My dear Readers who follow my posts, please forgive me as I must take a step back from describing the latest status of my romance. Recent events have short circuited me. Namely, coming to terms with the fact that the love of my life was a male bondage porn star. On the plus side, I discovered other porn videos where he performed traditional intercourse. Nevertheless, watching them all, I underwent an experience equivalent to a scene in Clockwork Orange. Let's say this definitely constitutes an adventure I never anticipated.
So, I'm taking a short respite to recount one of my more celebrated tales when I beat the system.
Don't worry - there's MORE to COME (cum?) about the romance that never should've been! Many more twists. Oh my!
A long time ago my services were retained by a consulting company. I was given a three-day turnaround to review and assess the financials of a privately held Canadian company. The consulting company's client sniffed around this Canadian company as a potential acquisition and wanted a third-party to review them without alerting ratings agencies or investment banks. Because I was known for my analytical acumen and have done hundreds of projects similar to this, the consulting company ferreted me out.
The CEO, Brian, met with me and stated, "These projects occur rather frequently. If you do this well, there'll be others."
I heard that bullshit line once too often.
"What do you want from me?"
"I've a report one of my analysts did, but my client didn't find it professional. I'll email it to you."
"What about the financials and industry reports?"
"Everything you need to know is included in the report. Since this is confidential, we can't have you using other sources. All we want is your recommendation."
"My recommendation? That's it?"
"That's all we want."
I was fine with that as fucked up as it sounded. I did give the dolt ample opportunity to tell me what he wanted as my powers of mental telepathy weakened the older I got. Then again, I spent my career analyzing companies and writing reports for regulators, in-house auditors, CEOs, CFOs and Board of Directors as well as for hire. I made a Board presentation once with 12 bullet points and that was it. So, I guessed this is what the client wanted as Brian was not illuminating in the least.
For the three-day turn-around, for my recommendation alone, I compromised at a simple $1,000. After all, there were other upcoming projects, right? I knew the guy must've charged his clients at least $20,000, but hey, beggars can't be choosy. To ensure I wouldn't get fucked over, I outlined the simple terms and conditions in an email to him:
- Three day turnaround no later than noon on Thursday
- Based on the information provided by Brian, my recommendation on purchase of XYZ Corporation
- Payment effected the following day
He accepted the conditions by reverting with an email containing the attached report. What a mess! Brian sent a half-assed report chock-filled with pie charts and scant financial information. Immediately, I phoned him.
"Brian, where are the financials?"
He sighed. "Maura, all the information you need is within that report. I thought you were a professional."
That was when I realized dear Brian was an asshole and incompetent for the position he held. I pored over that shit for a few hours, put together several scenarios, did some industry research online to compare this company with its peers and came to a recommendation.
Using some of the piecharts, I pretty much used a similar format that was acceptable to the Board of Directors at the only A-rated public utility in the nation, so I figured a C-rated private company would find that caliber acceptable. I wrote a beautiful report, something that wasn't required in his brief description as the only thing he wanted was my RECOMMENDATION.
The day after my download, Brian phoned me raging. "WHERE'S THE ANALYSIS?"
"What analysis?" I asked.
"My client's financial analysts want to see how you derived your recommendation. Where's the analysis?"
"I gave you exactly what you asked for," I let him know, "MY RECOMMENDATION!"
He let out a strangled shriek. "This is unacceptable. I can't give my clients this."
"Well, you should've thought about this when you gave me shit to work with," I answered. "I staked my reputation on what little you gave me. As they say, 'Garbage in, garbage out'." That was an expression my father used to describe his job working with contractors in military defense.
To date, I've no idea what went through Brian's mind when he retained me for this project. As CEO of this company, he should've known better. Considering the shit he sent me, what I gave him was PROFESSIONAL. In my three decades on Wall Street, this was definitely a first; as a consultant in my own practice, I NEVER ran across this scenario before.
He hung up. I sent a bill through email. He never responded. I phoned the following days and Brian refused the calls. This went on for two weeks.
After one month, I trotted down to small claims court. For $10, I filed against Brian as CEO and the corporation. As far as I was concerned, I fulfilled all three requirements as per the email which served as my legal contract. The week before the trial date, I received a phone call.
"Hi. My name's Monica and I'm calling from The People's Court. You've an interesting case and we'd love to have you on our program."
"Hell, yes!" I said. "There's only one problem - the CEO and corporation may not want the world to know that they're dumb as shit jackals."
"Well, let me phone them. This is a case much different than all the ones we've seen and will, no doubt, add tons of viewers. Still, Ms. Stone, I want to inform you that even if you win the case in Small Claims Court, there are ways they'll never pay you. At least with The People's Court you'll get payment either way."
A few days later, Monica phoned. "That guy Brian kinda lost his mind when I called him. Don't worry, we like to take care of people whether or not you go on our show. You'll receive a check from him with payment in full."
Moments later, my doorbell rang. It was a messenger with a bank check in the full amount of $1,000.
I'm eternally grateful to Monica and The People's Court for their kind intervention.
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