This big ole teethy smile is one of my fav emoticons! I use it alot. The only one I would like even better is a snarky~sarcastic smile. I usually use the puffed out cheeks for that one!
or sometimes the puffed out chick...they both seem to portray my snark~som sense of humor.
Today I'd have to use all three!
and a big hip hip hooray emoticon too!
You see karma justice deserves all of these!
I don't usually read the News Press (our local newspaper) on-line. I usually zoom right over to Spark land and get my exercise posted and do my friend flittering. By the way...we have an AWESOME new 5% Summer Challenge right around the corner..and the fabulous teddy bear team is ready to rumble. Go check it out and lose some of that stubborn flub and start feeling better about yourself!
But I digress...today while reading I saw an article about a former stink o tenant that we had in our commercial property during the days of money and profit back in the 90's.
You see...being the frugal Iowa girl that I am I knew that we needed some type of retirement savings put aside and being self employed I knew we'd have to generate those on our own.
So we found this fabulous commercial property on US 41 a major highway in the great little city of Bonita Springs at a reasonable price and we nabbed it. Then the parcel beside it became available and even though we had to leave the current tenant in it for over a year on his lease we were patient and purchased that property as well.
Between the two parcels we had a good piece of prime commercial exposure right on one of the busiest highways in the area.
Retirement...I could smell you coming!
The buildings were old and needed some TLC so we needed a big tenant and fast. I put an ad in the paper and got a call from a guy that owned a huge pool contracting business.
I met with him and wasn't much impressed. He was arrogant and cocky and full of himself...the typical bells and whistles that extremely short men can be known to display...that's why they call it the Napoleon complex...not my term..so no hate mail please.
This guy who spelled his name Steeve...which is rather weird within itself...called himself "the 10 million dollar man"...no possibility that this could be matched up to looks...or personality for that matter...so I assumed it must be his business.
I didn't like him. But the hubs said..."Hey with all the big dreams that you have about renovating these buildings you'd better get a large long term tenant and pronto." Men never look at the long term picture. I knew that by the nature of his business as a pool contractor that he would have tons of vehicles, lots of caustic chemicals, and then there was his attitude...all definite negative factors but I knew we did need an anchor tenant and he was willing to take the back portion of the parcel which would be a hard sell to anyone wanting that frontage exposure.
Okay Mr. 10 MIL...here's our contract. He didn't like it as tenants rarely do and wrangled with some items that I thought were pretty pertinent and should stay in. So he goes to the hubs...Mr. Nice Guy and Mr. Nice Guy twists my arm for a few changes. I begrudgingly change a few items but not all.
The contract stipulated that he could only have a certain number of vehicles on the parcel because we had other tenants that needed parking and his vehicles had to be contained within a certain area of the property. I would not back down on that one! Other things I don't remember exactly...but some of them absolutely came back to bite us and I wish I'd never have changed them. Oh well...water over the dam.
So the layout of the property had Mr. 10 Mil in the back section of the southern parcel occupying two buildings with tons of room for parking. There was a separate business in front of him that had Hwy. 41 exposure. In the parcel of property to the North and adjoining was our concrete toppings showroom with all of our samples, a Sub restaurant, and another workroom for the Triple A Blind Factory that was in front of Steeve's area.
Hunky dory right? Nope...Steeve soon starts wrangling for 41 exposure..he's decided that he wants his name on one of the front buildings. This presents a problem...but hubs being the NICE guy that he is...decides that since our business' are compatible and we don't use our showroom on a daily basis that he will let Steeve share it with us provided that he doesn't use ANY competing product in the showroom that will take customer's attention away from our samples and our decking pictures.
Now with the average person this would work out great. They would honor the agreement. Not this little twerp! These are the people that you give an inch and they take the whole State of Florida!
We were up at our cabin in N. Carolina for a much deserved vacation annoyed that we got telephone calls on a daily basis from the other tenants saying the half pint was infringing on their parking and they didn't even have room for their customers to park. DH called Steeve almost daily with a plea to honor his contract. Remember this guy now has a key to our showroom so we are trying to take care of this in a low key way.
Then the inevitable happens when an employee calls us and tells us he can't get into our showroom because the locks have been changed...what the?
He goes on to tell us that by looking into the windows he can see that ALL of our samples have been taken down off the walls and our pictures and Steeve has placed competing products!
Great...exactly what I was afraid would happen with this guy does. Be careful what you place your focus on!
We make the 12 hour drive back to FL and DH goes to confront creep man and is told that he will only talk to us through his lawyer! He's a 10 MILLION DOLLAR MAN...and he doesn't have time for this nonsense! From that day on it was nothing but lawyers and fights and fights and lawyers...we got served a 'Cease and Desist' order for trying to access our own showroom! Because of the tenant rights here in FL once he got access to that space we became the bad guys for wanting to use it. Who knew you had to have a contract addendum to the original contract so you'd have equal rights..what happened to an informal agreement? This creepster is what happened!
Our retirement dreams just became retirement hell. Three long years of legal fighting began and all of the monies that we were looking forward to for retirement went to you guessed it...lawyers.
Finally we found a descent lawyer that told Mr. 10 to either buy the entire property or get out! It would cost us boo coo money to get him out with his long term contract but we were DONE with him at that point.
He took out about five bank loans and bought the property. I felt like a creep putting the existing tenants under his iron fist...but we couldn't even concentrate on our business at that point there was just SO much turmoil dealing with him.
I really think that from day one he had plotted that he'd bully us out and the hubs and I being new into the commercial real estate arena...that's exactly what we did.
It's still a sore spot between the hubs and I...I can't help but think if we hadn't changed that contract he never would have been able to get away with the stuff he did. We'd still own the property and probably be comfortably retired by now instead of working our tushies off.
But..the GOOD news in the newspaper article today tells us that Steeve and a buddy of his are cooling their heels in a rat infested jail in Mexico for money laundering.
After he knocked us out of the commercial property he went on to some pie in the sky boating marina deal where he borrowed millions for a marina and boat condominiums...by that time the economy had tanked and he got sued over and over and over for the millions
of dollars he lost to investors...investors are NEVER the nice guys that he was dealing with in the hubs and I.....Karma...just getting warmed up!
He was probably trying to make some cash doing some other illegal activity out of Mexico and got caught with 758,000 dollars in cash when customs seized his airplane. You have to declare anything over 10,000 so he trots himself down to customs and reports $750,000 and thinks he's home free...BUT the Mexican agents counted the stash and find out that he didn't report $8,000...oopps...he forgot that because that's what he had to pay the pilot of the plane.
Soooo straight to jail he goes. The news article is about some congressman in the Keys (probably on the 'take' too) trying to get him a new trial. His sister has set up a website trying to garner donations to help his release.
I went to it and saw a total of $85.00 contributed from only three people...at this rate Steeve the 10 million dollar man might be reduced to the $85.00 dollar man!
Alright by me...I wrote back to the reporter and shared my story...I ended with a story related to me by my hubs saying he had asked Steeve why he just couldn't get along with the other tenants and do the right thing by containing his vehicles to the area he promised to keep them in so that they could conduct business in fairness...why couldn't he just do the right thing and be a desent human being?
Steeve's retort..."If I'm not being an a**hol* then I'm not doing my job right am I?
Wow...how's that biz philosophy working for you now Mr. 10...has your greed and our good finally met justice in a Mexican jail cell...karma...the great equalizer...I'm smiling now!
Today is going to be a good, good day!