Friday, September 21

Zig Zag

Do you find there are times in your life, when you feel you are zigging, when you should be zagging? Or vice versa?

I must be having a little patch of "off the zag" or something. My brain is playing the wrong tune, or I am missing the beat. Or my thoughts are 'clouding' my ears!

I've tried to tell myself I am just singing the harmonies. Or hearing the different drum. I don't think I have convinced myself really.

Ordinarily, it doesn't bother me too much if my thinking runs against the grain. I feel I have come up with solutions to some problems, by thinking outside the box, or whatever you wish to call it.

For now, it just seems to be a bit wearying. Like swimming against the tide. Though I am not really.


I am humbled to receive another "You Make Me Smile" Award from Sheoflittlebrain, from One Acre Wood.

I seem to be unable to get the size correct on the side bar, in spite of following all advice, so I will just leave it here for now.


Retreating into the past again, I have decided to post about a small cafe I once owned.

Shall we call it Kenny's Noshery. That wasn't the real name, but something similar, & when I purchased the business, to avoid all the legal messing about, I just continued trading under the same name.

I purchased this business on the assurances of our current accountant, that "You can't go wrong! It is a bargain."

Taught me 2 things. Never totally trust an accountant. Never trust a man saying, "You can't go wrong".

Said mongrel Kenny, misrepresented all his figures for starters. Then he lied blatantly misrepresented his customer numbers. Mr Dimbo, our accountant was so intent of prying the balance of our savings out of Gom's hands, for another "too good to be true" scheme, that he didnt bother to give proper & decent pause to investigate the 'shonky' figures, or the 'shonky' lease.

So, here I was up the creek, so to speak. Kenny had given me some vague recipes for the "Specialties of the House" & assured me that the 2 staff would remain to help as long as I would care to employ them.

With the first few days, came the dawning of the reality. The Arcade the shop was in, was not exactly the hot path to the altar of Foodville. Nor was it really handy to businesses. It was a sort of little hidden backwater if honesty prevailed. It was on a pathway to a busy car park, but most of the foot traffic used the alleyway as a short cut. They scurried past.

The two girls who had been staff for Kenny, agreed to spill the beans, when they could see that I was not a mean cow, nor was I about to sack them. They admitted they had been told to fudge the figures, to write false takings in the days notes, to lie about the food quantities.

One girl could see it was not a going concern, & she took another job offer. The second girl D came to work on the 3rd day, hideously beaten up, by her partner. I am talking teeth knocked out, & a very black eye. I told her never mind, take her time to heal, & come back when she was ready. Really I was shocked & sickened to see her damage. Aside from the fact she wouldn't leave the beater, I liked her. She had a wonderful sense of humour, & was popluar with the customers we did have.

My Daughter J came to help me, some days GOM came to help, when he was on a night stint at the "Golden Opportunity." I learnt to make the Lentil Burgers, & the Fruit Smoothies, & various other foods which were freshly prepared each day. I introduced new lines, with some good success. A man came from some distance to buy my chicken sandwiches. He claimed they were the best he had ever tasted, would order for all his staff.

D came back to work, healed up, & swearing that if it happened again, she would leave the beater. She didn't leave him while I still had the shop, but she did eventually.

The shop gradually built a regular clientele. A couple, who worked at the Council, & who were having an affair. He was married, had a son, wouldn't leave till the son was grown. She had never married, but seemed content with the way things were. They often brought a friend. They were nice people, full of fun, & they often brought some wine- though we didn't have a BYO license. They laughed & said, "We are the Council, if you have trouble, just send them to us". They broke the corkscrew, replaced it with a very posh one! Loved having their wine every Friday.

A small timid woman who used to come in, after all the others had left, & always ordered the "Quinch & Salad". I never had the heart to correct her, & tell her it was pronounced "Keesh".

Young Brett, who I have blogged about here, used to come & sometimes help in the shop. Or just call in, to ask if he could come to stay with us for the weekend. Another young lad, who worked locally, came for comfort & company. I suspect he had a small crush on DJ.

The Arcade had a few 'Rules'. There were several different food outlets, & one of the rules was, we could not sell each other's food specialties. Which worked. Until the shop opposite mine, opened a counter to the pavement, & began to sell the same food as mine. When I complained, I was told they had negotiated a new lease. They did not have to abide by the 'Rules' I has signed for.

