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Honored Advisor

Stuck in the middle...

...this morning. Mike does the weekend walks of the hog buildings...we do alarm tests on Satrudays. He tells me there are a lot of " skipped" repairs. Okay, you are the boss...make the list and hand it to our manager/ daughter and her employee, and tell them to work them in this week.

After the chores, he comes theough the house, says we need to go to Lowe's for repair materials, so let's have supper in town. Great! When he starts naming off issues he found, none of them are repairs the crew does...he is the electrical man. So, WHO was supposed to fix tha stuff, then?

Just bite my tongue, and then daughter calls, because her father was short with her on the phone. He is bent because of the several repairs he needs to do this weekend, and we have a short trip planned later next week. Okay, it is clear to ke what's going on now.

I try get her to see that he's let some stuff slide for a while, and now he's feeling up against the day we want to leave for a couple of nights. He has been saying all summer that he wants to return to the apple orchard he and Jenna used to go picking in, when they rode bikes up in the Va mountains. I just called them yesterday, and the Jonagold section - his favorite - is just opening today. This week is it, or we miss them this year.

Then again, he's spent two hard weeks mowing, baling, repairing, and helping them every minute he can with their hay
crop, too. No wonder he's deferred a bit of maintenance...not all attributable to that, but at least some of it is.

All I wanted was to have a quiet morning, and I feel like I am caught between Obama and Putin, language and cultural gaps and all.
Do you ever just feel like saying, "I need a break from being the diplomat here?"

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6 Replies

Re: Stuck in the middle...

Family business......two adult business managers.....not father/daughter but business relationship in this case.  They can only put you in the middle if you allow it.


Put control/responsibilty back on them where it belongs.  Wrong of both to expect you to run interference.  If they werent father/daughter, without Mom in the middle, wouldnt they have to communicate as professional adults DIRECTLY to each other?  Yes......


As part of that training and succession planning you are doing with your daughter, I see it as imperative that they deal with each other.  As an employer I would expect no less from a young adult professional....even with the difficulties your family has endured this past year.  


Call me tough-minded, but next time this happens, I'd probably listen respectfully then say something like, "Sounds like you and Cara (or you and Dad) need to have a meeting to discuss this.".......and bite your tongue and walk away.  


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Honored Advisor

Re: Stuck in the middle...

LA, l have literally written a book this past fifteen months. Our family is still reeling, to be honest.

i have made a concerted effort to get them to leave me out of things. I think that the main issue is imagined communication, when Mike thinks he's told one of us something, but hasn't. i am hoping that he gets his head back on straight, but it is what it is for now.

My tactic is this: Honey, if you want people to remember a list of repairs, WRITE ONE AND HAND IT TO THEM!

What makes me nuts is that he will do this for three weeks, then drop the habit. A month later, he has forgotten that it worked so well, and bets into this " nobody listens to me" broken record. It is like constantly inventing the wheel, over and over.

We will have a lot of time to talk on our upcoming trip. There are a lot of feelings still surfacing these days, and a lot of things we need to work on, inside this business and besides it.

Right now, I have at least gotten him to set the priority order of what needed fixing, and he got about halfway through it today. The materials he needs to finish are purchased now, and he can have at it again tomorrow.

One more part needs buying at an equipment supplier on Monday, which should about wrap up this pass of repairs, with two days to spare. It is mostly a panic attack sort of thing he has, when we decide to be away for more than a few hours.

He was much like this when he worked a public job, too...never missed a day, unless he couldn't walk, like with the flu or a serious injury. A great guy, just a little hard to take sometimes.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Stuck in the middle...

I agree with you entirely lawinkle.


Kay, I've been reading your posts for a few years now and I respect your "get it done" attitude as well as your openness to others here about your life and emotions as you deal with each day. You've been through a lot during your life for sure and are wiser for it... like many of us "older folks". The hard part of that as you grow older and want to let go of the reins a bit in order to enjoy what you've made of your life is the actual "letting go" part. You and Mike need to have a heart to heart talk about this as well because he's probably (man talking about man here!) having more troubles with it than you are. Family and business are not the same, and trying to be in the middle is going to hurt you bad.


This isn't  something you will deal with quick Kay, but at least start the conversation....  I truly feel for you. Smiley Sad



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Honored Advisor

Re: Stuck in the middle...

Thank you for.the kind words and helpful.observations.  We took off late this afternoon to town, for supper out and the repair.materials.needed for.tomorrow.  I Saturday from the loads topic all.together tonight.  Too soon.


Thee thing I am.working harder on as I age is piling the right time for problem.solving.   Sometimes, that is strike when the iron is hot, other times I is after things have cooled.down a bit.  


The biggest seeing both of them.frustrated.  This is a big transitional.time, in many ways.  I see us slipping, and not just physically anymore.  It is hard, when you can still.remember when you were both fifteen.  

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Senior Contributor

Re: Stuck in the middle...

I understand what you are saying and thinking. Being older we are dealing with some of the same things. DH thinks he has said something but just was thinking it (my view). I am coming to believe you cannot prepare for losing physical strength and stamia and quick thinking.  The stress of this court appearance with the renter and the new windows and siding are hitting at the same time in addition to regular daily life and chores. Having the antique show behind us has helped. We are finding we have to adjust to not being able to do it all now as quickly. Six months recovery from the broken femur can bring on a reality check.


The days away will help.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Stuck in the middle...

Maybe I am just too preoccupied -or exhausted - to read minds, and avert disasters, as I used to be. Grief has us all by the throats, still.

I remember the timecright after I broke the secondvleg in 16 months, then was in that tornado in town. That was in the midst of oyr property rights battle in Va. I THOUGHT I was spent was child's play, compared to now.

Oh, there's a reason I needed for you tomremind me of that...thank you! You are SO right about the need for pacing ourselves. This is really what's going on around here.

Everyone is worn out...haying too hard, selling out the sheep. No one is in a very good mood, in general. Mike as much as admitted to me ladt nightnthat he had fallen behind on one rlse's fault.

Daughter offered to come in and help him this morning, but he declined. She needs some time off, with Winn, to have some fun. He is done with morning chores, taking a while to ride on the big orange motorcycle for a break. Coming back to knock out a repair otpr two later, more tomorrow.

I think talking about being able to get it all done in time, if not right this minute, given that we are winding up hay this month...having our short vacation on tap soon, all helped him calm down a bit. He justs hits his frustration level so much quicker now, or hides itbless effectively...maybe I am more attuned to it than I thought.
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