My father-in-law is Herbert König, proprietor and owner of Corydon Clock Repair here in Winnipeg. He recently turned 73 years old and has been working full time in his leased premises 5-6 days a week, commuting back and forth from his apartment. His stated hours are Tuesday to Friday, Noon to 6pm .. but he was often at his shop before 6am starting his day repairing clocks. Other days he was available by appointment only, but sometimes went into the shop to catch up on his work. He is a busy man!
On November 7, 2007 at 10:30am in the morning .. he was in a car accident.
He was banged up, but is on the road to recovery. It could have been much worse. But – there are and will be permanent effects caused by the accident on both his physical and mental health and well being. At this stage, we don’t know what “back to normal” might be or if it will ever be. He is recouperating. It has been a challenge with communication and memory, but we are hopeful that over time he will recover.
Surprisingly, as he was wearing his seatbelts, there was not much damage to his body, except for the head, face and skull where the glass and steering wheel and his head met. There was some initial reconstructive surgery on his cheekbone and face area .. and lots of swelling, but appearances are almost back to normal. H will probably never see again out of his left eye, as that is where the major brunt of the accident occurred – on his left side of his head. There was a brain bleed which is a brain injury.
He can remember things .. I am convinced of that – but thoughts are elusive and it’s hard for him (imo) to keep a clear focus on these thoughts and gets confused .. and its difficult to communicate.
Then there’s the business. Right now, he is in no condition to even remember certain things about the business, or work in progress, or how he was keeping records, or what work has been promised .. and so on and so on.
That’s where I come in.
I am not a clock repair person, although in the 1980’s our family did market analog and digital watches and the like in one of our merchandising business – I do not pretend they are related in anyway. However, I am an accountant, and able to setup some system in place to see how he’s doing, and keep track of ways with dealing with existing customer claims and antiques currently in our possession. I believe I am quite sociable, and have the patience to deal with my father-in-law’s customers. I am also the only one of all of his daughters or son-in-laws that IS self-employed and able to take time off.
Being able to take time off (as perceived by EMPLOYED individuals) is, of course, difficult to do when you have obligations of your own to contend with. But, with a flexible working schedule .. I’m hoping I will be able to help pitch in and take care of Herb’s business in his absense. Basically, with my EVDO (high speed mobility internet access) card and my laptop computer, cell phone and data memory sticks .. I am “Have-HART-Will-Travel”.
I will be trying to do what I can. Unfortunately, family comes first. Between getting his business under control, visiting him at the hospital and ‘being there’ for my wife and her family … it’s like another full-time job for me. In the last 3 weeks I am already 2 weeks behind on my own work. I’m working around the clock trying to catch up and be in a position to bill clients (and collect) to cover payments .. while every day driving across town in a gas guzzling car. And, that’s not to mention the initial 100’s of phone messages left unattended to for 2 weeks and the approximate 20 or so phone calls I have been getting every day since I changed the shop’s answering machine with my own message to call me on my cell phone!
So .. Apologies to clients .. I know you’re upset and I am truly sorry. But, there is no question of my loyalties at this time. I have to choose, and I choose my family. It’s unfortunate that unlike bones that can heal .. there is no specific timeline guestimate that brain injuries will heal – if it ever heals. I know the next two weeks will be extremely busy as I try to make heads and tails over the Clock Repair Business, its customers and its contents. My wife and family do not need literally hundreds and hundreds of angry customers to deal with. (And no .. it’s not okay that I have my own angry customers to deal with as well). I hope my own customers will bear with me in our time of need, and know that if I can compensate somehow with some discounts on my time or future billings .. I probably will just do that anyway.
And – Meanwhile .. This has really got me thinking
I have to ask myself … What if something happened to me … Who will clean up the mess I leave for me?
I’m afraid to take pictures of my home office and spare bedroom next to my home office and my basement where all of my files are and other classic memorabilia and potential income earning opportunities are located (translation: JUNK) as that would clearly seem to indicate how messy I really am.
If only I wasn’t so organized!~ A messy desk is the sign of genius or something .. isn’t it?
But, anyway I digress. I’ve been buying these 512MB memory sticks from Superstore for $9.99 to store data on them. I don’t want to carry information that helps a thief or someone else to help themselves with my bank account access or passwords to all of my blogging and credit cards and other personal information like that – but, I have included a text file on there WHERE TO LOOK FOR THE 2nd MEMORY STICK TO GET THAT INFORMATION. I am hoping that nobody understands what the cryptic message actually means but, my wifes now knows where to look.
Hopefully, I can document what to do in case of an emergency – but, I haven’t written anything yet.
There are certain papers to be sorted out and located. Claims to file. Client records to return. Receivables to collect. Locations of outstanding bills and debt information. Blogging information and what to do with the HART-Empire Network and its income and expenses. What I perceive to be of value and hopefully encourage not to be ended up in the local dumpster in our parking lot… and other stuff like that. It would be nice if I died suddenly and unexpectedly, that someone logged into all of my blogs and let readers know this – and .. Grrrr! My head hurts thinking about all of that!!! We don’t have a will prepared. It’s too morbid.
And – who has time for all of that??
Well .. not me – BUT – I have to make time to be prepared for the unnexpected – that’s important. And, that’s another 2008 project to add to my list of things to do next year .. besides
(1) be successful and
(2) enjoy life ..
I can add …
(3) In case of accident – Break Glass