Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tea Habitat - Grand opening!

I am in the final stage of preparation. Grand opening date is June 2nd, this Saturday. Grand opening celebration party is scheduled on the following Saturday June 9th at 2 pm till whenever. Everyone is invited! Free food and drinks! Formal invitation will be sent out and posted early next week.

Tea Habitat
21B Peninsula Center
Palos Verdes, 90274

At corner of Hawthorne and Silver Spur, across from TJmaxx

My camera is STILL in the repair shop. Nikon is taking their sweet time. I will have to borrow a camera and take some shots.

There will be loose ends here and there at the beginning. I expect to smooth it out in a few weeks, especially hiring and training the right staffs. I intend to improve as time goes by with better service and products.

Sorry for the broken writing, I am extremely tired and still a million things on my mind at this hour.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Finally I can exhale! After working 12 to 19 hours days since Sunday before last through last Friday, we passed every required inspections from city and county. The shop is officially good to start business.

Last week was quite brutal. After failing inspection 3 Fridays ago, I demanded an other inspection last Tuesday. The contractor did not show up for 4 days although promised me to be working on Sunday (mother's day), of course I didn't find any body at the shop. I had it with Marco, my generosity and patience were taken for granted. I called Sunday and Monday, no answers no return calls. I gave up. To me that's a termination of contract. Chris (works for Marco) later informed Tim the plumber Marco is working on another project and would not be showing up on Wednesday. I really don't care at that point. My priority is to pass inspection and open my door. Obviously his priority is another project which might bring him more money. I can understand how that can be his priority, but it's conflicting with mine, which he's not delivering results according to our contract on time. Friday (9 days later) was the first time I spoke to him, he told me he couldn't get in touch with me. What a bunch of bull! I told him I stopped payments of the extra $6500 he asked for and the contract is terminated. I changed the locks the same day. Chris called and threaten to file petition to keep me from opening. First of all, I did not sign the contract with Chris, he's not a partner legally on paper yet. Why the hell he has a saying in this other than trying to intimidate me like a bullie?! Second, if they try anything at all legally or illegally, I make sure they'll loose their pants, not only they won't be able to keep the money I paid in full (including works they did not complete), they will be responsible for loss of revenue, all expense incurred during the 1.5 months delay, money now I chipped out of my own pocket for the remaining works done by Tim and legal fees. I would also file complain at the Better business bureau, they will be audited and possibly lose their license. I would leave comments on line warning others about their services. I do not hesitate to take out my claws when I have to.

I feel I am more than generous with Marco, checks were made ahead of scheduled payments. I even gave him a free Los Cabos vacation package as a personal gratitude. Despite common sense of not to pay contractors until everything's done, I naively believe in good nature of human, believing others will treat me the same as I treat them, that I will not be taken advantage of if I don't take advantage of others. Especially I had a decent relationship with Marco. Every body needs money some time in their lives, if I can open my door, I really don't mind paying. Money has no value for mere accumulation of money. That's my philosophy. It took Marco 2 months to earn my trust, and took him only 2 days to loose it. There is a bottom line, my patience can only go so far, and to be honest, it's been far more than the norm. The livelihood of my business is my responsibility, when the people I rely on to work for me is no longer reliable, it's up to me to make things happen without them. I am not even a bit sorry. No one deserves pay for works they didn't do!

As a result of this, I told my mall manager about this incident, Marco will not be hired to build a restroom in the mall. I am not sorry, in fact it's my obligation to inform her, so she can keep her job rather than getting F@#$ by Marco's lack of work ethic. I tried helping him obtain as many jobs as possible through my connection previously. He's the one who turned away the opportunities.

Tim the plumber came to rescue, he showed up at 4:30 pm on Mother's day and we started working non-stop till Thursday afternoon (the day we passed health inspection). Building inspection was passed the very next day. He will be rewarded for what he had done for me. So far Tim is the most reliable person I had worked with.

The sign guy who took my money paid me back only portions of the deposit. When I asked him for the rest, he said I am tight with money right now, won't be able to pay me back for a while. It has been 1.5 months! Why why why???? Why men do not live up to their words? Why men make promises that they can't keep??? That's my retirement money I worked hard for, which he took advantage of and now he won't pay up!!!!!! DA F%$#!!!! All the bull shit about him being brought up in South Africa with good integrity, good ethic, good moral, good value, his behavior is the opposite of them all. Just like Marco, bsing about how responsible he is, for his clients, his family, his oversea family and blah blah blah... I have no one to blame but myself for believing them. Shame on me?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The battle goes on

After the second time the health inspector did not show up for an appointed inspection, I gave up calling her directly. I went straight to the headquarter, asked for her supervisor. The first supervisor I spoke to 3 weeks ago was a male with an accent. The second "supervisor" I spoke to last Friday was a female name Janet. I called again Monday, I spoke to an other female but not Janet, Tim the plumber called 3 minutes after I hung up, spoke to a Virgina. Every one of them are all her supervisors and promised to find out the situation and will schedule an inspect asap. Well, we didn't get any confirmations from any of them. The whole incident made me believe that they're all pretending to be the supervisors trying to cover each other's asses, and make you run around like a mad dog. Today is Tuesday, she showed up at 1:30pm unannounced, as soon as she came in, words came out of her mouth were, "I thought you were ready to be open, I don't know why you insist on me coming like this. I told them I'll show up, what's the point of calling?" Well, she must live a sucky life and hating it every moment. If I were her, I'd so hate myself, I might even quit!

