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  1. #1
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    A long story even shorter or "why am I still in shock"

    I don't even know where to begin. As I think such an experience is worth sharing, not from a pitifull point of view, but as an educational "not to", from which you may or may not learn something, so I'll start with the begining.

    Some of you may noticed my long absence from the boards.

    4 and a half months ago I've been offered what looked like the ideal job. Project Manager wouldn't even cover the duties, but seemed ok. Great pay, car, house, hardware, all the goodies.

    It took me a while to get used to the "twilight zone" effect, in which people did stupid and moronic things (see the thread about stupidity), lifetime friends stabbing eachother in the back for a penny's worth of profit and so on.

    The project mainly consisted in researching, developing and then overseeing the progress of a commercial database/communicational platform containing all the companies in a ceratin country. As the logical step was developing that database of my country, I started working on the project. The basic level of it (programming, design and so on) was done mostly inhouse, as I handpicked each and every person involved in the project. Very good and skilled people indeed.

    Then my main concern was overseing sales, client support, human resources. The works. You could say I was managing the entire company.

    All this was a dream come true, as I had everything I needed. A beatifull car (Alfa 156), a bedroom apartment (I was relocated 500 kms from home), state of the art widescreen laptops (I had 3 different models), mobile internet connection. Parties, business meetings, everything a young business savvy person could ever dream of.

    4 months went by and everything was peachy. The project was completed and all there was left was to oversee sales.

    1 day prior to my departure I saw some wierd activities. All kinds of new, strange people, supposedly connected to the project came to see the CEO. I was told they are were there as consultants. But then I was told to oversee the migrations of the database servers, to give them the sales team contacts, the sources of everything etc.

    Only then a light flickered in my mind. But as it was 3 AM already, I thought I would deal with those issues later when I will wake up and come to the office.

    On the same day everything was quite quiet, so I thought everything was back to normal, as wierd as it was.

    The next day though, surprise meeting in the CEO's office. My laptop and cell phone were on the CEO's desk, a guy looking into my laptop and another into my own private cell phone. More than 10 people there, including the CEO's husband, cousin, sister, private assistant and some new faces.

    At this point, one of the new faces started asking me all kind of idiotic questions about the design, programming, domain name, dedicated server and so on. I explained everything there had to be explained, yet he bluntly refused to understand. At this point I was getting angry. Then another guy started asking me questions about the human resources involved in the project, including designers, programmers, sales team and so on. Same situation as the first guy. Then more people, including the CEO, her sister and husband, which were completely parallel to the issue and totally out of order started making accusations. As I didn't do anything, as someone else did everything for the project, as I'm a complete dissapointment and I have no place there. Now at this point I was more than angry, I was quite frankly boiling.

    Of course I made my point, but I won't duplicate that for the obvious reasons, yet they seemed to fail in uderstanding what I was pointing out. IT was like we spoke different languages.

    Then the CEO told me that within 5 minutes I shall give them my laptops, sim cards and everything there was, and by the time I'll get back with those we'll settle the financial matters as well.

    At this point it just hit me. Hard. I only had an agreement with them, nothing signed, although my contract was printed and signed, but I didn't get the chance to sign it. And another hit. I never had access to any cash. Everything I needed I was given, but not any cash. At this point I was already seing the outcome. With my last mental and physical forces I entered the CEO's office to settle the financial matters. From her calculations it turned out that I was paid more than my monthly salary(but see the above paragraph), so as "hurtfull" as it might seem to her, she considers it settled. But as she felt "pitty" for me, she agreed to pay me the trip back home.

    I was escorted to the trainstation that night by a few fellow "colleagues". Now I stand short of quite a few thousand euros and in a worst financial situation than I was before, I could say the worst yet.

    Now, just as a word of advice. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT follow verbal agreements. Have it signed. It will stand in court, no matter what.
    Don't be fooled by all the goodies. A nice apartment, a new shiny car, the laptop of your dreams, parties, banquets, trips all have a clear purpose. To clouden your mind.
    If it's too good to be true, it is, no exceptions. Everything has a price and most probably you're the one that's going to pay it.
    Do not, under any circumstance give into someonelse's game unless you're 100% sure you'll going to win. If something seems wrong, bail out or take action. No one will catch your fall.


