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    CLJobe
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Clarion - 24. Chapter 24

Dinner that night was at a pub that I visited many times. It was pub food and I watched as the boys ate pasties for the first time. They liked them and asked if they could have another. One was enough for me, but Cody joined them. They were having a good time. Cody took a picture of them eating their pasties. When we got back to the hotel, there was a message for me from Dave about meeting in the morning. “Cody, I'll be meeting Dave for breakfast. You and the boys can come with me or follow later, just remember the dining room closes at 9:30.”

The next morning I was up at 7:30 and by 8 I was ready to go down for breakfast. “Why don't you go for breakfast, I’ll get the boys up and we'll see you in the breakfast room.”

I met Dave at eight for breakfast. He had a few reports for me to look over while I had my coffee. “I don’t understand why they are experiencing a drop in sales. Do you have the financial report from Brad?”

Looking over the financials, I spotted the problem right away. “Why are they buying back such a large quantity of stock?”

“I think they might want to go private.”

“Then they need us more not less. Going private is tricky, particularly if the stock holders think that they are being or will be less influential in the company’s business. I'd think the Board wouldn’t have to agree to the buy back. Not that I’m against a buy back, but they are driving the company into a debt that will take years for them to pay off. This is the road to bankruptcy.”

“That’s why Robert wanted you along on this trip. You know these people, maybe you could drum some sense into their heads.”

Just then Cody tapped me on the shoulders and behind him like a file of soldiers where the kids. “Cody, there’s a buffet or you could order an English breakfast which I recommend.” With a squeeze to my shoulder, he seemed like he marched the boys to a large table. After they were seated, Nels came over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. “Did you sleep well?”

“Yes, the bed was really comfortable.”
“Good I’ll see you tonight. Tell Pop you want to go to the Tower of London this morning.”

Smiling he went back to his breakfast. Dave just looked at me and smiled. We took a taxi to the client’s office. After introductory hellos and handshakes, we began our discussions. It took us the whole day minus lunch to try and make sense out of what they were trying to do. I explained that all they were doing was driving the stock prices up and if they kept going, they would bankrupt the company. Initially they were one of our success stories now they would be one of our failures. I tried to explain that if they wanted to buy back their stock, they had to do it slowly as to negate any effect on the stock price. I showed them the price of the stock before they went hell bent to buy it back. I made a simple graph which showed them as they bought the stock, prices kept rising. “If you keep this up, you'll be bankrupt within 1 year. The amount of debt you already have accumulated will take you 50 years to pay off.”

By the end of the day, I didn't think I made any inroads. “Dave, don’t count on them as future clients. I got the impression they didn’t like what I said. If they continue, they will be bankrupt within a year. Have Robert send them a letter briefly stating that if they continue on the road they are now, we cannot support them any longer. Try and get out while we can. I think their contract is up at the end of July. Don’t renew it if they continue, it would be bad publicity for us. You need to make that clear to them in your letter highlighting our recommendations. Do you want to meet with them again tomorrow?”

“If they don’t change their mind, what’s the point. If the stock holders get wind of this there will be a large bailout which will drive the stock down until it is worthless. They will have a high debt and worthless stock. Their profits won’t support that debt, ergo bankruptcy.”

“That is why we need to go on record as to what we discussed today. The faster you do that the better off we’ll be. Call Robert tonight and brief him. Do you want to have dinner tonight with us?”

“I’d like to but I need to finalize our meeting today. I’ll check with them in the morning and if they want to continue with what they are doing, I’ll make arrangements and head back home.”

“OK lets meet in the morning for breakfast and you can tell me what you want me to do if anything.”

Going to my room, I laid down with a slight headache. I must have fallen asleep when I heard the door open. Cody entered and was surprised to see me. “I thought you’d be going to dinner with Dave.”

“The meeting didn’t turn out so well. I think unless the company has a change of heart, Dave will be heading home. So how was the Tower of London?”

“The boys liked it but how did you know that's where we went?”

“I told Nels to ask you to go there. Where are the boys?”

“In their room, I noticed that Nels seems to hang around you a lot.”

“Yes, I noticed that as well where as James seems to hang with you. I’m not sure why but it doesn’t bother me. I kind of like having a tag-a-long.”

“Maybe it’s the age or the absence of a father in Nels life more than James. Either way I’m glad we have them.” That got someone a hug and a kiss.

“Where should we go for dinner?”

“The boys want to go back to the pub. There was a steak and kidney pie on the menu.”

“Unless you like kidneys my advice is to stay away from that. I would suggest Sheppard’s pie or steak and ale pie. Both English traditional pub food. Maybe for lunch we can find a fish and chips place. I’ll ask at the desk.”

“Is you business finished?”

“I think so, the British are a little strong headed at times. They are buying back their stock in such large quantities that the stock price keeps going up. They are over their head in debt. Dave will document our meeting and I’ll meet him for breakfast in the morning. If there is no change, then he'll go back to New York.”