I had a very good offer, from a man who was very keen to buy the lease from me. He offered a very generous price. Negotiations got under way. Time passed. Then I got told it was not going to proceed, as the leasors had denied the sale. We had it on very good authority, that the Leasors, would not lease to people of their particular Ethnicity. They had a reputation for buying businesses & if they went belly up, they then lit said premises to collect the insurance.

I have no idea it that was the truth of the matter, but the sale was denied.

I eventually sold the shop, to an Italian girl, who was eager to try her specialty food. Her father was providing the money. He had a heart attack & the sale almost fell through. I had joked with D, that I had a bad feeling, & hoped the father didn't come to any harm.

Imagine my horror when I found out about the heart attack. At least we didnt lie about our takings or any other details. They didnt care about such things, as they wished to have a complete change of food style, & decor.

I kept in touch with D for many years. She lived on her own with her two sons, & still had a relationship with her partner. She said they just couldn't live together, but got on really well, living apart.

For D.
Phoebe Snow, Inspired Insanity.

I had to edit this to get the link to Brett.


Elaine Adair said...

I am sorry to hear you are not at your best, but your stories, ARE the best!

fifi said...

What a nice story. You have done so many things!

Next time I'm on the central coast I'll be calling by for a chicken sanger.

I hope you are feeling more "in tune" with the world, but if not, don't worry. I'm always living inn my own reality, which doesn't match anyone elses!

Stomper Girl said...

How impressive that you were able to turn the little cafe into something good. Unbelievable that D kept going with her man, and that she turned up to work after having her eye blacked and her teeth knocked out.

Tanya Brown said...

Good Lord! Talk about a living, breathing nightmare! Businesswise you were kicked about at every turn, and pretty much everybody you had to deal with deserved to be sued. How in the world did you deal with all of this without getting an ulcer?

Aunty Evil said...

Awww meggie, I hope your mood lifts soon!

Got any chocolate?

bluemountainsmary said...

Meggie _ I hope the end of the day is finding you feeling better than the beginning.

Thank you for your story - you know I love them - and it was so good that you kept in contact with D for so long.

Sheila said...

Sorry you are not feeling 100%. I do hope that soon changes..xx
The cafe sounds like one I worked in many years ago, the owner bought it on good faith, only to find out the previuous owner had only used it to launder money. Accountants can have a lot to answer for, especially the 'creative' ones..!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Another incredible chapter of your life, I never grow weary of your tales, they're written with such fervor and detail. Glad D got her life straightened out and that you two remained in touch for so long. I hope you get to feeling better and more focused... maybe it's the change of seasons?

smilnsigh said...

"it just seems to be a bit wearying. Like swimming against the tide. Though I am not really."

*Dare* I say, I'm glad someone else is in this pickle. Yes, I dare say so. -sigh- 'Cause you totally understand.


ancient one said...

Love these stories about your life.

MargaretR said...

I'm afraid I'm still a bit off zag too Meggie. But reading your story put a bit of the zig back. I hope you are feeling just a teeny weeny bit better today?

Alice said...

Another adventure in the life of Meggie that simply reinforces that you really are 'the salt of the earth'.

Ian Lidster said...

Loved your restaurant tale, and I too have always felt that way about my accountants. As for your zig-zag feelings well, with metaphors and allusions as astute as yours, you really must be doing OK.

ancient one said...

I went back to check out the Brett story. I hope things went well for him. We have a situation, similar, playing out in our own family now. So sad what some children have to go through!

Ragged Roses said...

Hope you're zigging and zagging soon! Perhaps you need to make yourself one of your famous chicken sandwiches. Enjoy your weekend
Kim x
Congrats on the award too!

Thimbleanna said...

You make me smile too! I like Kim's suggestion about making one of your famous chicken sandwiches! ;-) Hope you're feeling better by now!

My float said...

I know the feeling of zigging and zagging...but I always thought it would fade as I got older. I'm desolate to find it isn't so!

Great story about the shop. These days you'd be able to sue the accountant - but you did so much better! You made the shop a success.