Dear Customers,

So I’m having to write a whole lot of “sorry we can’t take on your job after all” letters to people at the moment, people like you.

I know I’m keeping it pretty vague, things like “due to unforeseen circumstances” and “we apologise”. Although I am aware that many of you simply wont understand. Please don’t worry if you have a job with us that has already begun, those ones will be finished, you will not be left out of pocket, however you may have to be a little patient with us right now.

I can’t write the truth of what’s happening here because life doesn’t work like that, I mean how do you adequately explain to someone why you are going to close down your business even though it’s financially viable, even though there is high demand for your work in the area?

I can speak about how difficult it is to get staff, that’s certainly true, but I can’t explain that mental illness happens in it’s own time, that sometimes trying to get over this next hurdle is too damn hard after your life has seemingly been one hurdle after the other after the other with no chance to catch your breath. If it were cancer and not a mental health crisis, nobody would mind at all and that saddens me.

My husband has held me up through a million downs, he has been the safety net, the bread winner and no matter how crazy things have gotten he has stood by us all. Now he’s hurting, he’s on his last straw and its fraying more and more by the minute. I don’t know how to be strong for him when we are also crumbling.

How is he supposed to tell his father who is about to return from overseas after leaving to look after an elderly relative who was in a terrible accident that the business he ran for 25years and that we took over from him a year ago will now have to close. I need him to be okay for another few weeks, enough to finish this work we have started but I don’t know if that is possible.

All of our staff have left or are leaving, my husband has only had one day off in months, he’s burnt out, he’s depressed and now he’s feeling suicidal and I don’t know what to say to him to help, of all the people in the world I should know what to say but I don’t, because I don’t want to be alive either. But we have to be, for our children.

He can’t take time off right now because we have so many jobs that are so close to being finished, so close to being able to invoice and if we don’t get paid for them within a week we won’t be able to pay for fuel to drive to work, let alone the mortgage.

I don’t know where to get money to pay bills and wages and all the other expenses that come with running a business when other customers have not paid their overdue invoices and there is no money left in the bank account. We are unable to get credit cards or loans because the business is only 12months old and so on paper we have no jobs, the business cant have a loan because we have to close it.

I don’t know how to make the food at home in the pantry stretch even longer or how to tell the children that we wont be able to afford to go to see the new Toy Story movie this holidays after all.

I know I need to get a new job as soon as possible, but it’s hard for someone like me to find work at the best of times particularly during school holidays and while trying to close a business with as little fall out as possible.

So, dear customers, due to unexpected family circumstances we will be unable to do your jobs for you after all, I apologise for the inconvenience and I wish you all the best with your renovation journeys.

Kate

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