2002-09-26 SvsG emails
10:01 from Lynne
I have inserted paragraph breaks.
This email is somewhat unusual because Lynne actually gives some numbers regarding what she believes the financial situation to be; however, as usual, she carefully stays away from any specific details which could have been discussed or checked, and which might therefore have made it possible to begin resolving the dispute.
The pattern of which this email is an example seems to be:
- Lynne claims that I am substantially in error
- The nature of the error is too complicated to even begin to explain in writing; "these things can't be figured out in email" (or written down in any comprehensible form, apparently)
- And therefore we need to "sit down and talk about this"
- Repeated emphasis on how discouraging and difficult the whole situation is, how much effort we're going to have to go to in order to get it straightened out, awkwardness of scheduling, etc. and she doesn't have time to finish explaining it all, "got to go"...
- Why didn't she ever give me a single example of how my figuring was wrong? Any of the following could have been useful in narrowing down the dispute: (1) list of specific incorrect transactions in my figuring, (2) list of transactions I should have included but didn't, (3) her net total(s) for one or more particular time-ranges
- Why didn't she ever give me a single written example of her own accounting? When we would "talk" face to face, she would show me yellow legal pad pages full of incomprehensible scribbled notes, and would never give me a copy, despite having easy access to printing and photocopying equipment:
- at least two photocopiers were donated to the RDA and kept at Red House, where I paid the power bill
- when these were out of service Lynne tended to spend a lot of time at Kinko's, often making hundreds of copies; a few extra pages would have been trivial to include
- much of the time they also had access to my digital image scanner and printer
- Lynne also was quite proficient in using my computers to compose letters using Microsoft Word, as well as being proficient in printing them on my printers (though buying ink and paper were apparently more difficult for her); certainly she should have been able to transcribe her accountings into a Word document, especially with Bubba's help – or, failing that, scratch them out with a purple crayon if that was the only tool available.
- Why was she apparently incapable of rendering her accountings in a form which anyone else could digest?
- Where is the list of amounts that the RDA supposedly put into the account and was never reimbursed for? The Grievers did not list any significant new transactions during the discovery process, so I can only think that this claim was complete baloney.
|Date:||Thu, 26 Sep 2002 10:01:50 -0400|
|From:||"Lynne G." <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|User-Agent:||Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win95; en-US; rv:1.0.0) Gecko/20020530|
|To:||Nick-2021-10-18-03:email@example.com, bubba-2021-10-18-03:firstname.lastname@example.org, lynne-2021-10-18-03:email@example.com|
Lynne, here. I don't have a whole lot of time right now but I wanted to give you a headline about where I'm at with all of this. I am only speaking for myself, so you a Bubba and your conversations shouldn't necessarily be effected by what I think...
Yes. I do dispute your math... I'm not disputing your integrity or your intentions... I just think you are missing something. What I think you are missing may be a combination of several things, and it's really hard for me to tell because I think we need to talk... We can record the conversation for you to type in and email it to yourself... but these things can't be figured out over email.
I'm willing to admit that there is every possibility that I am wrong in my figuring. There could be something that I'm missing... Hell, there could be a combination of several things that I'm missing... I've been wrong before, and where numbers are concerned... we're not necessarily in my strongest suit...
As far as keeping up with finances and not making a mess of things... you and I both have a strike or two against us... so lets sit down and talk about this... I think that the account owes RDA between $1,000 and $1,250. After my calculations that I finished up late Sunday night it was almost $1,300.
I have some pretty interesting math to go along with this and none of it points to you ending up with a lion's share, either. I think that the credit card companies are probably not putting in what we would have expected but I don't have the means to follow through with all of that. There is a major blind spot in the area of "tools" that I would need to figure this out all the way to the root of the problem.
In my opinion, this business would not have brought in what we needed it to, whether all of the numbers were right or not. Even if the Merchant Processing did all they were supposed to and the customer cards all processed and I put in all I thought I did and you did, too and there were no NSF's or banking boo-boos... we still would be some struggling business folks.
I'm not your enemy. I am your friend. I understand where you are coming from in many ways. I do not want to reel you in and tie you to Georgia or set you up as the "the-one-who-needs-to-accept-the-blame-for-one- thing- or-another." I just want to figure out where we are and where we are going to go from here. To be honest with you... I don't even have a whole lot of attachment to how things go.
