One bit of information that I failed to include in yesterday’s blog — my now previous employer decided against the unpaid furlough for August.  As I said, Dave (my boss) tends to be a pessimist.  Although the subsidiary was having a substandard year, we were definitely busy and money was coming in.  Key to the substandard year was the loss or poor performance of several critical customers.  Our sales to smaller customers was up, something that kept me very busy — and one of the reasons (if my guess is correct) that my boss opted to ask me to accept a 50% pay cut for the month of August, with a chance the pay cut would continue into October.  Come October or until the cash situation improved, I would then have to be willing to accept a 20% pay cut.

I am certain Dave knew what would happen, probably intended for it to happen as the loss of my salary expense would free up more cash in the subsidiary’s shrinking cash account.  There are doubts that will make that much of a difference, but it is what it is.  Along with the 50% cut in pay went a change to a cut in hours, so my last days with the company, basically the first two weeks of August, were spent working half days.  My personal cash flow isn’t that great either, but I had enough put aside to survive a month.  With my new job, my first paycheck will also be complimented by my final check from my now previous employer, who has to pay me for the 7 days of vacation I didn’t take this year.

I also took one more trip for the company before I said adios.  At Dave’s suggestion, I traveled by car to Duluth for a few days and spent a few days with a sales rep there.  A steel plant, more accurately ‘mine’, had just bought several transmitters and controllers from the company and required training.  That was one of my responsibilities, something Dave does not and can not do, so he took advantage of me still being on board during my two week’s notice.  The sales rep likes to mountain bike, a reason for me to want to make the trip.  I made Wednesday a travel day, met him at my hotel mid afternoon and headed to the Piedmont and Brewer’s Park trails for a ride that evening.  We visited the mine the next day, spent all day there, then I rode the same trails again.  Friday was my day, so I spent five hours that day riding the COGGS Mission Creek trails.. a thoroughly relaxing and wonderful ride.  There was just enough challenge to those trails, a well marked system that didn’t over tax me physically, even with the amount of climbing this flat lander was subjected to.

When I find the pictures I took from the trail, I want to share them here.  There were some very cool, as well as scenic, trails in the Duluth area.  Hats off to COGGS, as I was very impressed with every trail I rode there.  I didn’t ride the downhill at Spirit Mountain, which I wanted to do, but I was very happy with the challenges at each trail.

My VW Moneypit (aka Tiguan) required a $900 repair before I left for Duluth.  There is more to that story, but I will just leave it there for now.  In the 3.5 years I have had that car, I have spent roughly $12,000 to keep it running.  That doesn’t include money spent on tires and routine maintenance, or the oil that the turbo engine consumed greedily.  It used a quart or more of oil with each tank of gas, more if I took a road trip.  On the Duluth trip, it used two quarts of oil.