What a day! Part one
In order to even begin to describe my day I have to let you know that it will broken down in two segments as they don’t really relate.
A little backdrop…
I have posted before my dislike for my current job. For many different reasons, I just can’t seem to leave what is a prison in my life of a job. I help myself in some ways and I hurt myself in someways.
The fact is, I have been browsing the job boards. The open job market doesn’t exactly lend itself to job seekers. But the thing is, every time I browse the job boards. All I see are jobs I don’t want. The jobs I want need connections. They are the jobs won on the secondary job market. The one that isn’t on career builder. This is a whole post all in on itself.
At the same time, I have been chasing something that I feel would make me a little more happy as a whole. That something is buying a business. Now I have attempted (poorly) to start some random businesses. Actually no I haven’t, but the thing is I feel like I have. The little side jobs that have amounted to nothing aren’t really businesses. But if I had put a little more effort into these ventures or gave some a little more time, then yes…..they would have woven themselves into a business. I know I sound like I am contradicting myself, but if you have been following this blog for the last couple of years, you would know that I am at a crossroads I just can’t break out of. So what is easier than starting a business? Buying a business!
I feel like I have ways to be able to raise the capital to buy a business. But then again, maybe I am just fooling myself. Either way, I am looking at it positively. At the least, the work I do in meeting with potential business sellers is a huge learning experience.
In fact, I would recommend anyone out there that is a self-proclaimed entrepreneur to just browse a site like www.bizbuysell.com and just act like you are interested in buying a business (whether you are or not). But at the last minute decline to buy the business for whatever reason. The learning experience you gain from evaluating the business and the information you gain from your meeting another business owner is invaluable.
A couple years ago, I would have refrained from giving that advice. After all, you are misleading people that may not necessarily deserve it. But one thing I have learned (especially today) is to say fuck it! Business is cut-throat. Everyone can be a nice guy, while at the same time be a complete dick. If you are not looking out for yourself, you are not protecting those closest to you.
Anyway, I have been in talks with a couple businesses that I have the potential to buy in the near future. One more business recently came into the picture and I decided to make a meeting with the seller today late in the afternoon. But before doing so, I went to the office in the morning of my current job and realized I had to set a meeting with a customer who I knew was not all to happy with the offerings of my current company. So I had to travel nearly 2 hours to go to a meeting I didn’t want to go to only to hope to make it back in time for what could be my future company.
So after driving nearly 2 hours across rural Virginia to stop by a bed and breakfast, with whom I was meeting the owner of. I pull up to what looked like a rather boring building in the middle of a winter slump. I sell outdoor advertising. But the thing is, I am pretty limited to what I can and cannot do since our company is a state-run mess that has regulations galore.
I open the gated fence to walk up a silent walkway that you can only picture would be magnificent scene in the Spring. I take my steps up and old, painted over, few steps and silently open the door that was meant to welcome guests.
A lady greats me once I make my first steps in the building.
“Oh you are here to me ___” (I am going to refrain from giving names of people or the business, out of respect)
“Yes I am,” I said.
She goes towards the back room not too far away from where I am standing as I hear her say
“The sign guy is here”
Yippee, I thought. I guess I am just the “sign guy” these days.
The person I am there to meet walks up. He is probably in his early 60′s but looks like he could pass for his mid-to-late 50′s.
I try to start some small talk.
“Wow, so when was this house built?”
“Oh it was built [1800's, don't remember], and it was actually a school house”
We carry on to make some more small talk as we make our way to a small table that looked out of place.
I sit down to tell him that what he is looking for, we simply can’t do for multiple reasons. Again, do to the regulations that we have.
Ha, I poured gas on the fire.
Not even 5 minutes from walking into this place, and one minute from sitting down, I see this guy turn a beet red color and continue to just lash out at me. To be fair, I may be leaving out some small things here and there. But the fact is, I got berated.
He went on.
“See, I am having to do your job for you. You are so incompetent that I have to show you where the signs need to go. Here, here and here”
“But sir, according to the regulations we have, and the signs you currently have. This can’t be done.” I responded.
He went on and on. Calling me names. As you already heard, he called me incompetent, he would go on to call me other names while raising his voice the whole time. I was in the defensive the whole time.
His demeanor was so animated to make me feel belittled. Being the ex-poker player (god, I hate adding the “ex” there) I knew how to read his demeanor. But a blind person could have seen the same.
But as he was calling me useless one more time. I broke out of the person representing a company and said.
“Look, _____, I don’t exactly appreciate the way you are treating me”
For me to even say that, for anyone that knows me, should tell you how poorly this guy was treating me.
“I canceled an appointment, drive out of my way to come here to help you; and this is the thanks I get. I understand your disappointment in the program, but this is no reason to take it out on me.”
The conversation was a good 30 minutes, with about the first 20 minutes of him berating me.
I do have to admit, he had one point going for him to go with the 50 points that were totally off-the-wall. He sent me an email about 2 weeks before I responded to him. It was an email that was sent to me during the holiday season, and I am not going to make an excuse for not answering. But lets just say, it was hard to get caught back up after the new year.
I walked out of the place feeling like I was just interrogated in the middle of war.
The guy was a little nuts when he said “Looks like you proved yourself to be the bigger man than me.”
This came after I responded to his distasteful comments towards me.
All I could say is “it’s not about who is bigger, I was simply here to help.”
I closed the front gate as I skirted off to my car.
Sorry if I am a little all over the place on this post. I just let the fingers roll. I will read this post tomorrow (before I type part 2) and attempt to fill in the blanks.