Saturday, 10 July 2010
Optimism....you need shedloads of it to live in Turkey.
Life here is full of disappointments and setbacks. If the Turks weren't forever optimistic, they would never cope with what life throws at them.
I'm always amazed at the way they can turn anything negative completely on it's head and always believe that things will get better. No wonder they are in general such a happy race.
I hadn't planned to visit Mr Ayak at work today, because I was there yesterday, but I saw him after the meeting with the General Manager and how angry he was. He phoned me later in the evening when I was at home, and he was all for wanting to kill the GM. I can't say I blame him. Of course he doesn't mean actually "kill" him, but it is quite common for a Turkish man to hit another man if he feels he has been treated badly. I don't condone violence, but I can understand how satisfying it must be to just punch someone and get it out of your system.
So I decided another trip over there today was necessary. I thought it might be useful if I could calm him down and prevent him from hitting anyone. We had a long chat about the situation, and then Mr A phoned his cousin who is a solicitor. I'm pleased we have this huge extended family, with a variety of skills and expertise, who are only too willing to help.
She went through the contract with Mr Ayak, and says the General Manager doesn't have a leg to stand on. That is...he cannot force Mr A to close up at 9.00pm every evening. In fact he cannot make any demands on him at all as the business is entirely seperate. She says he should sit tight. As long as he pays the balance of the rental, which is due at the end of this month, then he is entitled to run his business the way he sees fit, without any interference. She is coming over on Thursday, to stay with Mr A's cousin in the hotel opposite, and if necessary she will sit in with Mr A if he wishes to have a further meeting with the GM.
It is rather sad that the GM and Mr Ayak are actually old friends from way back. They grew up in the same village, and it was the GM who had offered the contract to Mr A in the first place. Unfortunately, it would seem that the GM has put greed before friendship.
I think strong words...possibly threats...from Mr A must have been made last night, because today the GM is all sweetness and light. He walked past me on his way somewhere today...waved and smiled, and said how are you? I of course reciprocated in similar fashion. He is behaving similarly towards Mr A today, who, as yet is unable to manage anymore than a scowl! But he'll get there...I just say to him...keep smiling...you'll win and he will lose.
I think this is the way we have to play it. Mr A thankfully agrees with me. He and his boys will now work flat out over the next 20 days to make sure that they earn enough money to pay the rent. Once that's out of the way, any money coming in will at last be going into our pockets.
So we are a little more optimistic today. Wish us luck please!