    Today I stand before you a better man. I learned the hard way, from my own experience.
    Lorand R. Minyo
    Co-Founder @ Neveli

  2. #2
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    Very sad to hear! I remember you a bit ago talking about how excited you was about this, and so eager to begin!

    A lesson learn is a lesson applied, even though it was learnt the hard way.
    Tyler Cole
    Eeek, a Blog

  3. #3
    Wow! That's a very unfortunate situation.

    You have given some excellent advice.

    Perhaps you should start a "xyzSucks.com" website with your story?

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  4. #4
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    Tthat's pretty sad.


    Good luck in the future.

  5. #5
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    at the very least, you can put the story up on a site, with the company name, CEO name, etc... Google is very powerful. I always google before I make any arrangement with anyone, or when I'm using a company. Maybe you can be able to stop other people from making your mistake?
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  6. #6
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    Thats really bad but sometimes verbal agreements are as valid as written ones, it may be worth your while checking up as seeing if you have any recourse.....

  7. #7
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    There's no reason putting up a site to bash them. They do business under so many names, on a corporate level only a few could imagine.

    There's no real reason to warn people, as most of their business is done within the country, with several contracts in Italy.

    People working for them act in the same manner, are completely cut out of the real business environment or bail out at the first sign of wierd issues. I bailed out too late.

    Phil, try proving a verbal contract between yourself and a corporation. No one from the company (former co-workers, employees etc) will back you up because they fear repercussions.

    The only way to settle this is to get even, hitting them where it hurts. Financially. They are the most greedy people I ever met or heard about.

    Hitting them on forums and websites won't do any good, as they're not web savvy, their business is not internet based.
    Lorand R. Minyo
    Co-Founder @ Neveli

  8. #8
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    Lorand, that's an interesting story to say the least. Sorry things didn't work out for you.

    So, what's next for you?
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  9. #9
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    Atleast if you have a recorded conversation it might help but nothing beats a written agreement and contract.
    Chris, Developer/Programmer,
    Php laravel developers,
    Ruby on Rails developers,
    www.chrisranjana.com

  10. #10
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    Thanks for sharing that with us. I feel sorry for you. Are you going to complain or sue?
    My Blog - www.Bakie.net
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  11. #11
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    As I said, I've learned the hard way.

    Chris, I know, it was my mistake and now I suffer because of it.

    Aussie Bob, tough to say what's next. I was out of the loop for too long now. Right before I left I rebranded the old company to a(D)nalyse. Some might say I was good at branding and advertising research. I'm what you could call an identity savvy person.

    Today only my past clients remember me, as most of them became my friends and had a continuous relationship. HostingTech was of great help as well. Some might remember my interview posted on HostingTech. Today it's still the article with the most read count there. But that was long time ago. As I said, I'm pretty much out of the loop now, although I have to focus on recovering financially.

    Bakie, I'm not going to sue. Nothing stands in court without a written proof. And not with these people.
    Lorand R. Minyo
    Co-Founder @ Neveli

  12. #12
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    I hope when you gave in the laptop, you gave it in without any files save on it.
    They used you for four months. Thank you for the advice, now I am not going to have any verbal concact with anyone.

  13. #13
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    During the short notice (about 5 minutes) I managed to delete my private files and all relevant info of the project. Unfortunatelly there were a few files I couldn't delete though.
    Lorand R. Minyo
    Co-Founder @ Neveli

  14. #14
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    I've missed something - what gave them the right to look through your laptop and your cell phone?
    Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius

  15. #15
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    As the laptop was used within the company, for the company's project, my cell phone had the sim card they gave me, a private company number (although the phone was mine), they expressed their right to look through them.

