“So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love” – E.A. Bucchianeri

The following morning I had breakfast with Lynda and kids and asked the kids if they are interested in helping me with the painting of the house.  They said, yes. So instead of getting a professional painter to paint our house, I decided to go with Lynda and buy some paint and brushes.  Lynda was grownup in a hardware store in London where Charlie and July had a hardware store for decades.  I let Lynda to pick the paint and brushes.

I was surprised that kids didn’t even notice that I didn’t go to the office that day. 

It was a big house and I knew it was going to be a challenge for us but I made it a family project.  We four started painting in a different areas and Lynda kept showing Adam that he missed the spot here and there.  We kept it going that week but on the weekend we decided that we definitely need a professional painter to finish the job.     

The next week I focussed on re-writing my resume and making some telephone calls to find an agency which is specialized in placing computer personnel.  I was doing something in the basement; Lynda shouted that there is a phone for you.  When I got on the phone, I was surprised to hear John Farlick’s voice on the phone.  If I remember correctly, John was a couple of years older than me with a couple of kids. He used to work for Beaver Lumber as a programmer analyst but he reported to my counterpart.  He went to work for a small company last year to help them with their computer problems.  They had the Singer System 10 like Beaver Lumber.  After spending a few seconds on the telephone formalities, essentially Joh said:

  1. He decide to go into consulting business with Jeff, another programmer;
  2. He had lot of respect for his current boss, she was very good to him;
  3. She will not let him go unless he finds a replacement as good as him or better;
  4. The problem was that she’s not a strategic thinker like Gord Scott;
  5. She could be all over the map, sometimes, but she will listen to you if she liked you; and
  6. John told her all kind of lies about how wonderful I was and she wanted to meet me tomorrow at 10:00AM.

I asked John how he knew that I was that desperate for a job without even talking to me.  He said it’s not you; it was me who was desperate to find the replacement.  If you don’t like the idea, I can go back and tell her more lies about somebody else.  I told John that he owes me one and he said okay, I guess.

The name of the company was Eletex. Next day I went to their office.  John took me into his office and I was absolutely surprised to see such a huge office with beautiful furniture and colourful carpet and drapes.  I said WOW.  John said this is going to be your office if you decided to work here.  In other words, he had already sold me to his current boss. 

When we entered Mrs. Benda’s office I was speechless to see her and her office.  Firstly, I remembered the office of the president of Beaver Lumber which could easily be fitted in one corner of Mrs. Benda’s office and secondly, she looked just like the Hungarian-American actress – Zsa Zsa Gabor. I found out later that Mrs. Benda was a Polish-Canadian.   Right away, I realized that she had a class.  She must be in her late forties or early fifties and she had very nice accent.  She looked at me and said, so you’re the one John thinks can walk on water.  I said if you believed that I have a bridge for sale. I said you should know that John lies a lot. She laughed and said I like you already.  She said thanks John when we are finished I will bring Mir to your office. 

She offered me a chair and if my memory serves me correctly, essential she told me that she had distribution rights for several international cosmetics companies in Canada. She expained the processes involved:

  1. They order cosmetics from various places for which they have the distribution rights in Canada and they store merchandise in the warehouse and keep a current inventory of those cosmetics items on the computer;  
  2. They write cheques to pay for the cosmetics that delivered to their warehouse;
  3. She has marketing staff to visit the head offices of those stores in Toronto because they order merchandise for their stores all over the country;
  4. They receive orders from those stores and they process those orders on the computer and print necessary information for the warehouse to pick and ship the merchandise to the respective stores;
  5. They print invoices on the computer for the merchandise which had been shipped; and
  6. When the payments come in; they apply them to the outstanding invoices.

I said now I understand your business which’s in essence no different than the model I am used to, except the magnitude of orders. However what I don’t understand is that why the title of the position is “Controller”.  She said I am glad that you asked.  She said, in addition to managing computer personnel, you will be managing the accounting department. Even though the Accounts Payable and Receivable are not computerized. You don’t have to worry about accounting activities too much as Helen, Accounting Supervisor, has everything under control. Every month she sends all related documents to our accountant and they enter it in their computer system to produce annual report.

I said that sounds reasonable but would I have a right to make necessary changes I see fit to the areas I am responsible for? She said absolutely, I will support you as you will be reporting to me.  Then she told me the salary and benefits associated with the job.  She also told me that there are two VPs in the company – one for marketing who was her husband and one for the warehouse and administration.   

She didn’t ask any specific questions about my work with my previous employer and when I ran out of questions.  She said let’s go see John.   

When we got to John’s office she said to John I will release you the minute you get Mir’s commitment.  Come and see me.

I said to John, she’s something else.  He said the good thing is that she liked you otherwise you would have been kicked out within 10 minutes.  I said John you are not obligated to stick around once you have already resigned.  He said I know that but I feel obligated because she had been very good to me.  I asked John how fast you want to disappear from here.  He said we already rented an office, already hired a couple of guys and dying to get it going.  I said John I am grateful to you for recommending me and doing the ground work for me. I am prepared to start working here whenever you want me to.  He asked can you start on Monday and I said absolutely.  He said aren’t you going to discuss it with Lynda first.  I said she would understand our situation, John.    

We went to Mrs. Brenda’s office, she was waiting for us.  John said this is my last week with you and Mir’s starting on Monday.   She got up and shook hands.

Our Story – Chapter 21