Monday, 11 November 2013

My Week In One Word - HELL

I don't know if it is the time of the year or people just taking chances because that is who they are, but we have had a complete week of hell. I have been so close to buying a packet of cigarettes and smoking. It has been six months, but my cravings are stronger now than ever. That feeling of something missing from your life/day/meal is stronger now than one month after I gave up. The only thing that has stopped me from lighting up is the fact that I will not give that person(s) the power to make me give up my smoke free journey. As it is they have had the power to ruin my day/week, they are not going to make me quit after my six month struggle to not smoke.


Mark and I have also been fighting non stop. I am so angry with him that all I can do is fight with him. His stubbornness; stupidity and yes even selfishness to do things that just cause us stress and financial loss and worry has just come to a head now and it has come to a point where I cannot be supportive like I have in the past. He does not learn from his past mistakes and there have been many. Yes we all make mistakes and bad business decisions - once, twice maybe three times, but when you keep doing it and against the advice of others, especially your partner, then it is no longer a mistake or a bad business decision. It is stupidity and selfishness - plain and simple. It makes me so mad that we must all suffer the consequences of his selfish acts. He has now paid rent for an empty workshop for the fourth month and will be doing so for the next 12 or 14 months and when I told him he should not go into partnership with Keith, who did not have a cent to his name, Mark knew better and his stubbornness over ruled all good business sense and common sense. Now we are throwing 15K away every month, in the exact same way as if we were throwing it into the ocean and watching it swallowed up by the current. He is at the point of making another bad decision, that might look like the answer at the moment, but looking at the bigger picture it is going to be another bad move. From now on whatever bad move or stubborn decision he makes, he must sort it out himself. If you can't learn from your past mistakes, then you need to deal with any future mistakes you make on your own, just like you made them on your own.


Other than our own issues and problems we have had staff problems galore this week. It started off with one of our staff members resigning, because he has TB (Tuberculosis) and is going home to the Eastern Cape to recover. He never gave a doctor's letter or medical report, he just said he has TB. Mark seems to think he has AIDS. He was at work on Monday, phoned in sick on Tuesday, resigned by text message on Wednesday and came in on Friday to bring his overalls back - we told him to keep them. We thought he had found another job and lied about being sick, but then he came in to say goodbye and you could see he was really sick and looked gaunt and thin, he was thin before, but now even more so. When I nursed, many many years ago, Tuberculosis was a notifiable communicable disease, it seems it no longer is. No one seems to care that this man could be spreading his TB around like wild fire. It is in his lungs and is highly contagious  was highly contagious when I nursed in the 80's. Now it seems you can walk out of hospital, get in a minibus tax or two or three, go back to the rural areas and get better on your own or die at home in peace. I phoned the TB Clinics to find out if the rest of the staff and our selves should be tested and it seems that you don't have to. Well lets hope none of us have it. We have to be positive about something.

On the back of that we had another staff member who incidentally only started the other week, he worked for the guy who took over our business in Ballito and came up here after we went down to sort out the problems there. He begged and pleaded with us for a job up here, when we were down in September and before that and I told him a thousand times or more that Joburg is a harsh town to survive in if you don't know anyone. He still came up and has given us attitude ever since. Mark says he reminds him of a teenager who does not get his own way. He is only 23, but has really bad attitude and told us on Monday he is leaving and we said it is fine he can leave no one is stopping him. He just carried on giving us attitude. Phineas tried to intervene and sort it out and he gave Phineas attitude and then left, before Mark totally lost his temper. So we have one person who wants to work but can't due to ill health and one little upstart who is too lazy to work and came to Joburg thinking he will find a free pot of gold with his name on it. It was not long and he was phoning Phineas to try and get his job back, that was the next day and since then has been sending both Phineas and Mark "please call me's" a hundred times a day. The cheek of it, expecting Phineas to use his airtime, when he tried to help him he was told to basically stay out of it. That is after Phineas took him under his wing and looked out for him and gave him lifts to and from work with out charging him a cent. Then on the same day we had drama with one of Mark's so called very good customers, who I cannot stand I have never liked him and the more I get to know him, the more I despise him. He has owed us money and a huge amount since April for one of his cars and flies in and out like he owns the place. Mark always has this "good service - its a customer attitude" but sorry the customer is King until the day he tries to get out of paying or simply does not pay. Everyone who acts like they are Mark's second best friend ends up screwing him over. I keep telling him that they are not his friends, they get friendly to get out of paying. It is one thing being friendly to your customers, but as soon as the lines are blurred they end up not paying. This guy is a racist swine, one of the reasons why I don't like him. He is one of those Apartheid Mafia type who lives in the lap of luxury benefiting from the oppressed of the past regime. Well this guy came flying in like he owns the place, got all heavy and full of attitude and Mark lost it with him completely. I was shocked and had my two cents say to him too. I think he thought Mark was a pushover and softy and then saw the real Mark in action and then had a quick change of attitude and paid one of the invoices. Still owes us for another one and was shocked when he said to Mark "So don't you want my business" in other words a cheap attempt of a threat to take his business elsewhere and Mark said No I don't want your business anymore, not with your attitude about paying. What gets me is that people seem to think that because they bring us business or referrals they should get their cars done for free. Well thank you, I have been shopping at Woolworths and Pick'nPay and loads of other stores all my life, am I now going to pay less than the marked price or get a trolley load of stuff for free, because I shop there every week or twice a week. No I am not, so why would anyone think we would do business for nothing. Does our landlord give us a discount on our rent, because 15 cars out of the 20 are referrals? No so why do people expect it. Why because Mark does go the extra mile and does get too friendly with the wrong people. Don't get me wrong of course I also value clients/customers/business, but sometimes you have to let go of those that drain you and bring you down so that you can give 200% to all your other clients, instead of only 70% or 90% because you are being dragged down by that tiny percent that just wants everything for nothing. And all that happened on my sixth month anniversary of giving up cigarettes.