    Not much I could do though, as by the time I got back they were already on the desk of the CEO. They went through my files, my phone book contacts, time of call, duration etc. Lucky for me they didn't realise I still had the files on the laptop when they gave it back to me to reset the passwords. At that point only I deleted the files.
    Lorand R. Minyo
    Co-Founder @ Neveli

  16. #16
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    I would have delete the files, too. The file that you didn't get to delete, how important was those?
    How much of the information did they learn about the project? Did you have to turn the car back in?
    What are sim card?
    Without the delete information, how will that slow them down? You said the contact was sign but it wasn't sign by you. Can you prove that you didnt' sign it by your signature/handwritting?
    You could take this to court to show them that you did not get any amount of cash. If they tried to show that you rent the apartment, car, house...show them that it was rent and paid by them. It should be the law that you are paid cash which would go toward paying for your food.
    Did you do the below?

    Quote:
    But then I was told to oversee the migrations of the database servers, to give them the sales team contacts, the sources of everything etc.

  17. #17
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    The contract I signed that day had my signature on it, but didn't have anything completed on it, and the CEO didn't sign it at that point.

    Everyhting, including rent was paid by cash, so no written contract there as well. All providers of things I needed were closely connected with the company.
    Lorand R. Minyo
    Co-Founder @ Neveli

  18. #18
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    Ah this story sounds somewhat familiar:

    In 1998 my assistant left the company we both worked for, to go start an ISP in Guntersville, AL (about 50 miles from where we lived). He was going to oversee the project, he called me and said "hey I need a good admin to build these Sun servers we're going to use, know anyone?" and I was like 'you bet I do' and we talked to the backer (retired from Unisys the year before) and we agreed I'd go to work for them for basically the same salary I made already (I was in a dead end situation and was as "far" as I could go really so "new" was good even at the same pay).

    So I moved to Guntersville, put my house on the market, and began building this isp. 2 months after I started the job my wife got pregnant with our first and only child.

    I had that baby singing, scripts to manage everything, integrated billing, it was humming along awesomely. The week of my wedding anniversay (May 28th) the owner asks me into his office. "you're fired"

    I was shocked. He said I was "competing with the company" see the company also sold pcs and repaired them, well he was reading my emails (I didn't lock my desktop) and he found some a friend of mine had sent me asking about buying a PC, I basically gave him a shopping list of things his PC needed to have and left it at that figuring he'd order a Dell or whitebox from someone (local to him not 50 miles away).

    Anyway, I was fired, wife was then 5 months pregnant, I was flat broke from paying rent AND paying my mortgage on my house so I could live close to work. We had the house up for sale and a "buyer" had already moved into it (another mistake...).

    He gave my job to my "assistant" someone who wasn't much more capable than logging into root and causing problems, he was a real newbie, he was what I'd call a "higher end" level 1 tech! No where NEAR capable of doing what I'd done to build that isp, but capable enough to keep things going with what I'd already written...

    Turns out he didn't have NEAR as much cash as he claimed in reserve to float the company to profitability, the "nearly a million" to build the company and pay salaries until profitability I found out later, was actually $180K and my salary was 37K and I'd been working there like 8 months so... do the math.

    So my wife and I had to move in with my SISTER. My wife had our kid while we lived with my sister, 6 days later on October 12th, 2000 I flew to California to start a high paying job with a dot-bomb. 9 months later (July, 2001) we moved back home to Alabama, bills paid up, cash in the bank, and a new plan. I was gonna start a hosting company of my own.

    I was tired of working for others making THEM money with my hard work.
    Gary Harris - the artist formerly known as Dixiesys
    resident grumpy redneck

  19. #19
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    Gary, I presume this is your story. If so, you must know exactly how I feel right now.

