Family Business Part 9

Family Business Part 9

In Family Business part 9 we follow the money!  Sophia’s called the family together for an extraordinary Board Meeting of Edge Garden Furniture – with some life-changing news.
 

                                                                           Family Business Part 9

To: Laura
From: Rosa
Date: 8 December
Subject: Family Board Meeting
 
Dear Laura
 
Well, what did you make of that?  These are the things that occurred to me:
 
A)    Firstly – how utterly outrageous of Frank to be there. 
What made matters worse was that when Lorenzo asked him to leave, he just looked paranoid, whereas in reality, Frank (to say nothing of MUM!) ought to have realized how inappropriate it was for him to be sitting in on a family board meeting – as if he’s almost a member of the family!  Dad would turn in his grave (if indeed he’s in one at all!).
 
I didn’t feel I could kick up a fuss, since I always feel I’m there under sufferance anyhow (and I know Lorenzo & Massimo think I’m going to go running back to Nick to tell him all their secrets). The joke is if Nick ran his firm, the way that our dear family runs ours, he wouldn’t survive in the metal garden furniture business for two minutes.  I know Nick isn’t everyone’s favourite ex-employee, but he does know how to run a tight ship, and most importantly, how to make money! 
 
Frank made such a big deal of leaving mum on her own, I think he was signaling to the rest of us that he’s got his feet well and truly under the table, whether we like it or not.
 
B)     Mum’s bombshell. 
So the farm is on the market – our house, where we all grew up and where dad founded the business.  What on earth will Massimo and Flora do?  And you too – you spend so much time there,  what do you think it will be like to work for the family in some sterile office space in the Hemel retail park or some such?  It’s so hard to say to mum (after all, whatever has happened to dad, he has left her all alone and she is entitled to some happiness) but I’m really worried that Frank is just trying to free up all her cash so that he can help her spend it on cruises, casinos and any other septuagenarian pastime you care to think of.   Oh, that would be race horses, I guess wouldn’t it?
 
C)    Poor Big Brother
I don’t say this very often (apart from when I think about him having to deal with Trout Pout Carla on a daily basis) but I actually felt sorry for Lorenzo.  Of all of us, he does most for mum – and was the most patient with dad – and after all those years of loyal service, to come into the board room accused of robbing the rest of us.  It was very uncomfortable. 
 
D)    Have you ever seen Massimo look shiftier?  
My money is definitely on him to have pulled the scam.  But what would he do with a hot tub?  Mum says she’s spoken to the supplier and it definitely was delivered to our warehouse, so where is it?
 
E)     Charlie’s first official Board Meeting
How do you think he did?  The more I see of Charlie, the sneakier I think he is.  Straight after the Chinese rattan patio furniture factory trip, he and Lorenzo were best buddies, but he distanced himself fast enough when the rumours about the hot tub kicked off.  It’s like watching someone in Alan Sugar’s Boardroom dissing the dirt on their rival Apprentices.  He doesn’t seem quite so enamored by Massimo either.  I reckon Flora’s told him that we suspect Massimo’s had his hands in the till and Charlie won’t want to be tainted. 
 
You’re on the spot, do some digging and find the hot tub before we all implode!
 
Love Rosa xx
 
 

                                                                           Family Business Part 9

To: Rosa                                                                            

From: Laura
Date: 10 December
Subject: Spa-gate
 
Rosie, Rose!
 
You’re not going to believe this.  The offending (probably offensive) hot tub has been found.  Flora and Charlie combined forces after the meeting and have flushed it out.  We weren’t the only ones to deduce that Massimo had no use for a hot tub but we didn’t think to check his ebay account.   Yep, the dimwit only went and sold it under his own name.  Flora’s told mum and she went ballistic.  She hasn’t exactly sacked Massimo but they had a flaming row and he stormed out.  I gather he’s moved in with Poppy!  He certainly hasn’t been seen at work or at Oak Farm since then. 
 
