Urgent advice needed, regarding abusive director and commission invoices

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by nickvc, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. nickvc

    nickvc
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    Hi all,

    I need some advice as I am at my wits end.

    I have been working for a small bespoke specialist company on a commission only basis for the last year and have so far bought in over $500,000 US of business....they are paying my commissions but I am not given any copies of the final invoices or breakdown of what I have earned or what exactly has been sold. I just get a rough verbal indication of the amount and a commission invoice with a single amount. I think its not correct or fair as maybe the final payments could be more. I have no way of knowing as I am not sent the final bills that the clients recieve. Is this normal practice??

    The other problem is the account/admin director is abusive in her general attitude and behaviour towards me. The other two directors, one who is her husband and both reasonable and pleasant people keep telling me to ignore her, she is a moody person!!! This has been going on for months now.

    I am always polite, patient, friendly, courteous and act in a professional manner to but she refuses to budge an inch. I have also gone the extra mile since the outset and have done all the sales and marketing, website creation, PR, networking etc for no pay at all as I know as a start up business money is tight. They dont pay my expenses for any of the running around that I do, let alone my time and effort.

    I have also managed to bring a very powerful and influential friend with huge connections into the business who not only has agreed to become a partner in the business but also to invest. We have agreed to startup a new company with me as a stakeholder in the company. No one else would have been able to bring someone like this on board, and I think I deserve a huge amount of respect, support and thanks for having the ability, vision, influence, determination and drive to do this.

    It also seems the more I achieve and the more positive things happen, the worse she gets. She actually told me to F..K off the other morning after saying good morning to her!!

    I want the best for everyone and I have swallowed my pride a few times with her and kept my mouth shut to keep things running smoothly but no more. Enough is enough. I am not prepared to live with her **** anymore… A few months ago I even considered quitting altogether to be honest. If my friend knew what was going on he wouldn’t even consider getting involved in any way whatsoever.

    It's not just about how she treats me, though. Even if she were nice to me, I wouldn't want her as a business partner, because I’ve seen her behavior now and know that someday she'd lose her **** on a customer/client/strategic partner/whatever and cost us an important deal.

    This is a crucial desicion I have to make very soon and need some impartial advice from someone on the outside. I really need to assess the situation properly before I announce that I am not prepared to have her involved with my friend as he is very perceptive person and will walk away if he sees any internal conflict.

    Any advice comments or suggestions are very much appreciated and I look forward to hearing your views on this difficult and sensitive situation.

    Cheers
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum nickvc. You describe the person you are brining into the business as a friend, in that case it would sound only fair that you advise him as to what is going on. If he becomes involved in the business, he will find out about it anyway and would be disappointed that you did not disclose the situation to him, before he joined.

    No one should have to take the kind of abuse that you have been dealing with. As you say "enough is enough" and it sounds as if it's time for you to put your foot down and make the decision that you are not going to accept it any more. Speak to the other two directors, or perhaps to the CEO if there is one. Explain to them, that you have had enough and that you are not prepared to put up with it any more. Tell them about the positive results you have brought to the company and that you want to continue to be involved but that you just will not accept that level of abuse.

    In relation to the client invoices I would also suggest that you have a right to see them, as you are the one bringing in the business and your commission is based on those invoices. Ask if you can see them, explain your reasons for wanting to review them and ask if there are any credible reasons as to why they are not being given to you.

    Have you given some serious consideration to what your options would be, if you were not longer involved with this company?

    It sounds like a very stressful situation, good luck with it!
     
  3. MsMicaela

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    Hello nickvc

    I would like to commend you on your professionalism and work ethic. It's normal to have a cranky boss, but if she is really being abusive it has been going on for some time, then there should be a department that handles employee realtions. I mean regardless if she is one of the bosses, that does not give her the right to harass other people.

    Regarding your boss how is she part of the team?

    Does she own the company?
    -now that would be hard to deal with.

    Did she previously work at the bottom and work her way up?
    -maybe some personal issues? You mentioned you are getting the company a lot of business. Maybe she used to be good at that but is losing her touch? That can often lead to aggressive behavior and hostility if not approached the right way.

    Is she currently experiencing any personal problems?
    -sometimes people lash out at others and is thought of as rude and abusive when they really just can't deal with their own problems. Are you close with her husband? Maybe you can try to ask with sincerity and concern. He might open up to you or something.

    I am not a professional psychiatrist or something. This is all hypothetical nickvc and I truly am sorry that you are in that position because I deal with mean bosses all the time. But until you know what's going on in that person's mind it would be hard to make a decision.

    Regarding invoices, do you have a contract stating the specifics of how your commission is earned? Fergal is right. As with any sales person you have a right to know exactly how much you are supposed to get. I'm pretty sure if you ask nicely they'll give it to you. :p

    Lastly, it seems you have already invested a lot of time and effort in this business. Do you really think it's worth it giving that up just because you think 1 person can ruin it. Well maybe yes, but couldn't there be a way that you could work it out so she is not involved with your friend's business? If he is going to be a big client I'm pretty sure the board will not let him get away just because of 1 person.

    Let us know what happens. Hope all works out for the best. Feel free to ask anything else.
     
  4. John Million

    John Million
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    You absolutely need to know what each customer is paying so that you know you're getting the appropriate commission. I might even consider calling some of these customers (since you got them in the first place) and just doing a friendly "satisfaction survey" or something, where you also figure out if they bought anything you were never told about. In terms of dealing with this difficult person, maybe there's a way you can "de-claw" her. You've brought in a bunch of business, you're bringing in someone new who's valuable, and you've been there for a year. Now is the perfect time to respectfully renegotiate your contract which it sounds like you're doing. Make sure it's favorable to you and specifically states you don't report to her and are at least her equal.
     
  5. nickvc

    nickvc
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    Guys, thank you so much for your views and sound advice on this. You''l be happy to know that I asked for all the info regarding my commissions and they are more than happy to give me everything and from now on make sure I get all the appropriate details on any future sales I get.

    With regards to my friend and new company formation, we have already had several initial meeting and have negotiated and confirmed percentages and everyone is very happy on the whole. However she was not present and has never met my friend. Anyway after this great news which is going take the company to the highest level possible with my friends help, I really expected her to cease this abuse and thank me for having the vision and ability to bring my friend to the table. But alas no.... I was shocked and surprised to be told to f..ck off again.... what is going on in her head?? I have no idea and to honest I don't really care any more. Now my main concern is that if he met her and saw how she treated me and the general she carries herself he would pull out altogether and I will not let this happen. I am going to suggest that the other two directors take her cut and sort it out between themselves. I am not prepared to have her present at any directors meeting or have any voting rights as i know her personality and she is the kind of person who always rubs people up the wrong way and causes unnecessary negative vibes. As long as she is getting her share of the profits there is no need for her to be involved in the new company. Why risk losing everything for 1 persons lack of vision and cooperation!! I know that in most companies there's always at least one person who makes life difficult for everyone and in this company that's her.

    Anyhow I am very certain that the other two directors will agree to this solution rather than risk lose probably the best partner/investor they will ever ever meet.

    I will keep you informed on the progress and also ask any further advice if needed.

    Thank you so much again for all your input and confirming my initial thoughts on the whole subject.
     
  6. Fergal

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    Thanks for the update nickvc. I'm delighted to hear that everything is working out so well for you. I look forward to reading more of your posts here on the forum and to hearing more about your business progress.
     

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