Photo finish

I returned home last night feeling discouraged. Not downcast, though I might have been, nor disheartened, though I was not far from that.

I’d been out at a pub earlier with a mate watching the footy. We’d had a counter meal and a couple of jugs of beer and watched the big game on the big screen while I ranted at the umpires. He’s a Swans supporter, and I’m not.

I drove back disappointed at the result, and contained in me a deeper feeling of helplessness. Once more the shop is testing me. Busy days follow on from quiet days. One day this week we got not a singly customer. This puts very practical stresses on the situation – paying salaries to begin with, and then the weekly dollars I had promised to keep the shop running.

Yesterday was quiet by any standard, but ridiculously so in comparison to the usual Friday. This week so far we’re probably down by about 40% on the long-term average. If that continues over the weekend then there’s no chance of making the payment on Monday. In theory that means we’ll be out by the end of the week.

In parallel with is are discussions with potential, possibly even likely, buyers. Late yesterday afternoon I met the keenest of them for the fourth time. He’s looked through the place, he’s checked out the books, and last night he had a couple more questions for me. He’s interested, though a little nervous to. With a bit of luck I’ll receive an offer from him shortly.

I’m meeting another potential buyer tomorrow morning, and in the background there lurks the guy who owns three other massage shops.

There’s good reason to think the shop will be sold – if I can hold on long enough. There’s not much time left in me, regardless of the agreement with the agent. We’ve had 3 quiet weeks in a row and it’s just not sustainable. Each week I’m a little further behind where I was the week before. I’m doing a lot of work in the shop to cut costs, and am living very frugally. All the same I’m losing. One good week would change that – even just an average good week – but it may not come in time.

It feels like a bit of a race. The stake here is my financial future. Can I find a buyer before the money runs out? Can I eke out another week of grace? If push comes to shove, can I convince the agent to be generous?

A lot of it now is beyond my control. I’ve done all I can. I just need people to walk through the door, and a lot of them over this weekend if I’m to survive. I don’t know what will happen first, but I hoping against hope that when we get to the finish line I’m first over it. Gonna be tight.

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