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Not that I want to mislead anyone but here is a reasonable happy story that happened on Wed last week…

This time last year I was working for a ‘company’ that had a chain of bars and a couple of nightclubs.  They were everything you’d expect from a family of nightclub owning Mancunian wanna be gangsters but I still redirected everything to my parents address so they didn’t know where I live!

Anyway it wasnt exactly my dream job and when I was being ignored on a daily basis, driving round the North West at 6am and expected to do everyone else’s jobs I ended up in hospital (having worked for 13 days straight).  I was still running the websites from my hospital bed but other than a few comically threatening emails (one of which proposed that Tim Westwood was going to make them £1000s!!!) I received nothing… most notably my £2000+ in unpaid wages for my 2 months employment.

So I took them to a tribunal as is the law in this country.  They ignored the whole thing, maybe because they thought I wouldn’t win and send bailiffs after them or maybe because they really are just that stupid that they think they are immune, I don’t know or care.

The case continued and without having to step foot in court I was granted a favourable decision, I just needed to tell the court how much I was owed.

That was the hard part… I had originally quoted £2100 plus £100 petrol and interest at 18.23% as that was what my overdraft was costing me.  Now I’m confused about interest at the best of times but when I found out that the grand they had paid me (after tax and NI) was actually net and the tax office had no record of my employment with them (I’d imagine that’s the case with everyone who works for them to be honest but that’s not my problem) my head was ready to blow up.

Everything led to getting legal help.  Unfortunately I am obviously not well off and couldn’t afford the ridiculous costs of a lawyer or accountant to do some sums for me.  Then I remembered my aunt is a very successful (already retired) accountant/bank manager type so I asked my dad to arrange contact between us (she has a second home in Thailand where she was getting over the loss of her parents, my grandparents, whose wills she had been executor of).

My dad reacted to the suggestion the same way I’d imagine he’d react if I ripped my mum’s head of in front of him!  How dare I ask a family member for help instead of paying £200 I don’t have?!  How dare I suggest disturbing a grieving millionaire when she is on holiday?  (I didn’t think it counted as holiday when you lived there for half the year but what do I know?)

This is how I’ve been bought up, I’m nothing, everyone and everything else is more important than me and I shouldnt expect any special treatment even from my family and friends.

So risking the fines and/or imprisonment if anyone thought I was being deceitful, I put together a schedule of loss.  With more thoughtful calculations and some handy online calculators I got the total owed to £5500!  I sent it of with a polite, innocent note apologising for any indiscrepancies.

I then received a letter from the tribunal people telling me to attend court which I did and the nice judge talked me down to £4400.  Yes, it’s less money than I thought I’d get for a brief period but the fact that the judge said my schedule of loss was excellent considering I had no professional help almost makes up for it.

I requested they sent a note along with the official judgement, simply reading “I bet you wish you’d just paid me the 2 grand now!” but apparently they wouldn’t do that sort of thing (“Although I can’t stop you emailing them” the judge said with a wink).

Now the really hard part… actually getting the money!