I was born in an era where most women stayed at home. But I became an entrepreneur. Late in life, I married Herman, a clinical psychologist, who had no clue about business. But that didn’t prevent him from poking his nose into my business and sometimes at the wrong time. It was also his life mission was to make everyone laugh; in 1999 that included my employees in my Internet startup, who were working hard in our basement at home.
One summer, Herman got Bells Palsy, it had affected his speech, and he also had to wear a patch over one eye. One weekend, we had experimented and failed miserably trying to play golf with his wearing swimming goggles to protect his eye.
On Monday morning, I had an important business visitor. The VP from Miele vacuum was coming to call, and I hoped to persuade him to become their first online internet dealer.
The VP had just arrived, and then to my horror, Herman appeared at the bottom of the stairs, resplendent in his blue suit…. and complete with swimming goggles.
He had a very loud deep voice. We were all gaping, mouths open and dead silent.
“Herman please meet the VP from Miele Vacuum.”
I looked at the VP.
“Good morning everybody”, he boomed.
“Meet my husband Herman.”
In many married couples there is a serious one and a clown. I think you can guess which one is which in our relationship”.
“Oops,” said Herman pushing the goggles back onto his head, and sticking out his hand, “How do you do Sir?”
Herman looked at me.
“I suppose I should leave now?”
I just nodded wordlessly, giving him a “meaningful look”. My mind was racing. I can’t believe this is happening, how could he? I really want this dealership.
As it happened, the VP took it in good stride, I got the dealership and in the years to come, we would have a good chuckle about that first meeting.
I am now widowed. But don’t think for one moment that because Herman is dead that he doesn’t continue to poke his nose into my business.
In 2015 I was selling my business because I was sick with breast cancer and no longer able to run it. I met with the buyer for dinner at Legal Seafood, I sat down with Mr. Big and we made some small talk and he asked me about Herman. Then he paused, tapped his watch, looking very annoyed. It was one of these huge, thick, diamond encrusted, very expensive watches. Mr. Big was complaining
“For some reason, all of a sudden, my watch is going crazy. The hands are whizzing around all by themselves, first one way and then the other.”
Oh, no… I had a sinking feeling. Mr. Big looks up, and catches sight of my stricken face.
“It is HIM, isn’t it? I can feel him,” Mr. Big pointed to his right shoulder.
Oh dear… what am I going to say? Mr. Big now knows he is being trolled by a ghost! And I want him to buy my company.
Sheepishly, I said “Um yes. He is having a bit of fun. He was always mischievous.”
Mr. Big looks at me thoughtfully and replies,
“No, this is his way of telling me that he is looking out for you, and I should treat you right. But can you tell him to stop? I really want my watch back”.
“Herman Knock it off. This is a nice man who is going to buy my company”.
OMG, what is Mr. Big thinking of me now?
Then Mr. Big’s watch went back completely to normal, and we resumed negotiations. Successfully, I might add.
But here is my fear – God forbid that one day I get a hot date….. would he still be poking his nose into my business? I shudder to think!