I'm ready for FALL!
I'm appreciative of all the wonderful summer sunshine we get here in sunny south FL...but the blasted HEAT
I'm tiring of! Living in south FL is like living in an oven with different variations of it throughout the four seasons.
There is BLAZIN' hot, really hot, mainly hot, and in winter finally semi hot with some blessed cool mixed in!
Add in the 100% humidity that accompanies those heat factors and you are mainly chafing like an egg in a custard dish!
I must say though...it is GOOD for your complexion. I haven't had dry skin in all the many years that we have lived here.
BUT being an Iowa girl at heart...I MISS my seasons! Especially the glory of all of those leaf paintings the trees put on in the fall, and that first whiff of spring on a sunny day that promises you summer is on it's way. I think when you go through the seasons you REALLY, REALLY, love your summers!
They are like your child coming home to visit from college (wish that were true for me) you know they will be with you for only a short time, so you soak up every minute of the experience with a savor that you'd otherwise take for granted.
That brings me to my 'hard knock' week. Well let's be real and say my recent 'hard knock' years!
They have been like the seasons...mostly ridiculously hard and disappointing...the 'save our house' fight that we have been waging for the last FIVE years if you can even believe that, and our most profound loss...our beautiful son, and just recently the loss of his beloved kitty cat Keanu.
But also as with the gravitational pull of the earth..those seasons have had some glimpses of that first whiff of spring peeping through. My participation in Sparkpeople, my wonderful friends I've met here, some new friends we have met from our consignment gallery, our long term circle of friends I'm discovering new appreciation for. By transforming ourselves and our attitudes we transform our reality and our reaction to it. We learn when to trust and when to run the other way screaming for the mountains.
That visual makes me laugh!
Life IS a challenge..that's why I like to think of our time here on earth as lessons learned. Obviously some Wall Streeters haven't been on the rotation long enough because for most of them they have one thing in mind, and one thing only and that is greed.
But I like to think we can leave those lessons for them to another life's journey.
I've been through the greed cycle myself when we were riding high on the fame and fortune that a successful business can bring. I always used to think that mega money was a mark of mega success..but after losing our dear son Josh... I've found that money can't buy you true happiness...it only buys you distractions that make you THINK you are happy. It can't buy you true respect, only the illusion of respect, because after you lose all that cash you are pretty much the same people..probably a whole lot humbler...but the same people. All of the friends that used to fawn over you for the lavish parties, the trips, and the lifestyle look at you as if you are a NOW quite a different species...even though most of them have known you for 20 some years. It's a pretty sobering reality.
I found that out yesterday with what I call yet another 'hard knock' lesson from wealthy people and the way they operate in the world. I recently met an extremely wealthy couple (or so they say) that are closing down their house here in FL to go back to New Jersey.
The husband has been into our consignment gallery at least four times. A few visits are normal...but this GUY has something up his sleeve and it's a lot more than just his arm!
He has regaled me with how successful he is (a land developer) and his entire family, (his son an architect, and his daughter, a designer) are and he's brought in pictures of all of his SUPER valuable stuff...and what would we offer him for this and that? Some of the stuff is nice, but it's pretty dated.
I set him straight right from the get go...being an Iowa girl you are prone to the truth and nothing BUT the truth even after 35 years of FL la~la influences thrown in.
"We don't BUY anything unless it particularly strikes my fancy and usually NEVER in the summer time when our season is at it's slowest." AND the prices that we DO buy are wholesale and are usually insulting to people but as a last resort if they are desperate to get rid of things and have no way of picking them up after the consignment contract expires and I really LIKE the items...we sometimes do this. But sorry, not in this scenario because the gallery is SO full."
You really can't tell someone that their SUPER EXPENSIVE stuff isn't so impressive now can you? I try my best to be tactful even with my ' whole truth and NOTHING but the truth!"
Okay, the guy semi-listens to what I'm telling him... but as most generally happens with the 'big wig' type he completely discards the information that doesn't serve him and plows ahead with his own agenda.
