Yesterday whilst we were waiting for the fabric to come back from the washer man Praveen and I had time to twiddle our thumbs and chat a little.
Interesting things happening, we are madly building the workshop and scrambling just as much to set procedures in place and stream line office work and workshop stuff.
We feel we had a win last week with workshop staff, now we have dis-armed the workshop manager who was not managing but muddling and bullying staff have been keen to help work out a workshop agreement defining our expectations and their expectations. Something to keep everything clear and protect us all from the way things had gone.
realistically a lot of the blame is ours- we appreciated the good, skilled work and made allowances for little things we saw that were not the best behaviour. We should have had much clearer boundaries and asked more questions.
We are getting there.... and workshop is coming along nicely.
Next thing I can see that I will have to deal with is clients and payments.
One thing all our staff comment on is they like the way we pay regularly...often in India workers will not get paid until the boss is paid by clients, or after they have spent a fortune on a wedding or something.
our first commitment is to our staff and we pay monthly for workshop members and upon completion of each piece for our women. this is important because for many that has an impact on what goes on the dinner table tonight and kids school fees being paid.
when we talk to clients we clearly state we expect a deposit before work can start and we expect FULL payment once work is ready to be dispatched. I can understand they might want to check and so wait for arrival of goods but then for people to regularly forget or send a message "OH I am a little cash strapped...I will pay soon" is not fair.
What would you think of me if I said to a woman...sorry no money for dinner tonight -client made an order but now doesn't want to pay on time?... you don't mind do you?
It puts us in a very difficult position- we don't have the money to cover people's debts to us....sometimes I wonder how we will go on?
What do they call it a cash flow problem? those better off not being careful enough to make sure there is timely payment for the fairly traded goods they are so interested in?
Interesting isn't it? I am sure they are not mean or horrible people but they are also not thinking.