I managed to get print-outs on the SunTrust account that go back to the 1st of January at no charge) so that we can look at things from back-a-ways. I haven't had time to do a whole lot with Jan - May but we'll have it for reference and maybe by the time I see you... I'll have been able to work on it some more. Hell, at this rate, by the time I see you the grandchildren may have grown up...
So, from your standpoint... we're in a mess because RDA owes money to the Redhouse account and if it weren't for that we'd have the money for orders and so that's the big problem for the moment...
And from my standpoint... RDA was never reimbursed for money we put into the account and is gasping for breath on a financial level because we needed it for bills and we've had to juggle like crazy... even with the SunTrust acct. to try to keep the creditors at bay until monies come in to pay us back... Meanwhile, the money in the account, which I see as the money we've had to leave in there to cover the next order and the next order and another order... keeps dwindling from little auto debits, etc. and we're having to cover all of the phone bills (since March) and all of the storage unit bills and all of everything... because I can't figure out what your part is until we make specific agreements around a lot of it and we can't do that with you in NC...
I can't just sit at a computer and type all of this for you to mull over and get back to me in bits and pieces... I need to be able to carry on a conversation which contains a set of goals and a process which includes obtaining closure on each issue, etc.
Sometime in the future... I would be willing to do more by email... but it would have to be when there were some rules for email conversation established... I am very attached to focus and timeframes and general safe space in conversation and there seem to be no guidelines for that with email... and it's just got to be okay... because it's email... Like, "It's an Email thing... you wouldn't understand..." For simpler things that have not gone days, weeks or even months without understandings... email works and it helps to keep things from getting complicated that have not already gotten complicated. It's like preventative medicine... It works! But not in retrospect... and can't take Vitamin C as the remedy for pneumonia.
Let's get back on track before we make a total mess of this... I'm going to the bank this morning and will make a deposit to bring the balance back positive. I think you and Bubba made arrangements about the Zion order and that works for me. Let me know when you will be here to sit across the table with piles of figures everywhere and a couple or three calculators going... We need to do this... I do have some serious scheduling issues that will need to be considered. I have some out of town stuff at certain times, etc. so we should talk before final time frames are set.
I've got to go. I think you may now see why I haven't been able to send you a quick email to handle the issues we have around money. I've had a lot of energy from time to time because of the bind that we're in around all of this... I didn't want to blow up and appear to have a bunch of energy in your direction. That is not usually my style and I'm pretty committed to keeping things at a low energy level. Also, I recognize that my energy is not AT you. It's at the position we're in. And, although I believe it's related to a difference in perceptions between the two of us... I don't think you're deliberately screwing me up... I just think you are mistaken about some things and are probably upset with me because you think I'm screwing you up... I hope I've been clear.
I also want to be clear that in a sit down with paper and pencils and calculators... I could be convinced that I'm all wrong about this and that it could be all my fault... so please bring it on...
I gotta go now and don't expect to be able to stop much before Saturday morning. Hope this helps even if it doesn't fix anything...
10:23 from Nick
Much of the background to this is explained in a 2002-10-23 email to Tigger
Bubba clearly violates these restrictions on 11/28, two months later.
|Date:||Thu, 26 Sep 2002 10:23:55 -0400|
|From:||"N. Staddon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|User-Agent:||Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win95; en-US; rv:1.1a) Gecko/20020611|
Enough is enough.
I have removed Lynne as a check signer on the SunTrust account, effective whenever they get around to it. I have changed the password for the online banking to prevent any unauthorized messages to SunTrust. The check card is no longer to be used for *anything* except *pre-approved* vbz.net purchases.
This is not to preclude our continuing to work together; it's just that I can't tolerate the continued abuse of the Red House account. I was at least expecting to be brought up-to-date if there were going to be insufficient funds for the Zion order, but it turns out that the balance was already on its way below zero without any help, thanks to that $350 check.
$516.43 would bring RDA back to their standing as of July 1. At a minimum, I would expect to see $250 or so of that deposited today.
(10:22) It looks like someone has been trying to log in with the old password, so I had better send this so everyone knows what's up.
14:36 from Bubba
|Date:||Thu, 26 Sep 2002 14:36:16 -0400|
|User-Agent:||Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.0.0) Gecko/20020530|
|To:||"N. Staddon" <email@example.com>|
|Subject:||Re: Not Ok|
N., we just got an order from Athens. The image for the shirt is missing and it's one we've had for a long time MJ 43 Wolf Spirit.
