Imagine this-- You have found someone you think you can trust with whom to open a business. The business is essentially 2 businesses in one where each of the "partners" buy their own stock. They each have their own code to ring their merchandise through. The hours the shop is open are split between the partners unless there is a special event and more than one person is needed in the shop, such as the opening of the shop. Now imagine that one partner has decided she needs to get her hair done before the opening the following day and doesn't show up until late in the afternoon the day before. The other partner has realized long before the opening that she is going to have to do more than her fair share of work to have the opening be a success, so she calls a couple of friends who drive almost 3 hours to help her get ready. The friends put in a full day's work staying until about 1:30 in the morning to get the store ready while the other partner has left hours earlier after working only about 4 hours and are back the following morning when the shop opens to help some more.
Fast forward a month or two. Things have fallen into a comfortable routine and only one person at a time is necessary to run the shop. When one of the partners is working alone, the sales are fairly even, but when the other partner is working, sales are severely skewed in her favor. To me, that would be a red flag that something is wrong, but would be very hard to prove.
Along comes another special event and the two friends that helped with the opening are asked to come back and help out again. The have to take off work from their own jobs to be there, but they make the trip. After working for 3 days and losing 2 days pay each from their regular jobs, they are ready to make the nearly 3 hour trip back home. Knowing they don't have enough gas to get home, they ask for gas money. Their request is met with a blank stare from one of the partners, while the other partner manages to scrape up $30 of her own money since she is not "allowed" to get it from the cash register before the other partner goes over the receipt tape with a fine tooth comb.
What if one of the partners finally had enough, decided to leave the business and take her stock with her. Stock she ordered herself and was responsible for paying for directly to the companies they were ordered from. The companies the merchandise was ordered from would have the right to contact her for payment but that should be the end of the parnership with no further need for communication between the former partners, in my opinion. But, what if one of the partners were so vindictive and bent on revenge, she managed to find a lawyer that would take a case that has no merit. The kind of lawyer who would sue the family of a child hit by a car for damages to the car. I know its hard to believe there are people like that out there, but I'm told there are.
What if the partner who left the business now finds out that the other partner has decided to go after her house, which is the only thing she owns other than her car.
Sounds like a nightmare, doesn't it. But what if it wasn't, what would you do? If you were friends with the non-evil partner what would you suggest your friend do?