Hot Days of Summer

Posted: August 7, 2020 in Advice, Consulting, Experiences, Thoughts
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I don’t know about you, but it’s been so hot here I’ve hardly wanted to venture outside after nine am. It’s even hot enough that I’ve given in to Savannah’s pleas to take her to the country club swimming pool. Josh, my fifteen-year-old son is a life-guard there because of Uncle Joey, the mob boss for whom I work. When people tell you it’s not what you know, but who you know – they’re telling the truth.

I’d recently helped Uncle Joey with a tricky problem and ended up saving him a lot of money. He’d invested in a start up tech company, which, I guess, is the thing to do these days. I was even in on the first meeting, just to make sure they were the real deal. Since I can read minds, I’m Uncle Joey’s ace-in-the-hole.

At that first meeting, I’d picked up a lot of positive thoughts about the start-up and how much money they could make. Looking back, I should have picked up the signs that their enthusiasm and positive thoughts were just that… and not too much more.

On paper, it all looked good, and they were so excited about the prospects that it didn’t seem like much of a risk. Uncle Joey handed over a big chunk of change so they could take it to the next level.

That was a few months ago. We met again yesterday, and it was a good thing I was there. They’d done their best to get the software up and running, but they’d run out of money, and needed a lot more to keep going… like… close to a million.

It still sounded like a good investment until I picked up that one of them had used some of the money for a trip to New York to catch a Broadway show and have a good time. Another one had paid for his daughter’s braces, and then splurged on a motorcycle. The last guy seemed to be the only one who wasn’t taking advantage of all that money.

After they got done with their pitch, I caught Uncle Joey’s gaze and raised my brows.

“Did you have a question for these gentlemen?” Uncle Joey asked.

“Yes.” I turned back to the men. “You’ve got some problems we need to address. First of all, this investment money wasn’t meant to be used on a trip to New York.” I nodded at the guilty party, then turned to the next man. “Or a new motorcycle and to pay your debts.” That guy flushed and his eyes widened. How did I know?

The last guy’s mouth dropped open. He didn’t know anything about their exploits, and he could hardly believe they’d gone behind his back and used the money on themselves. Couldn’t they wait for the big pay-off? He turned to them. “Is it true? Did you really do those things?”

Neither one of them wanted to admit it, but they couldn’t lie… not with me there. They stammered a little before nodding, and I picked up a few other things they’d done with the money that sounded even worse.

I shook my head and turned to Uncle Joey. “Can you get your money back?”

“Whoa, no. Wait. We can still work this out.” That came from the only honest guy there.

Uncle Joey shook his head. “I’m disappointed in all of you. I made my investment in good faith, and you’ve let me down. How am I supposed to trust you again?”

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” the honest guy said.

“True, but can you finish this without those two?”

“Yes.” He didn’t think he could do it, but he wasn’t ready to let go of his dream, and he’d say anything to get the money he needed to finish the project.

Uncle Joey glanced my way and I shook my head. He blew out a disgusted breath. “It’s a good thing I insisted on signing a contract between us. You should know that the contract gives me the power to take over the business if any of you are less than forthcoming with me. In light of that, you two bozos are fired.”

They hadn’t expected that, which concerned me. Didn’t they know Uncle Joey was a mob boss?

“You can’t do that. This is my… our… company.” Their protests stopped when Uncle Joey held up a hand.

“Not anymore. Now get out. And remember… nobody crosses me… nobody. Now leave before I change my mind about letting you live.”

That had the desired effect. They both turned toward the door and found Ramos holding it open. He’d been standing there and they’d forgotten all about him. “I’ll make sure you don’t get lost on your way out… unless…” he glanced at Uncle Joey.

“No… you don’t need to rough them up. They won’t be any trouble, right boys?”

They both quickly agreed, even if it rankled, and hurried out the door before Uncle Joey changed his mind. Once the door closed, he turned back to the other guy. “It looks like you’ve lost your partners, and I’ve lost my investment, but I have a proposition for you. Do you want to continue or let it go?”