I do a newsletter for work, which I send out once a month during the first week of the month and have been doing it for about three years. Admittedly, there are months that I just copy and paste, but I would be lying if I said I did not put effort into it or that it was not time consuming, because the truth of the matter is that I do try make it if not interesting then informative and even though I do at times cheat and just copy and paste from previous newsletters, I do try and make it look slightly different. On Wednesday morning I received an email from one of our very good customers - aren't they all. I opened the email thinking it was a proof of payment, because one of their vehicles was at our other branch, but it wasn't a proof of payment, it was a PDF "Christmas Wishes" document - nothing wrong with that. I opened it and the first thing I saw were these little Christmas bells I use on my December newsletter and the first thing I thought was dam, now I have to Google search a new image for this December's newsletter. Then I saw they also have a quote and "Dear Valued Customer" - I don't use Client, because Customer sounds more friendly and informal, the way I like my newsletter to come across. I also do mine in email format and not PDF, so that it comes across friendly and informal. I always use Henry Ford Quotes, because a) it is relevant to our industry and b) there are so many and c) they are relevant to business. Now and again I use a quote that is appropriate to business, but not Henry Ford's because I just can't find one that I have not used before. This "Christmas Wishes" document had the following quote: "The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them." - Benjamin Jowett. This started to feel like I was reading my own newsletter. I knew I had used that quote before. I have all my newsletters saved. I used that quote in my December Newsletter!!!!!!! I also put a Happy Holidays image at the end - they had that image to!!!!!! As I read through their Christmas wishes I compared it with my December one. Who ever did it, the owner of the business, whose email address I have or his new office assistant deleted anything not relevant to their business and then used my wording for everything else. They are in the security industry and we are in the Motor Industry, who would have thought you could copy something from a different industry - they did!!! The irony of the quote seemed to wash over them too.

Part Of My News Letter

The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them." - Benjamin Jowett

Dear Valued Customer,
This is our final newsletter for 2012!!
We would like to take this opportunity to Thank You for your support over the past year.

We will be closing on the 14 December 2012 until the 7 January 2013, to give our staff a well deserved rest and time to spend with their families over the festive season. However, Mark will be available from the 17th to the 20th December for minor repairs and services.  Please note that all repairs are subject to our suppliers being open as the bulk of the Motor Industry shuts down from the 14 December until the 14 January. 

Part Of Their Newsletter - and the rest is no different

"The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them." - Benjamin Jowett
Dear Valued Customer,
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the past year.
We will be closing on the 18th December 2013 until the 6th January 2014, to give our staff a well-deserved rest and
time to spend with their families over the festive season. However, Skeleton staff will be available from the 19th to
the 24th December for minor repairs and services.
Please note that all repairs are subject to our suppliers being open as the bulk of the Electronics and building
Industry shuts down from the 13th December until the 6th January 2014.

Here I was thinking no one even read my newsletters. I am still uncertain as to whether I am shocked annoyed or flabbergasted that it did not bother them that I am on their mailing list and that I would notice the similarity my ramblings copied and pasted into a PDF document. I know you can't steal an idea, but really!!! I am going to find it extremely hard not to say anything when I do see them again, because tact is not one of my strong points.

Our week ended on another bad note. We had a new client come in for a small R500.00 job on her indicators and from the first of at least 15 calls to book the vehicle in, I sensed there was going to be a problem, for no other reason than my sixth sense and it was a problem, just like I had predicted. Firstly I think they just wanted us to tell them what was wrong so they could do the repairs themselves and when they did not get that right they came up with their next plan. We supposedly lost their remote for their central locking and alarm. An alarm that never went off once when Mark used the key to unlock the door and move the car after they parked it in front of our gate. The alarm never went off,  because it was never working. Gavin even showed them it was not working and they brushed over it with their lies and cons. She drives a 1999 car, but knew that the remote cost R1500.00 at the agents???? Yea right. It was a remote from the agents according to her and the boyfriend said they will just get a quote and we will have to pay for it and that got my back up straight away. Don't insinuate that I am a liar or a thief or anyone close to me. The remote was from the "agents", but the disconnected alarm in the car was a cheap aftermarket one. I am so tired of people who take chances and con others. Again, Mark is like "Come on Monday and I will sort it out" They are liars and cons and I don't believe that will be the end of them.


I wish it was so easy to delete people out of my life totally, but what I do know is 

And with that last quote, I wish you a good evening and hopefully the coming week will be better than the last few. I am off to walk on the treadmill now - the only good thing about this week. I have walked everyday this week, except Thursday night, I was very emotional tired and stressed, but I am making up for it tonight. I walked this morning so now will be my 7th time this week. I walk 30 minutes, but am still struggling with speed - my chest tightens, my throat closes, but everyday it gets better and better. I am hoping that my metabolism will speed up and that the walking/tight chest/wheezing will finally get all the gunk out of my lungs and I will finally see the benefits of not smoking. Apparently after you give up smoking you cough a lot and cough up phlegm - I haven't as yet. Now and again I have choking coughing fits at night, more like postnasal drip coughs, other than that I have not coughed a lot, I do have a kind of burny taste at the back of my throat, something I can't describe or explain, I also have a kind of unexplained film across my throat - whether it is real or an illusion I won't know, but it is there. 

Before I waffle on any longer - let me go change and walk.
PS - Excuse the typos of which I am sure there will be many. I have been updating this post throughout the day, whilst running a backup; copying music from my laptop onto my phone to make my treadmill walking less tedious and updating my files and pictures on Skydrive, so my laptop has been excessively overworked and exceedingly slow.......... and I am off for real now.....

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