I attend meetings everyday with attorneys and banking lender's that get uglier and more dysfunctional by the day! I am hearing things that are not leading me to believe, this company is going to make it! A $1.2 million dollar accounting mistake? Where is has all the cash gone? The costing system is incorrect. Your margins are half what you thought, all because of one entry into a year end general ledger?
I wasn't buying it, I figured out in napkins on bars, I wrote it down in notebooks at home, nothing made sense. There was either a completely deficient computer error or someone was lying. after all i did all the buying, it was all above board, I did all the pricing and I knew the overhead better than I knew my wife!! Something didn't add up.
My owner didn't care, because the lawyer's were telling him just to close the doors!1 After all it was an unsecured loan!! Do you know what that means? That means the bank has no collateral. If he did close the doors, the bank would eat $3.2 million dollars for lunch and dinner, for a very long time!! If I knew what I know now, and he was probably 68 at the time, I would have shoved it down their throats. But for some reason he didn't, and I think a lot of that had to do with me!! Maybe not, after all his father started this business and the pride and connection you have to a business you have owned is a very hard thing to let go of. But I was relatively green to the whole thing, and almost always green in these meetings. I remember one time, the owner kept looking over at me and finally he said, Joe, are you alright? Well i clearly was stressed out but what he didn't know, is I just came from playing basketball for 60 minutes at the club down the street, and believe me I was frustrated and jacked up even after the shower, so I was still sweating like crazy!
So this went on for about 4 months. I wasn't sleeping, and I was completely perplexed and trying to get to the bottom of how things could go that wrong in that short of time!
When I look back on it, the accountants had recommended our finance guy. So that clearly was on them and then there was the fact I couldn't get out of my head. Where did the money really go?
All I knew was I needed this job more than life itself, so I started to actually think....... Hmmm maybe i can get a couple of investor's and buy this thing and turn it around. Wow, this believe me gets stranger and stranger. Buying a company from your boss, who's father started the business is hard enough, negotiating and playing hardball is counterintuitive, when you have worked for someone and gained his trust for all these years. I was just starting to climb a huge mountain with a distinct lack of the proper equipment. But all I was thinking about was, my family and the lives of 65 employees. It haunted me everyday for months on end. I had to find a way to make this work, failure was not an option. I was 36 years old, and had ignorance and no fear. What a combination huh?
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