As I said, it was a small company — we had 5–6 guards working at any time — so the owner paid us a straight wage without deducting taxes. He said he could do it because we were contractors instead of actual employees. He also said that because we were contractors he did not have to pay overtime if we worked over 40 hours a week. One of the guards told him that he was wrong and when he quit he filed a complaint with the Labor Board. The board investigated his payroll records going back 4 years and determined that he owed 15 employees/former employees at total of $40K in overtime pay.
Well, I am the oldest grandchild of a man I’ve been told was both very charismatic and rather mean man who had a bit of a reputation as a less than honorable scoundrel. He died back in the seventies when I was a young teenager. I remember that after he died, there was a big family uproar over where my grandfather had hidden his “money sock” before he died. This so-called money sick was actually a large, locked cigar box purported to contain a large sum of money (in the half-million dollar range) that supposedly everyone knew about but no one knew where he would have stashed it.
Some felt he’d buried it on the property (he owned around 160 acres of mostly rocky scrub land with clay hills, impenetrable forest and rocky ravines. He was able to farm about half of it for a living). During the debate, some interesting facts emerged that I never knew. The first surprise was when my aunts and uncles discussed their vague memories as children of bonfires in the woods in the middle of the night. It turns out that they were remembering rallies, cross burnings and lynchings by the K K K in the back field (out of sight of prying eyes) and that my grandfather had served as the grand dragon of the state in which he lived.
They said he was easy to recognize because he stood a head and shoulders over everyone else and he was proud of his position and did not wear the hood like most everyone else. The kids were threatened with a serious “whoopin” if they told anyone about their Daddy’s “parties.” Another secret that came out was that even though my grandmother was his legal wife, the nature of their relationship was more of a master-slave type arrangement. She was Please leave a writing thing I usually copy and paste that way have to stop you know I didn’t have the full account data.
To cut things short, I ended up on vacation at my sister’s home, 120 miles from home when things got really bad. I was sent home by emergency transport where my doc was waiting for me and after surgery, the surgeon told my doc when he opened me, there was quite a mess inside. The infection had leaked after my appendix perforated and scar tissue was already forming and had enclosed my right ovary against my abdominal wall. The ovary would have to come out, and soon. During the ‘90s, I had a debacle with my appendix. I would visit the ER every month with excruciating pain and after examination and tests, they would send me home with the diagnosis of “female problems”. My family doctor spoke to a few surgeons and told them he just knew it was my appendix, would they please take a look around? They all refused.
He gave the current employees he owed, including me, a check but told us that if we cashed it he would not be able to afford to keep us on. So each of us, except one, returned the checks to him with a statement that we were waiving our right to the overtime payout. From that point on no one worked over 40 hours a week and the company turnover became unmanageable. That’s when he offered to sell me the company. I accepted the offer and eventually turned a business grossing about $300K a year into the solid business grossing just under $1M annually.