    And you must agree that you can't really know what's it about untill you go through it.
    Lorand R. Minyo
    Co-Founder @ Neveli

  20. #20
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    Yep it's my story, and yeah I can probably relate with how you feel, let's see how did I feel...

    scared - my kid was coming and we couldn't even afford a place to stay, I probably should have just filed bankruptcy, but I was and am too proud for that. I made my bed I'll lie in it if it kills me.

    mad - at the owner, at life in general, all I ever wanted was to learn computers, and be a network/system admin type person and just make a living for my family.

    betrayed - I was just used, and then thrown out more or less, and I was sick and tired of being shat upon by every place I worked

    Not to mention - disillusioned - this crap just drove home to me that you can't trust anyone, that people only want to use you for what you can do for them, and it pissed me off, I wasn't and still ain't, like that I believe in just treating people fair and square as you can and go on with your life.
    Gary Harris - the artist formerly known as Dixiesys
    resident grumpy redneck

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Dixiesys
    . . . 9 months later (July, 2001) we moved back home to Alabama, bills paid up, cash in the bank, and a new plan. I was gonna start a hosting company of my own.
    And all's well that ends well.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  22. #22
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    Lucky for me I didn't have a kid coming. Although I was planning that same week to move my bride to be with me. Starting a new life, a better life. It was a dream come true. A good job, a future wife that loves you, the pride, the admiration.

    But as higher as you go, the higher you fall. It's not the fact that I lost an amount of money that could've helped me build a life, but the fact that I dissapointed quite a few people. Just as a puppy coming back with the tail between the legs. The shame. The madness. The pain, both physical (an ulcer caused by the situation) and mental.

    But I don't feel sorry for myself. I didn't see it coming and it's entirely my fault.
    Lorand R. Minyo
    Co-Founder @ Neveli

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by Lorand M
    Just as a puppy coming back with the tail between the legs. The shame. The madness. The pain, both physical (an ulcer caused by the situation) and mental.

    But I don't feel sorry for myself. I didn't see it coming and it's entirely my fault.
    Yep this describes the feeling perfectly "puppy coming back with tail between legs" that's just how I felt asking my sister if we could stay with her while we got things back together again, at that point paying things like light bills and phones and stuff was just not possible.
    Gary Harris - the artist formerly known as Dixiesys
    resident grumpy redneck

  24. #24
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    Well i still think its bad but if you can do a good job for them then you can do a good job for yourself, Get yourself about a bit and make a reputation that way money will come flocking, you obviously have talent or they would not have hired you in the first place....

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by Lorand M
    The only way to settle this is to get even, hitting them where it hurts. Financially. They are the most greedy people I ever met or heard about.

    Hitting them on forums and websites won't do any good, as they're not web savvy, their business is not internet based.
    Do you have a news media outlet you could go to? A news magazine or investigative television program may be willing to confront them about issues like this and report their reaction.

    Then again, any PR is good to some so it may not be all that beneficial. Might give you some satifaction, however. In any event, sorry for your situation. Hope your next endeavor is more fruitful!

  26. #26
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    It is a shame they treated you this way. What you can do is...start up your own project and company.
    Now I know that I must always discuss my salary with my employee. I remember when my aunt was working at a store for 2 weeks, they wanted her to come back for another week but the problem was that they did not give her a paycheck. So when she didn't come back the third week, they mailed her paycheck to her. Now I know I must be getting money every other week to put into the bank.

  27. #27
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    Phil, that's exactly the attitude I hate. Let them go and get succesfull, maybe they will feel sorry they did that to you. Not even a remote chance. They ruined a good part of my life, my close future, all my plans. I won't let them go. Maybe I'm not going to do anything right now, but I never forget.

    You might not know it, but in the past I had a few problems with a former member of the boards. Of course the issue wasn't this large, the sum of money he owed me was petty cash compared to this ocasion. I hunted him down for more than a month and almost ruined him. He came begging to let him go, he paid all he had to pay, plus extra. No one ever since crossed me.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a very decent and understanding person, but when someone clearly shows bad faith and tries to double cross me I'll hit back 10 times as hard.

    Darren, that's one of my options. Although I have some other plans as well, I'll just wait it out.

    indiaberry, I already have my own project/company.
    Lorand R. Minyo
    Co-Founder @ Neveli

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