R: Hey Jonas, how you doing?
J: Pretty good.
R: I’m so glad you came.
J: Oh yeah, no problem.
R: You know I called you three times today. You know I was a little nervous.
J: Oh yeah, well understandably too, but you know I’m happy to be here.
R: I’m glad. Listen, we have to talk. We are coming into an untenable and uncomfortable situation.
J: I know that I haven’t been handling my end all the time, but…
R: What can I do to help you?
J: I don’t need any help really. I think that everything as it is is OK. I just need to; you know how everything at home is quite busy for me.
R: You have missed several meetings; you didn’t show up when we had our accounting manager come. Please, this is hard for me. Confrontation is one of the hardest things on the planet, especially with you.
J: I don’t really see this as confrontation. I’m sorry if I missed that meeting. I am. I just had my own things to do.
R: But to just not show up?
J: I felt comfortable that you were there. I felt comfortable that you could handle it.
R: That’s great except you never told me you weren’t coming. Plus you missed the payroll – twice.
J: I talked to everybody about it and I was able to alleviate their concerns, they know they are going to get paid.
J: Because I they know they are getting paid and I missed the deadline, and I apologized to all of them and we worked it out. I’m fine, they’re fine and it won’t happen again. I just feel that I can get all the work done; it just may not be as structured as we are talking about. I think it will all get done anyway.
R: I’m afraid that is not true Jonas. Because all getting done means I’m doing it. And I can’t handle anymore. I am totally stressed out here, and what I’m not getting from you is any sense of caring either for me or for the business. I don’t see you making any kind of commitment.
J: Well I am doing the books; I am taking care of the payroll; I am taking care of the shipments in the bookstore; I am doing all that stuff. It’s not like, you are starting to make it sound like I’m just sitting here not doing anything. I’m handling a lot of the work and I know you’re handling a lot of it
R: You are, but I’m handling everything that you are not handling.
J: Listen, I have to pick up Isabelle. I do want to talk to you more about this, but I have to…
R: Can we pick this up this afternoon?
J: Well yeah, yeah. If not this afternoon, I’ll call you tonight and we will talk more, or I will come over. We’ll manage it.
R: Jonas, I’m so glad you’re here.
J: I’m happy to be here Rande.
R: OK, so what kind of solutions have you come up with?
J: We’ll one of the solutions, this is just an idea, take it as you will. I love this bookstore and I want to keep it going and it want it to be as big as it needs to be, as great as the community wants is to be. In thinking that, I have talked it over with Peggy and I think we have decided that the best thing for everybody concerned and to keep our relationship together, which of course, you know I want. And I know you want. I think that I should be able to bow out gracefully and sell my share.
R: I really applaud that decision.
J: But the thing is that I do want to be able to sell it to who I want to sell it to. I think I can get a good amount of money for my share because of the way that they business is growing. And I just want to make it clear to you that I would like to be able to sell my share to who I think would be the best buyer for my share.
R: Well this person wouldn’t be your partner; this person would be my partner.
J: I understand you would have to meet this person.
R: Jonas, you can’t just find someone, anyone. What I need to do is have total say on who is my partner.
J: Well it is my share, and I would like to be able to make what I can from it.
R: I agree I want you to be able to make something from it, but Jonas…
J: I am going to be able to work of this money. This is my future in a sense.
R: Jonas, I get first dibs on buying you out, not another partner.
J: But you can’t buy me out.
R: Oh, but I can. I have already spoken to our attorneys because I didn’t know what you were going to come back with and since you didn’t show up for the meeting 3 days ago, I spoke to Marcel.
J: You can’t buy me out because I am legally allowed to sell it to the highest bidder.
R: No that is not how our contract reads. Unfortunately there is no dissolution agreement. And in partnership agreements, one partner has the first right of refusal. So it’s up to me first to see if I can raise the funds to buy out your share.
J: I’m not exactly sure about the legalities that you are talking about, and I don’t want to argue with you about it because I don’t know. The truth is that I don’t know the exact things. But I do need to be able to make sure that I can get out of this what I want to get out of this, so I’m going to talk to some people, and then we will find out from there what is possible and I will take what is possible. And I want you to be happy; I really do want you to be happy. I don’t want to leave you hanging with somebody that you don’t want. But I need to work this out for myself and I’m going to talk to some people and I have to go again, I’m sorry. But umm, I just need to get home right now.
J: But I will talk to you more about this. And don’t see it as change that is going to start tomorrow. I’m still devoting whatever I can to this place and I will.
R: Well you are not devoting what you can, you are devoting what you want and that’s what is giving me the stomach ache.
J: That’s not true. I’m devoting what I can. I’m devoting everything I can to this. Listen, let’s just leave it at this for now, and then we will just start the ball rolling and we will see what happens. Ok?
R: At least we are agreed that it’s not working as a partnership. And I would much rather again, have you in my life forever, then have it come to blows. So think of that before you start pulling in other people from the outside, let’s sit down with our attorney.
J: I’ll give it some thought.
R: How is next Monday for you?
J: Well so far I think that’s fine.
R: Fine, then I will set up an appointment with Marcel for next Monday.
J: Ok, alright. I will talk to you later.
R: So this was a very frustrating outcome to this meeting. There is no partnership agreement on the planet that would allow for something like that. It has gotten to a point where he feels so self absorbed that he would even propose something like that is preposterous. It’s a very delicate, tight rope to walk on. You have to figure out to fit in with the friend ship and still stand out a as business partner. It’s a very tricky relationship. Plus the fact that there is a male-female hierarchy here, I am being put in a position of almost being the mother the disciplinarian, which is not a role I fall into very easily. And it was aggravating to not get him to see what he was doing and how he was affecting the business and how he was affecting me. None of which seemed to be a priority for him. I was relying on a friend and expecting life to be fair, and of course it isn’t fair.