Jul 18, 2012
If you are on the lookout for serviced office space for a new six-man law firm the following is what you need to succeed. Get one of the best real estate agents in your area to help guide you in your decision-making getting serviced offices for rent. What you need is a ready-to-go work space with support services and where you pay only one bill with all cleaning, rent, and other charges included. By getting the full package you have access to the latest technology in a fully equipped and customized workspace as well as gaining entrance to business lounges, video communications, and meeting rooms. Terms should be in your favour where you can choose full time or part time office space for however long you need it. Choose your office space with the future in mind. In other words, whether you are going to upgrade and take on new employees, or downsize.
Benefits of serviced office space
• The space is available for instant use and you don’t have to put your business on hold.
• You can have a flexible lease for as short as three to six months.
• Management is no longer your problem and you are now free to concentrate on your business.
• Services are paid for only when they are used; no money is wasted.
• Maintenance of equipment is no longer your concern and is now the responsibility of the office provider.
• You now will have a good business address, which is better than your address at home.
• Serviced offices are good for small businesses, companies seeking to relocate, and branch offices for larger companies.
• Your company is growing at an amazing rate and you are able to upgrade your lease to accommodate two or three more employees.
• Serviced office space is especially useful when you do not have the money for a conventional office.
Other services and benefits
Serviced office space also includes answering of the telephone using your business name. It comes complete with a receptionist, secretarial assistance, the use of broadband and ADSL, computer networking, meeting and conference facilities, interview and training rooms, presentation rooms, heating and air conditioning, as well as catering for events. Some offices will include computers and laptops if they are needed, but at a high cost. Services vary from place to place. In London, for instance, the demand for serviced offices has seen offices grow and accommodate from 50 to 500 people. Access to serviced offices is usually 24 hours a day.
In summary, while the above is all good and great, serviced office space is better than renting if you are planning to relocate in six months. Serviced office space should be a short term solution. Another advantage of renting your own office, with the property owner’s consent, of course, is that you are free to organize and arrange things the way you want and the chance to brand the building. If you have your own furniture and equipment, the cost will be even less.
If you are in a hurry for cash and need a quick loan on the same day for an emergency or any other reason you can apply for a Pay Day loan and have the money available to you on the same day. All that is required is your ID, three months’ bank statements, your address, and a voice confirmation by telephone. You need not even move from your desk as you can fax the documents and some companies provide free fax. These are for loans up to R2500.
How it works.
You apply for the loan and fill out the form which will list your details. They do a check at the bank based on the information you have supplied. All contracts are signed and voice recorded. If everything checks out you have the money by five in the afternoon in your account. Nothing can be simpler except for this last very important part. The loan must be repaid in full on your pay day by debit order. Once your loan has been repaid you automatically qualify for a new loan each month.
Fees and charges
Credit agreements are subject to an initiation fee of 15% of the full amount borrowed on the first R1000 and then 10% on each amount over R1000, up to R1000 plus Vat. The company bases its loan decisions on many factors, including your gross salary, net salary, length and types of employment as well as the outcome of a credit check by the Credit Bureau. If you miss a payment you will be subject to a R50 service fee as well as 5%. All fees are disclosed. The company claims that their rates are in step with the National Credit Act and among the lowest in the industry.
Late payment penalties for payday loans
If you fail to pay the amount they will contact you in order to make a new arrangement to settle the account. If you have not done so after thirty days and appear unwilling to pay, the matter will be handed to their legal representative to collect the amount; this will result in a negative impact on your credit score. Once judgment has been passed they will recover the amount from your employer. If you have repaid three successive loans in a row you will be able to reapply. They can be of assistance if you live anywhere within the Republic of South Africa’s borders.
On the flip side of this, payday loans pose a substantial risk to the borrower as it rely on the past history of the consumer having previous payroll and employment records - and has a default rate of 10% to 20%. According to Wikipedia a study done showed that defaults cost pay day lenders around a quarter of their annual revenue. A pay day loan becomes more expensive in the end for all the factors above, especially in view of the fact that pay day loans do not permit interest compounding and the principal amount stays where it is. Having said all of that, the borrower got the money which allowed him to get out of his situation.
Thursday the fourth day, and I am still scribbling notes in my diary every night. So far the week has been very interesting. Today, however is a big day for the company where I work on Thursdays as they have a launch every week and my duties will range anywhere from cleaning the toilets to helping with the catering to picking up burgers at The Frying Ban. The company director makes his appearance on Thursdays and everyone is subdued and on their best behavior.
