Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Lord knows the times are hard for everyone at the moment (though the local pawn broker seems to be doing a roaring trade) but for the Blake household the shit has finally hit the fan, disintegrated at speed and then ricocheted around at a full 4D 360 degrees and coated absolutely everything.
I’m not going to reveal the harrowing state of my finances in detail but as some of you know I was already scouting around for a 3rd job (on top of my full time local authority post and my part time web design business) to help cover the shortfall we were experiencing.
We seem to be one of those families that has fallen in-between the cracks of social welfare. We can’t afford to have Karen not working but neither can we afford to put Tom into full time child care if Karen works full time. Therefore Karen works part-time and Tom goes into childcare part time. Which we still can’t afford. But as we can’t afford the full time child care even more we’ve no choice... It’s not even a vicious circle. It’s just a vicious hole.
I’ve had no real luck with acquiring a third job so far though was offered a post at a school – cleaning – for 17.5 hours a week last week. Unfortunately it would have meant me leaving the house at 8.30am to fulfill my full time employment obligations, finishing at 5.30pm, walking 2 miles to the school and then working through until 9.30 at night 5 days a week.
I was sorely tempted as we need the money so badly.
Karen however put her foot down. Something about loving me and not wanting me in hospital with exhaustion by Christmas and on the mortuary slab with a heart attack by Easter 2010.
Thinking about it, I suppose, she had a point. I’d be half dead within a month and wouldn’t have seen much of my family for the duration – which at the end of the day is who I’m doing all this for.
So I turned it down.
But I’m now wondering whether I’ve looked at a gift horse in the mouth and bitten the hand that was offering me food.
My little web design business has effectively bitten the dust.
I had two regular clients whose commissions each month added about £200 to the family coffers. The first is an amateur photographer and I’d built him a site to showcase his work. The other had various recruitment web sites and supplied me with the bulk of my work. They had bloody good rates from me – a darn sight cheaper than anything a high street internet business would have offered them. And both were making a decent amount of money from their sites – in fact the recruitment people have bought themselves new premises and new sports cars... or so my insider mole has told me.
However it seems Mr Photographer has acquired a new friend who is Flashed up to the gills (I can’t afford to buy a book on Flash at the moment let alone go for retraining) and is happy to work for the fiscal equivalent of peanuts. This is fine. Mr Photographer is not a business, he’s an individual. It’s his prerogative. Though I am hurt that after a long association he hasn’t had the decency to actually tell me that he’s dropped me in favour of another web designer. Instead I’ve had to find out through a mutual friend who is as disappointed in his actions as I am.
What really cheeses me off though is that Mr Photographer has also sold this new cheaper web designer to my other clients who, being chancers of the highest order, have also dropped me – again without any notification or “thank you very much for your services but this is goodbye”. And given their untrustworthy business nature I’m now very doubtful that they’ll pay my last invoice – thankfully they’re only into me for £90 but it’s £90 I desperately need.
My family’s one and only lifeline has effectively been severed just to save someone else a few pounds.
I know. I know.
It’s business. I shouldn’t take it personally. It’s not like we had a binding contract.
But I am very upset by it all and am feeling rather defeated and shat on at the moment. Acquiring new business in the current climate is extremely difficult. Acquiring a client who requires regular work is virtually impossible. It’s a real rarity.
I have no idea what we’re going to do. It’s no longer a case of us having no money.
We have less than no money.
Our only hope now is my aunt’s will and a bunch of solicitors who are content to swim slowly through toffee to get it sorted out.
I only hope we can keep our heads above water until the lifeboats reach us...