Liquidity Issues

The word “liquidation” always sounds odd. Especially when considered in its usual context involving failing companies. Liquidation is the dissolution of a corporate structure and the disbursement of anything left to the creditors.

The emphasis is on the “anything left” portion. There is generally nothing left. In fact, if there is or was anything to begin with, it goes into the liquidator’s pockets. That’s capitalism for you.

The issue is quite high on the agenda at the moment primarily because the “other business” in the office, the one that I have been moaning about for five years now, is approaching liquidation. It has been living on borrowed time for the last five months or so, but it has always managed to scrabble together enough money to buy off the worst creditors over that period. Now there is nothing left, and it really can’t.

It leaves me feeling very nervous. I am personally owed money by the company, money which I foolishly personally guaranteed. The company owes money to my own business. The owner of the other business still owes me money personally. It is all completely farcical. I look back and think I should never have allowed myself to get in this position, but life can’t really be like that. My life has been down many interesting twists and turns as a result of the fateful decisions of five years ago to support someone I didn’t really know all that well at the time. I’m not sure what the hell I was thinking. Maybe I was just bored. I just read some of the posts from the time. They were interesting, and I did recognise it was a big decision, but I was thinking about my business, not his.

To be fair, the money that I’m about to lose is offset by the money that I have gained over the years. Not by much at all, and it is a pittance in comparison to the £300,000 or more that my alleged business partner has taken, either in salary, fake dividends (“transfers”), cars, fuel, insurance, subsistence, you name it. Kids joining a kickboxing club? That’s £400 right there.

I should be exceptionally bitter about it. But I can’t be. It has led me to where I am now. I am generally bored with my work, and my own business, but as long as I don’t get too many days where I get one call after another, and basically don’t leave my desk or computer, then I can deal with it. There are enough interesting people and nice customers. They just about offset the bad ones.

But there are hard times ahead. I’ve been dreading this moment for months. My alleged business partner (MABP) has plundered all the money he can. I am worried that, even though my name is not connected officially, I am still on the bank account, and still could suffer in some way. J worries with me that a bailiff or someone will arrive in the office and want to steal all our stuff, just because we share an office with another business that is being liquidated. It could easily happen. HMRC have already come knocking for MABP.

When it all finally goes pear shaped, there will be recriminations. I have to be strong enough to move on, and hold the line against MABP that I have spent 5 years on this, it’s all gone wrong, and I can’t do it again. It is affecting my sanity. It is affecting my life. My partner is also struggling with it. It’s made him ill recently, I’m sure of it.

We will get through it, but I don’t think the current arrangements will survive. We will either have to leave our office, because we can’t afford the cost on our own, or we will have to find someone else to sublet to. There is really no other option, as I cannot see how MABP will find the funds he needs to get started. I won’t be doing that again. The ledger of debt against him proves that one.

But it will be very difficult. Very difficult indeed. He will plead with me for money to tide them over before payments come in. He will do everything to persuade me that I must stick with him. But I don’t owe him a living. I’ve done that for five years, babysit his company and his ambitions. They have come to nothing. I have to move on. He has to move on.

The car crash has been unravelling in slow motion for four or five months now. I have seen the writing on the wall for ages and been trying to make as many danger signs as I could, but MABP just wouldn’t listen. It was all about the pipeline. The pipeline will save the day.

It won’t. It didn’t. And added to the whole thing a farcical drama involving a wanker masquerading as an investor, who spent weeks pretending he was interested and then brought the whole process crashing down with an odd text message accusing someone in the company of feeding him negative information about the company. Utter bollocks. And strangely vicious. Who would lie like that rather than just bow out professionally?

None of it makes sense. But then again, none of it ever did. It was all done on a hunch, and has changed direction at least three times. It was all back-of-a-fag packet, in an attempt to go from 0 to 100. He never wanted to grow organically and service contracts in a controlled manner. It was always one crazy scheme after another. All the while wanting to look like the big MD in his big corporate branded pickup truck (known as the Dickup Truck in the office) – dipping his hand in the till whenever he wanted.

It may – hopefully – soon be over. With, hopefully, a graceful way out for everyone.

We might then be able to get on with our lives…