Retail Therapy?

Money is scant around here at the moment, but I have payed everything now. I think I narrowly escaped the GAU (Größter Anzunehmender Unfall, worst case and beyond, when it’s not only raining dung, but burning dung), that would be, that my lovely provider temporaily holds my internet connection – this indeed would be a very unpleasant state of affairs.
In other news, I spoke to the man on the farm yesterday, we had exchanged emails, and I have a positive impression: They are interested in having me working for them. As usual some budget questions need to be clarified first (and in this case some very practical things too), but they are working on it, he’ll call me soon – and I believe him. If things go well, the coming winter and even half of next year are “home and dry” – in trockenen Tüchern is the German expression. Knock on wood.
Now I’ll go on a spending spree and stock up on “useful items”, whatever the cheap superette holds ready, I want to be a customer – NOW!


mago Inc.

mago Incorporated was founded in the year two thousand. After years of working as Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft or Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter for low pay and lot of honours the decision was made to form a kind of enterprise. In those years, after the burst of the electronical bubble, and with increasing rates of unemployed people littering the streets, the state found the magical receipe to solve this problem and coughed up a lot of money – Independent Entrepreneurs: That’s good, that helps to clear the statistics, hail to the “free market” which saves and heals all and everything. In Germany all this is closely connected with the name of Peter Hartz, who was a manager of Volkswagen and is now a previously convicted privatier with a criminal record of bribery and corruption. I do not know whether he is still a very close and good friend of the former chancellor Schröder, he surely is a RICH privatier. (The word “pimp” always comes to my mind …)
Calculations were made, a kind of business-plan was drafted (oh fugidaboudit: What a waste of time and brain!), banks were contacted. They smiled, laughed and put our papers in the drawer – we NEVER got our papers back. Finally a man in a Sparkasse said okay and the state-money could be tapped. The deal is simple and good for the bank: A pure state bank (the KfW, which does no private customer business) gives the money to say a Sparkasse, a savings and credit bank for privat people and businesses, for very nice and acceptable conditions, and the Sparkasse gives this – with a little agio for all their sorrow – to the creditor, Kreditnehmer. Of course there is a plan for the re-payment.
We had a project financed by the local Bavarian gouvernment (Bezirksregierung) which included a lot of research in the Staatsarchiv here, and that lasted for some years. When the bureaucratic mills finally started to turn, they promptly payed. Steady income. We finished that project, a kind of book and a database came into being.
I was working on a contract basis for the archives of a local energy supplier (the former Stadtwerke), and it was good work. I was able to participate in two exhibitions and I learned a lot about work inside an archive and museum – a (not so) little collection and exhibition belongs to that historical archive. I had to write a kind of columne in the “intra-magazine” and to care for web-texts – yes, I learned a lot. Especially about the in-fight within such an organization. (I definitly know, and not only from this experience, what I want NOT!)
There were other assignments, projects, like working on texts of very different kind, Lektorat, advertisment, art, and always again genealogical research for the successors of Franconian emigrants to America.
The larger projects ended one by one. I was very busy with genealogical research and did not care for another supporting leg. A real mistake. One research ended and there was no following contract, and the Dollar was just a piece of paper against the Euro.
Other qualifications were acquired, at full cost of money, time and energy: But mediation is a foreign word round here – people want “their goddam’ right”, not solutions.
Mago Inc. went from the “silver aera” to the “times of lead” very fast and one day I awoke in stoneage.
And “security assistant mago” appeared. Had to appear very fast. I had to accept state-money, dole, to make ends meet – and boy, that’s where bureaucracy works in full swing.
The mentioned credit has to be repaied and it will. I managed over the last six months to show the bank person that there is a steady income not below a certain benchmark, and there is the possibility for a simple credit at an acceptable rate. End of March I have to pay a rate for the above mentioned starting credit (KfW, Sparkasse) – and over the years it was always so, that these repayments eat up the small profit that was accumulated in the year before.
Like uroboros, the snake who bites itself in the tail. You could call it also circulus vituosus.

Details will be hammered out on Monday. Basically I heared a “Yes” on the phone. I visited a colleague today and found, that he sits on lots of papers that need examination. If my suspection is right – and if I will be able to proof it – he can sell that convolut for some hundreds, it will not be like “have a tenner and say thank you, that we take it away”.
In three weeks I will meet a man who possesses some fifty or sixty letters by an important scientist, because of a close family connection, and who wants these letters to be published and generally taken care for. I have to see them, examine the material and then I can calculate the efforts of time and brain, the costs. There is a small and fine project lurking. With a book at the end.
And I even managed to finish my job at the Diözesanarchiv today, just one hour, a tiny bill. But very important for the self esteem.
I never was – and never will be – an entrepreneur, a manager. I was and am a Volkskundler and historian. I economically and emotionally survived these last eight years, and I learned about the finiteness of my powers and abilities. I guess the situation is stabilized, but would not wonder about an other crash.
But I know how to stand up. And I can – still.
Basically I am a gambler.



I phoned after that man for days … Always was he gone, would not return to the office today, just left, had an important date in the afternoon somewhere. Spoke to his wife the day before yesterday. This (Saturday) morning. This evening. And finally – the call! Holy crap …
Why is it, that most of my friends are successful in what they are doing? Law for example, or medicine, chemistry, even politics – things I do not understand too well. Asked him for the money to pay my rent this month; he pecked on the keyboard and that was that. I must do something right. Maybe I am a good friend.
Never had horse-pee, at least knowingly, but that White from the supermarket of my trust (?) surely gives an idea of it. So I toast my friend K.B. with horse-pee: Cheerio! One day …


The end of the month comes fast …

Prices are fine – but they do not pay the rent. And that is a problem now. The last 10 to 12 days I was struggling with a heavy cold, so my work did suffer. There is not so much of work anyway, because I am looking for a new contract, customer, something! And I have no money coming in for the next month. I am watching the ads at the employment-authority, I wrote more applications, but to no result. There is nothing else to cut down on costs – holy crap, it’s a problem to buy paper for the printing-machine … The financial situation went from bad to worse and I can not see how to change it to the better.
As a forty-something historian I can look for a job in a bureau as a secretaire (but there are well trained younger persons for that), try to find a job as writer, redacteur – what is around text-producing and publishing. The other thing is something in the production – would not be too bad to leave after 8 hours and to forget. Problem is, I need that as fast as possible. No more room to move. That’s new with me.