Before I could say anything else, 4 boys landed on our beds. “How was your day?”

The jumble of voices all trying to tell me how their day was, one could only get a snatch here and there. I started to laugh and when I had a chance, “Are you hungry?”

That stopped all the talking and I had 4 boys ready to go and eat. I washed my face and we headed downstairs. I made a move to go to the dining room, Nels grabbed my hand, “Dad, we want to go back to the pub we ate at last night.”

Copyright © 2020 CLJobe; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

1 hour ago, Tonyr said:

@CLJobe  Sometimes i hate you! Not all the time; Only when i finish reading a very short chapter...😂👍

I'm sorry, but sometimes......

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1 hour ago, chris191070 said:

Great chapter. It sounds like Cody and the boys had a great day in London whilst Alan had a bad day at office trying to make a business client see sense.

It is always difficult to listen to someone, who is being paid to assist, about your business. The word 'your' is the key. If Alan say they will go bankrupt, my bet is on Alan

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I am eager to see the development of the relationship between Nels and Alan! 

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1 hour ago, mikedup said:

Awesome chapter, some people have heads made of rocks and cannot or won't listen to reason, the boys seem to having an great time

You're right. Some people just don't like to be told they are wrong. They usually live to regret it. 

The boys are having a ball. New food to taste, England has some fantastic museums and a pub experience is something that is treasured 

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38 minutes ago, pvtguy said:

I am eager to see the development of the relationship between Nels and Alan! 

They seem to have bonded. I think in most families, children tend to bond to one more than the other. But make no mistake, children love both parents. I should qualify that since in todays world there are a lot of parents who have disowned their children, or maltreated them. In this case, abandoned them.

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2 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Great chapter. It sounds like Cody and the boys had a great day in London whilst Alan had a bad day at office trying to make a business client see sense.

I know the feeling am currently dealing with one like that and agree with Alan sometimes its better to fire a client when they don't want to listen ( which is what I will be doing soon)

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2 minutes ago, mrbossmant said:

I know the feeling am currently dealing with one like that and agree with Alan sometimes its better to fire a client when they don't want to listen ( which is what I will be doing soon)

I hope all goes well with this. There is a very slight hope, that when the client realizes what he is losing, he may change their mind. I said 'slight hope' sometimes that is zero. I had a client once, I advised doing something, they didn't listen, 9 months later they were bought out. We should compare notes sometimes 🙂

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1 hour ago, CLJobe said:

It is always difficult to listen to someone, who is being paid to assist, about your business. The word 'your' is the key. If Alan say they will go bankrupt, my bet is on Alan

Alan's day is a sad reminder of 'Business Sense' or lack of it. Many businesses (not just British) will hire experts to make them profitable just so they can take the company private to avoid paying shareholders. It's math, where Greed + Stupidity* = Bankrupt. *In Brit's case, substitute "Thick as a plank".

Good to see Nels wanting to latch on to Alan. Think they're simpatico. :hug:

:thankyou:

 

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So enjoying this story and the great memories of London and the UK it brings back. I think the kids will learn there's some really great food and then there's things like kidney pie, haggis, and black pudding. Problem with the next few chapters coming up, I'm going to have to be sure and eat before reading, especially as we begin our culinary tour through other parts of Europe. YUM!!! Hahahaha!!! 

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4 hours ago, Anton_Cloche said:

Alan's day is a sad reminder of 'Business Sense' or lack of it. Many businesses (not just British) will hire experts to make them profitable just so they can take the company private to avoid paying shareholders. It's math, where Greed + Stupidity* = Bankrupt. *In Brit's case, substitute "Thick as a plank".

Good to see Nels wanting to latch on to Alan. Think they're simpatico. :hug:

:thankyou:

 

I think your summary is right on. Good show, I say

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Great chapter and I think that Nels is stealing the hearts of all of your readers, lol, he's definitely got mine.

Edited by Mancunian
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3 hours ago, Chris L said:

So enjoying this story and the great memories of London and the UK it brings back. I think the kids will learn there's some really great food and then there's things like kidney pie, haggis, and black pudding. Problem with the next few chapters coming up, I'm going to have to be sure and eat before reading, especially as we begin our culinary tour through other parts of Europe. YUM!!! Hahahaha!!! 

I'll spare you, we will not continue a culinary trip. 

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Pasties? As in Cornish Pasties? Drooling again. Eating British Pub Food in an actual British Pub is just so cool.

I can't believe their Clients can't see what is right in front of their faces? 

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25 minutes ago, Buz said:

Pasties? As in Cornish Pasties? Drooling again. Eating British Pub Food in an actual British Pub is just so cool.

I can't believe their Clients can't see what is right in front of their faces? 

It always happens, and not only in England. It seems people who own a business seem to have an attitude of knowing best and suggestions are something to think about over cocktails. Those who listen and investigate the proposals, come out ahead.

Pub food, anytime. Pasties, steak pie, Ploughman's lunch, YES

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