A Business Valentine's — Part 2
The letter was from a solicitor and stated that the work I had performed had been negligent and had created serious environmental damage and affected a bystander. I couldn’t believe this could have happened. I closed my eyes tight and tried to think. I was tired and no doubt running a company was hard work, but I was a good director and always making sure my employees work was of a high standard. Had my personal work and tasks began to slip instead? I doubted it! These must be false allegations. I was now facing a claim which could cost me at best thousands of pounds to defend, and at worst, I didn’t even want to consider it, but I could be losing my business.
I left the office before anyone had even come in. I drove straight back home and found the family had begun their morning routines. "You’re home? Did you forget something?" Janine said. "Yes," I replied. I went straight to the home office to look through our finances waiting for Janine to drop the kids at school.
In my home office I massaged my temples and stared at the screen. When I started my business I was offered the opportunity of investing in a wide range of business insurances, but at the time I was bold and confident. I had chosen not to get all insurances because I knew I was diligent and thorough. It did go against all advice I was given but I weighed up the odds and thought that the likelihood of a claim being made against me was incredibly small. I decided invest the money I’d need to spend on insurance to help the business get going instead. At the time it had ensured we got a huge head start and business was booming! It felt like I’d made all the right decisions.
I recalled the moment I said no to insurance like a continuous repetitive movie in my head, "No I won’t buy this insurance," "No," "NO." it echoed in my head. Now I was vulnerable, my business was vulnerable and my family, what would happen to them? They could take everything, I couldn’t really afford to defend these allegations whether they turned out to have a facet of truth or not, what should I do? It felt like the nightmare I had a few weeks ago was coming true. I weighed out my options, should I tell Janine? I didn’t want her to panic about it but I also didn’t want to put added stress our relationship not to mention how our moods would affect the kids. I decided to sleep on it because I was simply lost for words, and speaking to a solicitor of my own would start a chain reaction I simply couldn’t deal with today.
A few days passed and every day the valentines advertisements mocked me as a reminder of what I could no longer give my wife. I cared so much for her and my family, and the most important thing I could no longer provide: security. The situation began to dawn on me and decided I needed to consult with my wife. She had been my PA for nearly Ten years until she decided to be a full time mum a couple of months ago after all. It couldn’t wait, so I told her the day before valentines.
The kids were watching TV and we were sitting around the dining table surrounded by a flurry of dirty and empty plates that had fed the family moments before. 'Not much longer,’ I thought to myself. I broke the news to her, that I’d been sued and that just defending the claim could leave us in considerable debt, and even cause us to lose the business and even our house. Janine fell silent and seemed to be thinking deeply, but remained very calm. I was confused but slightly relieved as I had been expecting an angry outburst, shouting and tears.