June 2, 2009
I have actually taken excerpts straight from my journal, this was the first time I documented this journey while it was happening. I knew this would be an experience that I would want to look back on one day as it has taught me many lessons.
Tuesday June 2nd was the big day. I was pitching to the bank for the loan to fund my company through the first few years. I had spent countless hours preparing my business plan, presentation and financials, needless to say I was very nervous. I picked up Mary for the ride to the bank and as we drive she starts telling me about these new bracelets she’s selling and how they are the next hot thing.
Then she starts gushing to me saying “I know Kathleen Jane is going to be famous, you’re going to make it big and I’m sure that you’ll get a buyout offer in a few years.” She said so much in such a short span of time it’s hard to remember all of it. She was going on and on about how much I’ve done and how she was so excited to be a part of it. She was laying it on so thick that I started to wonder what she was up to.
That is when she tells me she wants to partner with me, here’s the deal, she will be charging everyone else $150.00 an hour for her consulting. Apparently she has other designers that want her to consult with them the same as she does for me. She says she wants in on my company because she knows we will be rich and famous in a few years. So she will keep her rate at $50 an hour for me but she also wants 10% of the company. She continues on about how she will start invoicing me that way. She starts saying I will bill you $150 an hour and cut the $100 out and put that towards shares of the company. In fact I can even claim that in my taxes and save even more money. How thoughtful of her to be worrying about me and my taxes, I guess this way I can have more money for her to take.
Something I’ve since realized was that she was always quick to point out that something wasn’t worth the money or when she thought others were trying to charge me too much money. Which I appreciated, but apparently that did not apply to her.
I am really kind of stunned seeing as we are on our way to the bank and she’s saying these things so fast and saying so many different things, it’s hard to take it in right away. I decide to deal with this later and focus on the task at hand, presenting to the bank.
We meet Amy (fictitious name) at the bank as she has also agreed to attend to lend her support. We meet with the bankers, whom I have already semi presented to so I know them and feel comfortable with both of them.
Mary immediately hijacks the meeting and will not stop talking. She starts throwing out crazy numbers, and dropping names, she is so over the top I think I am going to have a heart attack as I listen. As if these bankers even know or care who these people are. I was stunned, at a certain point I actually considered if kicking her under the table would be a good idea. I needed to shut her up but, she just keeps droning on and on.
When I blatantly interrupt her to get a word in she barely lets me get a few sentences in before she takes over again. As I sit there listening to Mary ruin any remote chance of me getting the loan. I look across the table at Amy’s face, I see she is as alarmed as I am. At one point Amy abruptly brings the conversation back around to the conservative numbers in my projections and attempts to get this back on track. I am grateful to her for trying but Mary doesn’t have a clue and continues on.
I could even see the bankers feeling for me as they attempted to ask me specific questions and when I open my mouth to answer Mary literally talks right over me and answers for me. Finally mercifully, the meeting ends.
So I take Mary to lunch which we had preplanned weeks before the meeting, she has absolutely no clue that the meeting didn’t go well. During lunch she continues to talk to me about her new role in the business. As if this has already been decided. I find I’m only partly listening as I am trying to process what she is saying I keep getting these flashbacks of past incidents with Mary. As she plans my life for me I have all of these scenes playing in my head.
Then she says something that brings me back to the now, she looks at me and says very seriously, “ I want to tell you something and I don’t want you to take it wrong.” She’s got my undivided attention now “what on Earth could she say to me at this point, she wants my whole company and I can work for her. “