“Continue, of course, but, I can’t do it alone.”

“I know people,” Uncle Joey said. “But you’ll have to give up ownership of the company and work for me. I believe in your tech, or I wouldn’t make such an offer. We can negotiate the deal if you agree. Otherwise, we’re done here. But I should warn you. Once investors find out what happened, no one else will give you a dime.”

The guy let out a breath. He didn’t want to give up his company, but Uncle Joey had made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, and he wasn’t ready to give up on his dream. “I agree.”

Uncle Joey smiled. It reminded me of the cat who caught the canary. “Good. Let’s go over my terms and I’ll have my lawyer draw up the papers.” Uncle Joey turned to me. “Thanks Shelby. You’ve been a real help.” He was thinking that I could leave now, but he had the perfect payment in mind.

I raised my brows and he shook his head. “I want it to be a surprise.”

I smiled. “Okay. See you later.” I had to admit that I liked some surprises, but most of the time I ruined it by trying to figure out what it was. I mean… I was already thinking about how fun it would be to find a new Tesla in my driveway, but that wasn’t going to happen. It was probably better to forget all about it and not be disappointed.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with the heat and the country club. Well… I took Savannah to the pool this morning so we could get in a swim while Josh was there. Even though we’re not members, we’re allowed to use the pool because of Josh.

When I got there, the manager hurried over with a big smile on her face. “Welcome to the club. I just wanted you to know that we’re thrilled you’re now full-fledged members. Your Uncle must be quite fond of you. If there’s anything you need, please let me or any of the staff know. Here’s the brochure about the club and everything that comes with your gold membership.”

“Oh wow… that’s great. Thanks so much.”

She smiled, thinking that it was nice we were finally paying members after all the times we’d used the pool for free. “After you’ve had the chance to look it over, we’d be happy to give you the tour. Enjoy the pool.”

“Thanks.”

Well… Uncle Joey certainly outdid himself this time. I was totally shocked, but at least now I don’t have to feel guilty about using the pool, so that’s a plus. This just reinforces that old adage all over again – it’s not what you know, but who you know, right?

Still, I hate to admit it, but I am just a little bit disappointed about the Tesla.

Comments
  1. Lorna says:

    This was cute! Too bad Ramos was so peripheral! Thanks for the update.

    Like

  2. Tom Tattershall says:

    I always enjoy these extra short tales of Shelby’s life and adventures.

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  3. Doesn’t Uncle Joey have a Tesla? Just keep borrowing his until he gets irritated enough to buy you one of your own…

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  4. Molly says:

    Well, I think that was nice of Uncle Joey but I would have rather had the pool built in the back yard if there was room or the car. I agree it is who you know sometimes that makes the difference. Shelby I love the segments of you reading minds.

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  5. Thanks Molly!! There’s no contest about a back yard pool, but I’d still rather have the Tesla!! hehe

    Like

  6. JoAnne Wachtel says:

    Can’t wait to read love the series. I really love Shelby and Ramos together.

    Like

  7. Geoff Parker says:

    Well, you know, Shelby, I can just picture you behind the wheel of a bright red model 3 Tesla! Who knows, maybe one is in your future someday. And I wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, those Gold Country Club memberships are expensive! At least now you and Chris and Savannah can chillax by the pool when you want!

    My friend Bob came over to help me fix a tall clock, a really beautiful Ridgeway that stands 7.5 feet tall. We got it all apart and fixed, but when I was leaving I noticed he was driving a brand new Tesla Model 3 S. Whew, what a car!

    Well, I’m glad you can help Uncle Joey when he needs it. That right there probably saves lives. Stay cool, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing about some of your new adventures soon.

    Like

  8. Julia says:

    I can’t wait for the next adventure. I enjoyed this post.

    Like

  9. Brian says:

    I still want to see Ramon buy that Vincent Black Shadow – but don’t forget it needs a kick start!

    Like

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