Here she walked around and picking on things that were not on the previous list which we completed. The restroom is pre-existing before my time. I did not make any modification to it knowing better not to F#$@ with something's already approved previously. Now she insist on hooking new pipes to the big water heater instead of the existing tankless water heater in the bathroom. Her excuse was "I did not see that last time". Evil thoughts did come across my mind at that moment and hours after she left. Now I have to rip off a whole freakin wall to install new pipes. Just like she wants, I put every thing together so she can come tell me to rip it all off to re-do them, and then bitch about why she shouldn't be here the first place. This is the type of people working for our government at the lowest level. I think I should move to an other country.

Some people's got the talent to make others miserable. I have a feeling she'll do the same thing over and over again. Next time she'll have something new that she "missed" purposely.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Absolute BS

It's absolutely unacceptable behavior, intolerable even by saints. This is the second time the health inspector did not show up for an appointment. Friday of last week, I called for an appointment, of course she didn't answer. I left a message as a ritual, and of course no return calls. Tuesday of this week, I got up early and drove to her office to make an appointment. Her office hours are Tue and Thur 8 to 10 am only, 4 hours in a week!!!! If I missed one of her office day, it'll cost me a whole week. I just can't take that chance. So I made the appointment with her in person for Thursday morning 7 am as of yesterday. She put it down on her book, I saw it with my own eyes! I verified with her again before I left her office. She knew she did me wrong and still put the blame on me by volunteering quote "I didn't understand your messages." If she knew those messages were mine, doesn't that mean she admitted not returning my calls purposely?! Ok, I can swallow my pride for now. Whatever you biatch wants to play nasty.....

Well, I got up at 5:45 am on Thursday morning, met up with the plumber Tim and contractor Marco at 6:45 am at the shop. We waited and waited till 10:30 am. NO SHOW again!!!!! OH MY #$@%#%&^#$$#$@#!#$!!!!!

I am so furious at this moment, I feel sick to my stomach. I can't win with her, she'll do what she can to sabotage me now and in the future. I can complain, but it won't do me any good. But I called her supervisor again today anyway. God knows whose side is she on, but she seemed nice and calm and understanding during our phone conversation.

Whatever it is, it's not professionally acceptable. If it's a personal issue, I will lose down time and money, she'll make my life miserable for as long as I am in business. But then again, I'll raise hell if she continues to play nasty. I'll go to the state counsel if I had to. I will file a law suit for reimbursement of financial loss due to the hold up if the situation persist.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Wall patching day

Today is a new day, in the sense of something entirely new to me. Sanding, patching, re-sanding walls aren't "smooth" enough by Health department standard. I can see if something like a concrete or red brick wall would be too rough. But tiny bumps?! My contractor was going to do the work, but couldn't make it here today, so I decided to do it myself. How hard can it be??? Is there anything I can't do at this point??? Well, just do it! I am stuck with this mentality for now, but I am a little resentful for whatever reason. As much as I like Marco, I begin to show dissatisfaction of his absence.

The night before, I spent 3 hours sanding part of the walls to prepare for the patching. Around 10:30 am, I started the process of smoothing the walls. That involves using a metal spatula scraping some plaster binding compound (in pink, hot pink) on the walls, and then scrape till it's flat, then let dry. The pink compound will become white when dried. After a brief break, I was back to sanding. When I left the shop, it was almost midnight. I was tired, sore, hungry, thirsty, dusty and looked like a walking drumstick dipped in flour waiting to be fried. My fingers were shaking all the way from the sanding machine. My cuticles are flaky and messed up. My finger nails are chipped here and there. My paws look like crow's feet. An Epsom salt bath came to rescue as soon as I got home, added a little seaweed to take away the dusty toxins. Now come to think of it, it's like soaking in a tub of miso soup without the miso. Boy, don't I crack myself up some times.

I got an unexpected call from the sign guy, who took my money, but still no sign guy. I'll meet him on Monday at his friend's shop to negotiate a deal for my sign. He claimed he paid out $500 deposit to an other company for the material before he sold the shop. Now he's willing to refund what's left. What kinda business conduct is this???? It was delayed by a month, still no sign at this point and I have to pay $500 for the hassle?????? WTF!!! I believe I am still on US soil, not some 3rd world country ran by Mafias right?! But then again, I am happy to know that I might get SOME money back. The funny thing is, he said I should become his business partner doing business in China. HA HA I chuckled for a long time. I don't know how can people want something from you, but won't even attempt to make a good impression. Trust and punctuality are must haves in business. What the hell are they thinking?! I begin to think I might be too naive to take in every words as they were true and meaningful.

Tomorrow is another day of painting. Another day of negotiation, try to keep my money in my pocket day.