Are there other old images missing? Is there any way to check?
14:58 from Lynne
|Date:||Thu, 26 Sep 2002 14:58:04 -0400|
|From:||"Lynne G." <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|User-Agent:||Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win95; en-US; rv:1.0.0) Gecko/20020530|
|To:||"N. Staddon" <email@example.com>, Bubba-2021-10-18-03:firstname.lastname@example.org, lynne-2021-10-18-03:email@example.com|
|Subject:||Re: Stuff - brief response|
N. Staddon wrote:
I can't quickly answer your comments about email being the wrong medium for resolving these issues; I still feel very strongly that a face-to-face at this point would be you saying a lot of stuff and it going in one ear and out the other on my part (especially lists of dollar amounts!), possibly accompanied by my agreeing to a lot of things I wouldn't have agreed to if I'd seen them written down, and possibly additionally accompanied by your belief that I had agreed to additional things I hadn't actually agreed to.
I need you to go over the money stuff that consists of many mediums of paperwork, none of which can be put into an email...Your comments sound like pre-meditated non-listening and that you are seeing every conversation as a new opportunity to be victimized. It sounds like we might need to make some notes as we go like we used to do when we used to talk all the time. You could say that you would like some time to think about items 4 and 7 and discuss them again, tomorrow. And... when we each say what we believe our existing agreements are... we may say that we agree with each others perception or that we don't and go from there.
Plus, suggesting that I have time to listen to *and transcribe* hours of audio strikes me as preposterous. If you're volunteering to do the transcription -- or even merely to send email describing what was agreed, so I can be sure I meant to agree to it -- that would be different.
You are suggesting, instead, that I spend hours putting things [that have already taken many many hours to put together] into a computer..when we could easily go over them in their present state in just a little while and then make breif notes about next steps toward resolution...For you to expect me to write for hours so that you can read over things and say "k" or "I'll have to think about this." is totally goes against the original agreed upon way that we communicated before last November... I never agreed to have to write a novel every time I needed to have a conversation with you. And your sudden belief that you have become so much of an idiot that you can no longer carry on an intelligent conversation is ludicrous. You have no problem articulating elaborate reasons to defend your inability to defend your own position (to us, and particularly to the peanut gallery).
But I will reread your email more thoroughly when I have time, and see if it changes anything.
What I can answer quickly is that although it is remotely possible that Red House owes you as much as you say, that does not make it ok for you to go extracting it without warning. Perhaps you didn't mean to -- but I find it hard to believe that you weren't aware that there was $350 which had yet to come out of the account, or that you didn't have time to mention it to Bubba when he specifically asked you about the banking situation.
I also don't understand what happened to the "quieting down" time there was supposed to be where you wouldn't be using the RH account for anything. I understand you had an emergency and had to use the card for a few transactions -- but I understood it would stop there ("emergency" generally implies something temporary); it's been a week or more since that occurred, and your debits continue to come in.
I made a deposit a little while ago that puts the Red House acct back in the positive and mailed the packages with my cash. Any further discussion of this needs to be done with our calculators. I would be willing to make some copies so you can have a set of numbers to go over and take with you and you should do the same. We can make notes about each thing as we go...
I expect to be in town next week, tentatively Monday or Tuesday. We certainly may talk -- but at this point, I would like for anything important to be in writing.
Your timing on this is not good.... It totally conflicts with my schedule which will involve Bubba's in a major way...I'm hoping this can be re-thought where there was no consulting with us about how it would work in our schedule...
Anything I say in person may be ill-advised, and anything you tell me may be forgotten or mis-remembered. Furthermore, I believe it is standard practice in any business discussion to Put Anything Important In Writing.
Contracts and agreements often go in writing... I'm all for that... Conversations happen around that and noone is expected to piss away their lives writing lengthy dialogue because their business associates feel unable to carry on a reasonable conversation, especially when the condition came on suddenly....
Meanwhile, please feel free to email me your figuring; I think that would be the best way (probably the only way) to resolve the discrepancy.
I seriously doubt that it would be the only way... unless one of the parties was extremely unreasonable... C'mon Nick... let's get back to real life, here. We need to talk. It's easy. We both know how...