was telling people that the reason why they could not pay the staff was because the rent was too high and the monthly installment to us was too high. Now bare in mind that this was a guy who saw the sale agreement, wanted to buy the business and go into partnership with Keith long before we even knew he even  existed He resigned from his job and when we arrived in Ballito in December to discuss the deal, we found him working in our business, before even meeting us, even speaking to Mark, he resigned walked out of his job and there he was running "his new business". He did not have a cent to his name, not even R50.00 to buy a spanner!! When Mark said he is not sure if he is going to do the deal with him, after we found out Keith had been stealing from us and doing private work for customers from the business. JJ said "but I resigned from my job - what am I going to do?" The deal was then sealed. So he thought it was such a good deal that he even walked out of his job, before signing an agreement and then his wife had the dam cheek to insinuate that we did them a dirty by making them pay so much for rent. They knew the rent before even resigning from their jobs, which she did too. She walked out of her job on the Monday - who does that - brand new business and you both think you are going to draw a salary and survive. They needed no help, no advice, no nothing. When we offered advice/help - they knew it all!!! She the wife used to buy ready made coffee; juice, muffins  from the Quick shop everyday all day long and sit in front of Savash and eat, drink and smoke and not pay her and tell her they don't make enough money and can't pay her, but kept her employed to do the work, whilst she, the wife watched movies on the computer. Really disgusting people!!! Oh and she was a big bible punching Christian!!!!!

It just got worse and on Thursday 12th we heard rumours that they were moving out, our phone calls were ignored, emails ignored. Mark managed to speak to the wife on Thursday night, she denied all rumours, lied, made excuses and and and. Mark was toying with the idea of going down on the weekend. On Friday morning the 13th - Friday The 13th!!!! we heard that they were moving out of the workshop and Mark decided there and then that we were going down, before all of our stuff went missing. I arranged for Chad to leave school at 11 am, I told the office lady we had a crises in Ballito and had to go down. I think she thought it was a life and death crises, but I neither denied or elaborated on it. It was a crises, just a different one. Someone stealing our equipment. So I fetched Chad from school, paid our staff wages and went home and packed.

We ended up leaving much later, because Mark can't just up and leave, he had to get cars finished and out of our workshop. We stayed at the Regal Inn. Mark booked a room for us, whilst I went to fetch Chad from school. Mark's home away from home. There are so many places that we can stay at, closer to the beach, but Regal Inn is Mark's Go To Place in Ballito. I can see why, because Raymond the manager greets Mark like his long lost friend and remembers him all the time. We arrived there late, at around 7 or 8 pm, first went to the workshop, which was locked and looked empty. We tried again to get hold of JJ, then when we arrived at the Hotel and I checked my emails he had sent a very cocky email. We had to get a locksmith to break open the lock and change the lock, found out that he had pawned Mark's scooter, sold some of the equipment, removed some of the equipment and just ignored us for the whole weekend. Mark bought his scooter back from the pawn shop and saw that JJ had forged Mark's signature on the change of ownership form. Finally we had something on him that would not require a long drawn out civil case.

They had left the workshop filth dirty, the walls were filthy, the cups and coffee table and containers were broken, dirty messed. There was a glass in reception that had gone mouldy and pitch black. What filthy people. The dirt bin was left over flowing with all her paper coffee cups, evidence that it was not a rumour that she bought cups and cups of coffee all day long. It was just so disgusting.

There was not much more we could do over the weekend, he was hiding away so we went for lunch, the weekend put an end to my healthy eating plan that I mentioned in this post.

We had late lunch at Chad's favourite restaurant in Ballito. The restaurant I don't like, but I must say this time our waitress was eager to please and friendly so it made a difference. Their food is very good , but I don't like their management style.













I had the most amazing Vietnamese Stir Fry Chicken with Cashew Nuts, the fresh Coriander was a bit overpowering, but the meal on the whole was very good.


Vietnamese Chicken Stir Fry




Prawns
Chad and I had butterflied Prawns for starters, they were not the best. Mark had calamari starter, Chad had calamari for mains and Mark had a steak for his main. We did not have dessert, we hardly ever have dessert when we go out to eat. After a starter and mains we are too full to have dessert.
The view of the sea from the restaurant is just so awesome. 
















After lunch we went to the beach for awhile, then went back to the hotel and relaxed there.











We then bought take out from the Fish Shop at the shopping center opposite the hotel. Chad and I had Fish and Chips and Mark had Calamari, the only seafood he eats. Later on we went down to the beach and walked on the beach. Something that is new to Ballito is the sand art on the beach. It was dark so you couldn't see it properly. Durban beach is full of Sand Art, the most amazing Sand Art. I need to post pictures that I took in 2010 when Chad and I went down for a holiday. I only took these two photos of the sand art in Ballito, it is pretty good too.



Sand Art




Sand Art Ballito Beach
We had breakfast at the hotel on Sunday Morning and then left for home. On the way home, I had the most excruciating stomach ache and nausea. When we arrived home I was so sick. I had either a tummy bug or one of the meals I had was not too good. On Monday I felt better, just washed out, drained and sleepy from taking valoid the day before.

The workshop is now locked up and we are paying rent for nothing. Mark has found someone who might take over the lease. They went down there last weekend and we went to Nelspruit this weekend to meet with this person to discuss whether he wants to take it or not. I am having doubts about this too......

It is late now so I will post about our weekend in Nelspruit/Hazyview tomorrow night when I have time and more inclined to blog.

So 'til then good night










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