Goes a little somethin’ like this:

Getting a business license.
“Hi, I am opening up a new business in Decatur and I want to come in and get my business license, and want to make sure I have everything I need.” (in a very grown up voice)

Lady on phone: Well, you need to come in and fill out the paperwork and you need your tax ID number.”

Me: “I won’t get that for a week, so just come in then?”

Lady: “Yes.”

Ok, check that off as to do after lawyer visit.

Getting a company bank account.

Me: Hello big national bank, I need a business account for my new business!” (said in my best big girl voice)

Lady on phone at bank: “Well! Congratulations (she is very nice!) Let me get your information. What is your company name and what type of company?”

Me: In my most grown up big girl voice, “Little Peeps Art Gallery! And I will be an S Corporation!” (Said SO proudly!)

Lady at Bank: “Wow! That is really great! Ok, well once you get your Articles of Corporation fax them over and I will set you up over the phone and then you can go into any local branch and make you first deposit and you will be set!”

Me: “Wow! Great! That was easy! Ummmm, er, what are Articles of what did you say again?” (Not sounding so big girl now and rather red faced to boot)

Her: Your lawyer will tell you, sweetie, don’t worry lots of people don’t know this stuff in the beginning. Just fax them in once you get them, and I will take care of you.”

Me: “Thanks…” (Now completely feeling like a five year old that just got pat on the head.

Another thing to get done once the lawyer has his money and does his job.

Getting the Gas turned on.

Me: “Hi Atlanta Gas light company after I have been on hold for 10 minutes, I am starting my own business and I need gas!”

Nice man on Phone at gas company: “Well, Congratulations! Have you selected your marketer yet?”

Me: “Er, no.”

Nice man: “Go do that, then call us back.”

Me: “Ok.”

SIGH.

Me: “Hello gas marketing company, I am starting my own business and I need gas!”

Nice gas marketing guy: “Well congrats! Let’s get you all set up!”

(Proceed with lots of boring stuff, do a verbal agreement then he tells me to call back the gas company and have them set my meter.)

Great!

Me: “Well hello there gas light compnay, I have my marketer and I am set, turn on my gas and give me heat!”

Gas company: “Yeah, have you had the city inspect the lines yet?”

Me: Blink. Blink. “Um……no?”

Gas Company: “Yeah, call the city and ask them to send the inpector out to see the lines then they will fax us an approval and we will send someone out there.”

Me: Big sigh…”Ok…bye”

Me: “Hello City Hall lady. I am opening my own business and I need a gas line inspection done for-“

(she cuts me off)

Mean city lady: “Have you had a contractor come out yet?” (really mean lady voice!)

Me: “Contractor?”

Mean lady: “Yes, contractor! You need a contractor to come out and pull a permit!”

Me: “Can I get a permit?

Mean lady: “No you ignorant FOOL! you need a contractor and he has to be licensed!!”

Me: “Er, ok, what kind of contractor?”

Mean lady: BIG SIGH.

(and now my nice manners go out the window – once I’ve had enough all bets are off.)

Me: “Look lady, I don’t know why you are being so nasty and talking down to me, I told you I was JUST Starting out, and while that is certainly not your problem, it does mean that yes, I don’t know a lot. But guess what? You do. And it IS your job to help me. So maybe, just maybe instead of talking down to me like I am a complete moron why don’t you just tell me what I need to know I will go do it and it will save us both alot of time and aggravation!!!!”

Mean lady: “Um, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be like that. (Sound kind of nice now and slightly apologetic) you need a mechanical contractor and he will go out there check your connections then he will call the ciy inspector and arrange for the inspection.”

Me: “Thank you, have a nice day.”

Not so mean now lady: “Your welcome. Good luck.”

After getting off the phone I try to think where in the world I will find a mechanical contractor. I call up my landlord and basically leave a message that says: “HELP!”

He calls back with a man who was a fantastic help. I love my mechanical contractor and my gas inspector who approved me. Heat is close at hand I think. I think.

