Monday, 27 August 2007

The end of our shattered dream

My holiday in Manila was well spent..Hubby again joined me there for 2 more weeks due to some delays with documents for the ship.Would´nt come into more details about Manila holiday so I can continue with last part of my life during our business venture in Portugal.

Before we left Portugal for the holiday,we gave all the keys to "P", hubby´s son. He was a young man in his 20´s & full of ideas about business. It was myself who encouraged hubby to give him a chance to prove himself about his capabilities.We gave him the keys for the apartment ( for him to be near the shop),car,& the shop keys, and the 4 or 5 employees to help him.

Before going back to Lisbon in middle of October, P was informed about my arrival & flight details. When I arrived he did´nt show up in the airport. I did´nt wait so much thingking that maybe he was still occupied in the restaurant at that time,so I took a taxi home.
I arrived home without the key of our apartment, I got in the building by ringing our cleaning lady´s house for her to open the entrance door,I went up to our apartment & waited in the lobby for "P´s" arrival which I thought he will be home soon but he did´nt come. I was already so upset,sleepy & tired from my long joutney.I decided to go to the restaurant, leaving my lugage to the care of our cleaning lady.

"P" was there, I saw it in his eyes he was not happy to see me. He said, he did´nt know I was coming that day ( he knows, because his father informed him).He was with his grandparents,they accompanied him to the garage to fix a problem in the car.I stayed in the restaurant till closing time.I had the impression,we already lost our clients, the restaurant looks gloomy & dead business wise. We went home, I went immediately to bed, exhausted I fell asleep immediately.

Next day I notice something different in our bedroom but as there were so many things to do, i did´nt pay much attention to details.We went to work. Asked him about the situation in the restaurant & the gift shop.I first went to the gift shop,did a bit of tidying, changed show window display,sold a few things but as I needed a change,I noticed our cash box was´nt there so I asked P where was it? He said it has always been in the same place..It was gone, it disappeared, he did´nt know why.

Did´nt received any income from the restaurant,there was´nt anything to give & lost some more money that was in the gift shop. I did´nt asked anything about restaurant income thingking that maybe he used all of it paying bills & salaries..It has always been that way, I put the income aside to pay bills & salaries & keep the extra to the bank.

I was wrong,putting him in charge was a big mistake,a disaster!!!! It was a big headache for me when I found out later, I have to pay 2 months late salaries of one guy that he employed, the restaurant lost our regular clients, dont know why he needed another employee? P´s salary of 2 months ( yes, we´re paying him salary ),kids allotment was also due,2 months each delayed rental payment of all 3 shops, exuberant bills from the meat shop, money he borrowed from the grandparents for the restaurant,electric & water bills,broken handle of our fridge, window shutter out of order, I have to put the car for service,and for me the worst of them all,my privacy was violated, he slept in our "BEDROOM" all those days that we were gone!! I got so angry when I found out he has been using our room! The apartment has 3 bedrooms & he has his owm bedroom that he uses everytime he comes to stay with us & he decided to use our bedroom!I really got so angry & told him how I feel for violating our trust.I told him that my privacy is very important for me, he should´nt have done what he did invading our bedroom until he was invited to do so. He did´nt understand why.

That was the beginning of my worst headache,hubby´s trip back to lisbon keep on getting postponed due to some extra work to be done along the way.I was worried, i dont know how i will pay our debts... I started paying the smaller debts by bringing back again our regular clients which came slowly until they were sure that i was in charge again of the kitchen. Modesty aside, they prefer my portuguese cooking rather than my genuine portuguese cooks!More endurance on my part.

I was able to sell the rights of the gift shop, one less headache because with the money I received paid our biggest debts, the delayed rental payments for 3 shops.I spent my birthday in late November all alone,Christmas & New Year as well..My in laws did´nt come to see me or invite me during those occasions as they usually do or vice versa when hubby is here. Mom in law thoughtI was a monster, I´ve mistreated badly her beloved grandson by putting him to work in the restaurant.The poor little kid she said was working like a slave for us.Why did we do that to him? Maybe she thought P was working for free!She did´nt know her grandson wants to prove himself too, its for him to grow & learn.I dont doubt that P really did his best,he even did the cooking himself & he also almost burned down the restaurantt!! P mismanaged the restaurant,he did´nt have the experience, It was wrong of us to put him in charge,he lacks experience & maturity to manage on his own.That´s all!

When hubby arrived in Fev. after 4 months of absence,the restaurant business running smoothly again but I told hubby honestly that I can no longer withstand my life working in the restaurant,the hardship, the frustration, the difficulties.It´s not my life, cant go on working that way..Its not worth it, we gave it a try but it did´nt make us happy, it was a shattered dream.

Only then I told hubby what had happened during his absence, the financial dificulties i had to endure & cover our debts,my verbal encounter with his mom & all the other many situation i have to solve on my own re.employees,clients & others.Hubby could´nt believe when he learned all that had happened with me, he could´nt find words to say.He just embraced me...Being the explosive & temperamental person as he is, he did´nt say a word to people concerned.All that I know he became very protective to me especially if he hears somebody critisizing or say something about me, he would´nt ignore it, they will have to hear & listen to what he has to say!!

Final decission, we posted an advertisement selling the restaurant. Within 2 months time, exactly 3 years in April 1994 we signed the transfer of sale to a new owner.

" WE WERE FREE "!!!! from all the hustle´s, trauma´s we experienced with this business venture!!!

No comments: