Get it in writing

I livew in my own little world

Back in 1994 I met a Nevada attorney with whom I became good friends. We met in Detroit, Michigan, while working for the same company.

When he started a competing company in 1995, he asked me to come aboard as the CEO. He couldn’t match my current pay, so I didn’t go. At that time in my life, pay was everything.

He kept after me on a regular basis, and I volunteered many weekends to help create the infrastructure for his company. As his company grew, he kept asking me to work for him. I kept telling him that when he could match my salary, I was all his.

Finally, in March 1995, he said he could, and would, match my salary. My salary had grown substantially. He was shocked, but I gave him a pay stub as proof. He offered me the job and the salary. I gave two weeks notice and flew from Oakland, California, to Tampa, Florida, to begin my new job.

As his company acquired more Clients—specifically Clients in California and Nevada, he decided to move the company west. Since I was the CEO, I had some input into new headquarters, and we landed in my home town of San Diego.

During all my interactions with him, he kept promising me the world, and he kept delivering….

One of his promises was that if the company survived five years with me as CEO, I would get 5% of the company. As we came upon the four-year anniversary, he announced that he was dating one of our employees in Boston. At 4½ years, he announced his engagement. At 4 years and 11 months, he got married and they went to Europe on a 30-day honeymoon. When they returned, he announced that I was being let go and that his wife was going to be the new CEO. I had no employment contract because I trusted him immensely.

Life has been downhill ever since….

My only satisfaction with that story is that six months after they got married, they got divorced. Interestingly, even though he was an attorney with a net worth far in excess of hers, he had no prenuptial. She got $37 million, half of his net worth, in the divorce settlement.

Moral: Get it in writing.

I reached the pinnacle of my career in 1999-2000, and today I am at the bottom. I’m still trying but not really sure what I’m going to do, or how much longer I’m going to stick around….

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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21 thoughts on “Get it in writing

  1. Hollis Hildebrand-Mills

    Russel Ray, I don’t know you. But I can see from what I do know of you, your talent, intelligence and innovative creativity garnered you that kind of responsibility. Yes, get it in writing. Yes, yes yes. I have had to use legal services many times in my life; I consider lawyers my friends. But back to you. Your peak has not come. However much you have lost, (on the outside), what it took for you to reach that level in 2000, you still have it on the inside. Please listen.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. babso2you

    This is an important topic Russel! Up here where we live, we kept hearing about the logo for the volunteer fire association, the one they were using that reads Station 75, was their logo. My husband found a logo with a mosquito handling an axe, and a teardrop of fire behind it. He put this on the website he created for them. They told him that was an incorrect logo, to which he said show me. Someone else looked into it and found that indeed they were using the wrong logo and should be using the one with the mosquito. So, the tale to this story, is to also show me in writing where it says something! Wednesday big hugs to you and Jim!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. philosophermouseofthehedge

    Does that sound familiar.
    Old backwoods saying: “Always remember no one will look after you as good as yourself”
    Sounds like karma settled in quickly with that one.
    Bottom? (Consider that is also the top if you are standing on the opposite side or the globe). Perhaps that wan’t the best path anyway. Sometime the Universe has different plans. Wonder what adventure is waiting for you – keep an eye out. It’s there – and waiting.
    Ready, set, go…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. colltales

    That’s a heartbreaking story, Russel. I’m really sorry to read about it. I wouldn’t know it, though, by just reading your blog, which shows someone with a sharp focus on what he is and what he wants. Not trying to minimize what you went through, but for all it’s worth, you seem to be doing exactly what I would, if I’d half of your confidence and talent. In other words, thanks for the story, but never mind the bullocks. You’ve already won. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. christianliving2014

    I’m sorry this happened. Why don’t you turn your blog into a business? You can do other things also like photography, online sales, co research or ghost writing.. These are just some ideas. I’m in a similar situation and have decided to start my own businesses. I will be praying for you whatever happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. unexpectedincommonhours

    I was at the peak of my career when the place where I worked closed in 2011. Often I still feel “lost at sea” as it were. Shortly after that job ended I found this quote and sometimes hang onto it for dear life: “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lisa at fLVE

    If you could make it as CEO back a few years ago, you still have a lot of skills in you to do it again. Don’t doubt yourself. The reason you are not doing that right now..maybe because you have greater things you are building yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. cat9984

    Don’t sell yourself short. Your life is about more than your career or money. (Yes I can talk. I was a corporate consultant and now work in a grocery store.) You have Jim, Zoey and a lot of friends. Try to refocus your considerable talents.

    Liked by 1 person


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