"Well, I have LOTS of stuff, really really GREAT stuff, EXTREMELY expensive stuff and I can't take it all back so I'll have to consign it, or sell it." BUT...I have too much stuff to take pictures of so I need you to come to my house and appraise it for me.
I'm suspicious by now, this is the 4th visit to our consignment gallery and I know this guy is playing me like a fiddle. But he doesn't live too far away and some of the stuff is appealing so I make an appointment to go to his house.
I tell him I want him to do all of his negotiating and his 'wheeling and dealing' with anyone and EVERY one else long before I come, because once I come I expect him to agree to the consignment otherwise I have more important things to do. Yep...blunt needs to be blunt when you are dealing with a trickster.
He rattles off some of the other consignment shoppes policies and asks for a copy of our contract. I tell him I don't give out contracts carte' blanche until I'm sure the items are going to arrive in our store. The contract is completed when the contract is warranted.
Seriously, consignment stores are popping up like bad weeds here in our area, and I'm not going to make it any easier for them to lift my contract and start their own biz after I've paid out big bucks for all the legalize aspects in ours. It happens...but I try not to make it super easy for the competition. Who knows maybe this guy is going back to New Jersey to add consignment king to his SUPER successful history.
Okay I'm entertaining myself...this makes me laugh too..he has ZERO people skills!
This guy is starting to look like a bad penny...but if I tell him I'm coming I will...and if he tells me he is ready to have me come...I have to believe he's good on his word.
I go there yesterday in the pouring rain. The house is a mess as is usual when homes are in the midst of moving...but I'm still getting bad vibes from this guy. His wife comes to the door and I once again tell her the terms of our contract. She pulls out a legal pad. This is a BAD sign!
I ask her why she feels it's necessary to write down pricing when she will be getting a copy of the contract...."oh I just want to know the prices you are quoting."
I should have turned on my heel and left right then and there. This is a classic case of using my expertise to price out items for these people that they most likely will turn around and cut me out of the deal and try to obtain that pricing on their own from Joe Blow off the street, or their neighbors who are usually quick to swoop in and grab a bargain when they see one.
Yep this ain't my first rodeo..these types.
I tell the wife that if I spend hours of MY time going through the house and inventorying items and pricing items and then I don't GET the items to represent I would rather not take up my time in the first place. AND I tell her that I made that perfectly clear to her husband when he came to our shoppe repeatedly for this courtesy. If you aren't ready to consign, then why am I here?
"Oh don't worry honey...we'll be FAIR to you!" Danger...danger...road ranger...this is the icing on the cake of betrayal in the business world.
But HEY I'm here by now...I'm a fairly trusting soul, even though I've been around the block a few times so I inventory. It's a LOT of stuff!
The guy roams around behind me and quibbles over the pricing. He's not happy with the 50/50 split that he of course knew was the consignment deal from the get go. I explain that we advertise, we lug the things around, fix up any flaws, dust, do our best sales presentation and most importantly display on one of the busiest streets in Bonita...hey...this stuff ain't cheap for us either my friend!
Another 'hard knock' lesson...I tell myself...Roberta (that's my serious talking to myself voice) you KNOW people will most always work any situation to their advantage if they can. Especially really wealthy people...this is just the way they play the game.
You DO know that you are being used and abused here, but you are willing to stay the course and you'll probably NEVER see any of this stuff..so here you are...what are you going to do, even though you've tried your best to have these people be straight with you...what ARE you going to do?
So I low-balled them on every item. If they want to play that silly little game with me...this little Iowa girl can work that chess board right back and give it double.
We'll see if I ever hear from them again. I doubt it, unless it's stuff they can't unload on their own. Time wasted in spite of my best efforts in dealing with that type of wealthy mindset.
Sometimes in this world when you are being played you just have to pass the same sauce that you are getting right back across the Thanksgiving table...right back to the serving goose and the gander. It doesn't make me happy...but it's a 'hard-knock' world. And I've gotten the game down pretty well by now. Did this guy really win by treating another human poorly...I think not in the long run.