Saturday, November 21, 2009

a few last-minute hitches 13/05/09

Countdown: three days left before we open.

The kitchen has been cleaned and scrubbed and is ready for use.

We are still going back and forth to the Catering outlet for knives, glasses, placemats and all the things that are coming into our heads at the last minute.

I unscrewed all the shelves in the jumbled mansarda (attic space above the estaurant) and carted them down to the storeroom and the younger cugnata and I screwed the huge metal strips back together, making sure we put them all back in the right slots so the shelving won’t be wonky. A very finicky job.

We have at last unpacked the new dark wood chairs and tables which have been stacked up at various strategic points and washed off the dust. My husband and his friends have finally after two weeks of sawing and smoothing and sandpapering, painting and varnishing, managed to fix the wooden strips to the bar and it is now looks like a proper bar, with the long mirror opposite framed in the same blue-painted planks.

We’ve had the brother-in-law in doing all the electrical and handyman work, putting up the lights and switches while we trip back and forth to the DIY shops in town (always packed!)A graphic designer has made us a print of our logo to stick on the centre of the bar and the glass counter is set to arrive tomorrow, as are the menus. Nothing like last minute business. The till has yet to arrive too.

We’ve also had to spend a lot of time in lawyer’s and accountant’s offices these last few days before opening. Unfortunately there is no one person or entity who can tell us exactly what we have to do to legally set up shop, and so each of our encounters with bureaucracy usually immediately necessitates or triggers another. I am concerned that we don’t have the full picture, that somewhere along the line we may have missed an important detail, but there is so much to do and so little time and I am frustratingly powerless in these matters here, so I just have to go along with it. My husband appears to be embarrassed by the number of questions I ask in the various offices we end up in, but they are only necessary for clarity. He says I don’t trust anyone who is not Irish or from my family (bizarre indeed coming from a Sicilian), as I keep comparing procedures in Ireland, where things would work a little more smoothly.

We went to see a potential consulente di lavoro (the lawyer who will do the salaries and contracts for our employees). She was firmly ensconced in her leather chair, quite the lioness with her highlighted hair and red varnished nails, but she answered my questions very briefly in her high faluting lingo and then smiled, jingling her gold and screwing up her well-kohled eyes as if she had been most expansive. Her ‘spero di essere stata chiara’ made it difficult for me to ask for more explanations. So we rejected her and opted for a man with clearer explanations based in the next town. He better be good because these people are fundamental for the success of your business.

We also saw the commercialista, the accountant, who will be advising us on the onerous taxes to be forked out in Italy. He recommended we get a copy of the contract we will be signing with my husband’s sister who is leasing the licence to us. If not, the lawyer will just read it out as a formality and then expect us to sign it. Also, the contract itself is the price of a second hand car, or a return flight to Brazil, or a month’s salary here!

We definitely feel we need to open and start making back some of the money we have been spending.

No comments:

Post a Comment