Me: “HELLO Atlanta Gas Light company! I need my meter set!”

Gas Company: “Great, you need to call your marketer and do a three way call with us for that.”

Me: “Are you freakin’ kiddin me?”

Not amused gas company: “No, I am not ‘freakin” kidding you. Call them and they will call us on a three way call.”

Me: “Can’t you call them on a three way call?”

Very not amused gas company: “Yeah. NO.”

Very, very NOT amused Me: “grumble, grumble, f#$@…Ok.”

Me: “Yeah, hi, I need my meter set and the gas compnay told me to call you to call them.”

Nice marketer guy: “Oh, yes, Michelle. How are you?”

Me: Awww, he remembered me! I am smiling now. Nice people make me smile. “I am great! I almost have heat!”

Nice marketer guy with curiously sad voice: “Um, I have some bad news.”

Me: “Uhh, yes?”

So sad voiced marketer guy: “My credit manager turned you down for an account.”

Me: Imagine blood beginning to boil and wide eyes. “WHAT!?!?!!?!?!”

SOOOO sad voiced marketer guy: “Yeah, we all went to bat for you, but your past credit history…blah, blah, blah”

Me: “Yeah, I appreciate all that, let me talk to your supervisor.”

Sad guy: “Ok, but it won’t do any good, he tried too. Basically THE CREDIT MANAGER AT INFINITE ENERGY BASED IN FLORIDA is an A-HOLE who won’t change his mind even though you have been a customer of ours in perfect standing for the past 14 months.”

Me: “Yes, supervisor man, I appreciate you going to bat for me. And I know you can’t do anything about this, but I would like to tell you that I think you all suck. I have an account with you right now and I am trying PAY YOU MORE MONEY. Which is how I thought this whole thing worked, but apparently not. And since due to my own personal circumstances which I will not share with you, I am currently in an appartment. And I HAVE to use your services right now. But in about a year, when I buy a house? You better believe you me that I WILL NOT ever, ever use your services again. I find your customer service appalling. I repeat, I find the customer service at INFINTE ENERGY BASED IN FLORIDA appalling!!”

Sad supervisor: “I am really sorry miss.” (at least he called me miss and not m’am.)

BIG HUGE EARTH SHAKING SIGH….

I then called up another marketing company who set me up, called the gas company and am now set up to have the nice gas man come out and turn on my gas tomorrow. I WILL HAVE HEAT TOMORROW!!! Yay!! I LOVE SCANA GAS COMPANY!!! (Even if I did have to pay a deposit.)

Getting a business license…continued.

Me: “Hello city hall, I am coming in to get my business license today and just want to confirm what I need.”

Nice city hall lady: Do you have your C.O.?

Me: “Ummmmm, no?”

Nice lady: “Have you had your fire inspection done?”

Me: Thinking, ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS PEOPLE??? No wonder so many people start up businesses the wrong way, it is jumping through hoops to do it the right way! Big sigh…”No….how do I do that?”

Nice lady: “Call the fire inspector for the city. He will come and issue an inspection report. Bring that in to the permits department. They will issue you a Occupation Certificate. Bring that to me and we will get you your business license.”

Me: “Do I need my tax Id? Cause I get that this afternoon!” (Thinking at least I have one thing ready!)

nice lady: “No, we don’t need that at all. Here, let me transfer you to the fire inspector.”

Me: Sooo defeated that the one thing I had done on time was not even the right thing. “Thanks…” So sad.

So I am proud to say that tomorrow I meet the fire inspector and get my gas turned on and if it all goes fast enough I will go walk my little ol’ self over to city hall and get my for real big girl business license! And I should get a a copy of my articles of corporation any day and be able to open my bank account in my business name.

And that is just a taste of what I have been doing for the past week and a half. Oh yes, opening a business is fun, fun, fun! If you do it I suggest keeping strong liquor on hand. 😉 Just kidding. Sort of.

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