Charlie, Carla and Lorenzo are pushing mum to demote Massimo at the very least but you know what she’s like, she won’t actually do anything about him.  She has agreed to take away the company credit card from him, but he’s still able to get fuel on account, and to sign the tab at the Buck and Fart.  What more could a wastrel like him need?  Actually, I think I’ve been rather clever in suggesting that mum makes Massimo head of Corporate Garden Furniture Relations, ie put him in charge of the business accounts so that when he’s dining out and about, he can talk up our rattan dining tables and chairs to see if he can get some orders in the hospitality industry.  He spends most of his time ‘out to lunch’ anyhow, and it will keep him from doing any real damage.  That way, she can move Charlie into the Marketing Director role alongside his Sales Director role, giving him the power to make a real difference to all our fortunes.
 
Let me know if anyone calls you about this – I’d love to know what they’re all thinking.
 
And I don’t know what to say about putting Oak Farm on the market.  Makes me sick. I blame dad.
 
love, Laura x
 
 

                                                                           Family Business Part 9

To: Laura                                                                              

From: Rosa
Date: 12 December
Subject: Spa-gate – the sequel!
Dear Laura
 
Okay, I follow your reasoning in making Massimo the Corporate Relations guy – let him go and bore the pants off the chaps at the golf club with his new business card and aluminium outdoor dining tables.   It does seem like a smart way to keep him away from the actual business of the firm.  However, I bet you didn’t see Carla’s promotion as part of the plan!!!!
 
Mum rang me last night to tell me that Massimo had confessed (no hint that he’d actually been caught out) to the hot tub thing but that it wasn’t really theft, just him being naïve.  Apparently, the customer had offered him a hot tub for free (since he was so great at his job, I’m guessing!) and since he didn’t really want it, but didn’t want to offend the retailer, he took it and moved it on via ebay.  No crime there then.  Mum clearly isn’t buying it, but wants to preserve the status quo so she’s let him get away with it. 
 
She has given him the new job title (I say job title rather than job since we all know that no actual work gets done) but she’s given his old job – Marketing Director, was it not? – to Carla!!!!  News to you?  Thought it might be!
 
Lorenzo’s pulled a bit of a fast one, striking while mum feels guilty about wrongly accusing him of the credit note scam.  He’s not only got Massimo moved sideways at work, but he’s got Carla on the payroll and on the board to boot!  He’s been rather smart for once! 
 
Lordy, I do pity you having to work with Carla, as well as all the other hangers on.  Just so long as it’s a title without teeth, I guess, but you’ll know more about that than I do.
 
Lots of love
 
Rose
 
 

                                                                           Family Business Part 9

To: Rosa                                                                                

From: Laura
Subject:  Trout Face
Date: 15 December
 
 
Dear Rosie Rose
 
From now on, Carla shall be forever more known as Trout Face.  Her lips haven’t gone down at all but I think it’s the permanent scowl that makes her look so fish faced.  I HATE HER!  I can’t tell you how annoying it’s been having her at work.  It was bad enough when we just had the odd family Sunday roast to contend with, but seeing her all the time!  She’s so chippy, you can’t say anything about anything without her taking offence.  And she’s always on to the school about Maria and Ant (she’s suffering from ME apparently & he’s gluten/dairy-intolerant).
 
Tell you something amusing though, Maria is clearly having a dalliance with Garry from the warehouse – and Carla seems to be condoning it.  There’s a lot of ostentatious texting and facebook activity, plus giggly girly chats.  You’d think she might want something better for her sixteen year old daughter than a 35 year old married (oh yes!) fork lift driver.  They’ve obviously decided that Lorenzo will take a dimmer view of the relationship hence the childish whisperings.  I’ve a good mind to tell him – except that poor old Garry would lose his job and I don’t think his wife deserves that.  You know she works as a cleaner at Flora’s Country Club?  It’s all a bit too close to home for my liking.
 
The worst thing is that mum has actually given her a serious marketing budget to spend.  Basically it’s equivalent to Massimo’s hot tub scam so you can see how her mind works.  Trout Face is thinking about filming a local ad – for use in the cinema and online and she wants to get a celebrity to front it! She wants to copy the success of Kensington’s Fire Pit & BBQ aluminium range.
 
If only dad was here, he’d stop all this nonsense.  If he ever does turn up, I swear I’ll murder him for what he’s put us through.  Of all the irresponsible, selfish things to do – and yes, I do mean that whether he drowned or ran away.  
 
Anyhow, who do you think Trout is after for the campaign?
 
Xxx Laura

Family Business Part 9

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