There comes a point sometimes in life when you have to give up flogging a dead horse and just walk away from it. Yesterday was one such day for Mr Ayak.
You may recall the problems that Mr A encountered right from the start of the hamam business. The volcanic ash cloud resulting in cancellations. The General Manager not being totally honest about the type of customers, and the many other obstacles he put in Mr A's way.
A couple of weeks ago Mehmet, Mr A's partner, decided he wanted out of the partnership. Mehmet is an excellent masseur and a really nice guy, but there has been a distinct lack of enthusiasm or sense of responsibility on his part when it came to managing the business. It was Mr A's agreed role to get customers and to manage the finances. Mehmet's role was to manage personnel. He just hasn't been doing it. So he agreed to become just another member of staff, receiving personnel accommodation and food, and commission for the work he did.
Having taken this step back, he then seemed to lose interest completely....disappearing for hours on end, and turning up when it suited him.
Erhan was an absolute treasure (you may remember me mentioning him). A hardworking young man, loyal to Mr A, and wonderful with customers. This week he got his call-up papers to do his national service. He knew they were imminent but had hoped to see the season out. Sadly it was not to be, so two days ago he left for his home to say goodbye to his parents and will be off to training camp in a few days. We were very sorry to see him go.
Davut seemed much the same as Erhan...or at least I thought so. However, it was discovered a couple of days ago that he's actually had customers when Mr A wasn't there, and has pocketed the money. The arrangement is that the amount the customer pays goes to Mr A and the masseur is then paid his commission.
Davut has been keeping the lot. Mr A was informed by one of the bar staff, but not wishing to accept this as fact before checking, he actually managed to locate and speak to the customers involved. He didn't confront Davut. He was really hoping that he would come clean. He didn't. Mr A asked him how many customers he had while Mr A wasn't there...and he said none. Mr A still didn't confront him, reckoning that Davut would just have to live with his conscience (if he has one). Mr A was just very hurt that someone he thought he trusted had stolen from him. Haven't I said before...many times?...Mr A is just too trusting!
Yesterday morning, Mehmet started to moan about the state of the business and the fact that they weren't earning any money and that Mr A wasn't getting enough customers. Mr A's response was "Mehmet...if I'm no good at this...maybe you think you can do better?" Mehmet thought he could. So Mr A has handed the business over to him and walked away from it. Mehmet seems happy with this, even though he was reminded that there is still rent to pay on the hamam, rent for personnel accommodation, personnel food, etc, etc. And that the hotel is now only 30% full. Mehmet, I think, is in for a big shock.
Oh well...good luck to Mehmet...he's certainly going to need it. And maybe when he has had a go at the reins, he'll realise just how much stress Mr A has suffered these past few months. I give it a week before Mehmet too collapses under the strain of trying to earn money when it's impossible to find customers. Mr A could of course stick it out with Mehmet at the helm, but he is in no fit state mentally to sit there and watch a sinking ship.
I'm surprised Mr A has lasted this long. So many businesses in the area have folded over the last couple of months. It's a sign of the times...people are just not spending money.
Mr A came home last night. I am very concerned about him. He doesn't want to talk. He looks like he is on the verge of tears most of the time. He just sits and stares into space. At one point he seemed to brighten up a little and talked for 5 minutes about other possibilities....but this glimmer of hope didn't last.
You know? I just hate writing about all this doom and gloom. Mine must be one of the most depressing blogs around at the moment. I'm surprised I still have followers to be honest. But I've always said I write this for me...it helps to offload it.
So I'm going to try and end on a positive note. I am not giving up. We have survived 12 years of ups and downs. There are ideas in the pipeline. Mr A needs a few days of stress-free relaxation....and then we will start to re-build our lives. Onwards and upwards!