Die another day

Just when you think some sort of relief might be in sight something comes along to knock the stuffing out of you again. On Saturday I thought I had a buyer. Come Monday the landlord told me who cares, you’re out.

That’s pretty much how it happened. On Sunday night I sent an email to the agent advising her that I had received an offer on the shop and was hopeful of getting a deal done this week. I thought that might take some of the pressure off.

Monday morning I toddle off to class. While I’m there my phone dies. Well actually, the technical term is disconnected because I haven’t paid the bill – that’s how bad I’m going. As it turns out it’s the worst possible timing. I can receive phone calls and messages, but not make any. More importantly it means my email is offline.

What that means is that it’s not until 6pm when I’m in front of my desk that I see the email from the agent sent 8.15 yesterday morning. The first two words of her email in fact were Too late… She goes on to say that they’ve heard it all before and we don’t believe you and the landlord has run out of patience so pack up your things and scram – or words to that effect.

I was flabbergasted. Somewhere inside me there was a wicked, insane laugh. After all this, after all the hard work and dealing with countless time-wasting critters and scrambling each week to get enough money to pay salaries and rent and so on and then finally – finally! – finding someone who’s willing to take on the shop – that’s the very moment they pull the rug from under me. You have to admit, there is some evil humour in it (and people say God doesn’t exist?).

Flabbergastation quickly became fury. What the fuckin’ fuck? Probably not the wisest thing to do, but within a couple of minutes I had let my fury guide my fingers and an email was written and on its way. It wasn’t too bad actually. I remember using the phrase ‘utterly foolish’. I expressed amazement at this course of action just as I had a buyer, pondering aloud if in fact there was some ulterior motive.

I got a swift response, surprisingly informal given the conversation once more sceptical of everything – my veracity, the value of the shop, and so on, and once making the point that the landlord had had enough.

My next email was more on point. I rebuked her for the imputations made against my character and the claims about the business. I went into more detail, explaining how difficult it is to find a credible buyer in a sea of shonky characters – it’s not like selling a used car, I said. I made reference to the interested party’s, and how as owner operators they are just the right type to make a go of the business. I told her I would drop by her office today to discuss properly.

That’s what I did. I managed to sleep ok after earlier getting about like a cat on a hot tin roof. This morning I went into my class again. At lunchtime I visited them. It was a good meeting.

I met with the senior agent I had been speaking with, and her boss, the principle of the business. They seem reasonable people. I explained something of the situation. I expressed my complete understanding of the landlord’s frustration, but reiterated once more it was the unavoidable outcome of a shitful situation. I told them some of that. I spoke about the Thai girls looking to buy, and how optimistic I was and at the end of it they wished me luck and gave me till Friday. That’s fair.

I walked away relieved, but numbed still. How many bullets do I dodge before one gets me square between the eyes? I can’t afford to be playing chicken too much longer with the fates. (In ll fairness – and to switch metaphors – I often as if I’m playing a high-stakes game of poker with loaded cards. I mean, give me a break.)

Tonight I met with the girls. As they had intimated the other night, they want to do a partnership with me, 75/25. I’m not keen, but after hearing their story tonight there seems little option. Then it was just a matter of negotiating a price. That’s where it stands – I can’t afford to negotiate too hard, but I’m not going to rollover either. They have a price they’re going off to think about. I think they’ll do it.

That will be a relief, but they will still need to be approved by the agent, and then there’s the legal stuff. Still, I live another day.

Seriously, my life has thrills and spills than Luna park.


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