You know, the high road only takes you so far sometimes. At least that is what I am learning. I have remained quiet over the last few weeks even though my character is being maligned, because I know I have done nothing wrong, and I figured time would prove that. In the meantime, I am being threatened with lawsuits and with FELONY charges.
I have to admit, over the first couple of weeks of this stupidness, I was knocked off balance by this. For someone who has never even gotten a speeding ticket, being accused of a FELONY can be very intimidating. I am still amazed at all of this, and the lengths people will go to.
But, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Anyone who knows me knows that I would never steal. I have always been the kind of person who feels guilty if I realize that I wasn't charged for something, so I go back to the store to pay for it. What is being alleged is that my salary - the exact amount I have been paid every week for a year - wasn't actually a salary, and I owe the store for any days I took off. Of course, there is no mention of paying me back for all of the overtime that I worked, since this wasn't a "salaried" position. There is also no mention of paying me for the three months in the beginning that I worked full time without pay until the store got up and running. Convenient.
In consulting with my attorney, I have learned many new legal terms over the last few weeks. For example:
"Misappropriation of Funds" Isn't this a nice, vague, lawyer term? Basically it is a big umbrella that can cover many different allegations, but what it boils down to is theft.
Another legal term that I find interesting is "Unclean Hands". This is a good one -
a legal doctrine which is a defense to a complaint, which states that a party who is asking for a judgment cannot have the help of the court if he/she has done anything unethical in relation to the subject of the lawsuit. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/unclean+hands
I was going to sit back and let this work itself out until a friend pointed out to me that the way our legal system is set up, you don't have to be guilty of anything to be drug through a whole lot of grief. Whether you are innocent or guilty, you will still have to defend yourself against their charges. Everyone knows my situation - in the process of a divorce, adjusting to being a single mom, with two AWESOME teenagers, and then unexpectedly fired from my job. On the other hand, there are three successful small business owners who have a lawyer on staff who can file anything at anytime for free. Hmmm - a little lopsided.
You know what the funniest part of this is? I leave the store with treasure that can not be stolen or measured. I leave with friendships and real connections with real people. I leave a better person than I was when the store opened because my life has been enriched by your inspiration and support. You can try to squeeze every penny out of a customer, or you can choose to make them part of your family. I made the right choice. And, I see now that being fired via text and banned from the store, even though I am still part owner, will help me move on to dealings with people who respect me.
So that is where we stand. I will keep you all updated on any future developments in this situation. My life is never boring, folks, hang on. It will be interesting to see how this affects my training and racing. I see PR's in my future.
Happy Running Everybody!