The company director is a tall, refined looking man in his forties who looks older than his age. On Thursdays he is there to see that everything is working as it should, speaks to the staff, recommends new additions, promotes those who deserve it, and also has the ability to fire you on the spot. A lot of stories have been told about Jim Lewis Baker, and I have listened to them all. Why a man in such a high position would want to waste his time treating me with disdain or being curt or having nothing pleasant to say to me, I don’t know.
The previous Thursday when he’d come to the office he told the staff manager to tell me that he did not want to see me in jeans and sandals; he had an office, not a barn. I was so surprised, and a little hurt. I was a housemaid helping out with cleaning. What did I do to him that he should be so nasty? And why not tell me himself. After all, who is he? I took to avoiding him and kept looking at my watch to see what time it was. If he was in the conference room, I was packing boxes in the mail room. I hated going out in the cold, but to avoid running into him at the office, I even asked the staff manager if she wanted me to pick up anything for the launch. No, she said. It was all going well. “And thank you, Annie; you’re such a help.”
As rotten luck would have it, someone dropped the platter with the corned beef on rye with mustard sandwiches and it went crashing to the floor, corned beef and bread spilling all over the place. Jim Lewis Baker came silently forward, like a ghost appearing out of the dark. He stood at my heels looking down at the floor where the carpet was stained with mustard and pastrami. I was already reaching for the paper serviettes to wipe it up.
“Well, don’t just stand there,” he said.
“I’m not standing; I’m cleaning it up, sir.”
“My word,” he said. “Do we pay you a salary? Do you know who I am? I’m the person who pays you.”
“And I’m the person who makes your tea and cleans up after you,” I said quietly.
The room went silent. I glanced at the staff manager who had hired me. I felt bad that I had disappointed her.
“What is your name?” he asked.
“Annie,” I said, and pointed my finger at the little badge I wore on the front of my apron which listed my company name, Annie’s Cleaning.
He turned his head and told his staff manager to come with him. They went into the small office at the entrance where they received new clients. A few moments later they came out. I had packed up my cleaning materials and got ready to leave. The staff manager came up to me and said that Mr Baker wanted to see me. I was angry and hurt but went in nevertheless. I sat down, and waited. After some moments he spoke. “Annie. It’s a nice English name. Do you want a job, Annie? I’m going to need someone soon for my new offices, also here in Chelsea. It won’t be a cleaning job. I want a personal assistant, someone like you. No jeans, no sandals. Interested?”
Dear diary, on Tuesday, working on Front Street near the Waterfront – it’s amazing how every country has a waterfront on or near a Front Street – I had to be up at the first spark of dawn to polish the shoes of an eighty-year-old gentleman and have his suits and uniforms steam-cleaned by hand and his hat buffed. He was a fussy old fart, had never married, but had medals and such to show that he had fought somewhere in a war. The problem I had with the general was that he thought he was still in the army and did things on the hour, marched rather than walked, and was fastidious down to the socks on his feet.
I wasn’t used to all this pomp and largely ignored the eccentricities, doing my work and wondering if someone can really be so steeped in the past. He reminded me of some of those old Englishmen who never married, didn’t know and didn’t want to know anything about women, and saluted in their sleep. Well, all this changed one drizzly afternoon on Front Street when I was busy ironing the general’s shirts and a piercing scream was heard outside. I was stunned by its shrillness and ran out where a group of women had already collected.
What’s going on, one woman asked. I don’t know, another one said. In the middle of the road the general stood with my boss’ six year old son who was returning from pre school. The boy saw me and ran up. The neighbor tried to get him to talk, but he wouldn’t say what was wrong. Another neighbor knew the phone number and called his mother to come home. While they waited for his mother the general who lived across the road swept away in his car. His mother arrived. I tried to tell her, but she was outraged. What happened, Willie, she asked. Did someone hurt you? No, he said. What then? What did you do all that screaming for?
Eventually, Willie had enough courage to speak. I was coming home from school. The general came out of his house and said he was looking for his dog and asked me to help him look for it. He said he would give me chocolate.
What then, his mother asked.
We looked and looked and we couldn’t find the dog and the general said perhaps we should look for the dog near the park.
For God’s sake, Willie, what happened?
Willie looked at her with tears in his eyes. The general touched me.
What do you mean he touched you? Speak up.
He gave me some chocolate. He told me to get in. And then he … touched me.
He touched you where?
On my willy.
His mother pulled his ear and dragged him into the house. Didn’t I teach you not to get into anyone’s car? Where’s that stiff son of a bitch, she shouted.
I put on my coat. It was five to five. Willie was crying on the bottom step of the stairs. His mother was on the phone calling his father.
Do you know what happened here, Arthur? Has anyone called you? That general you admire so much is a faggot!
I watched Willie. My heart broke. I kneeled down and held him. Tomorrow, Willie, after I finish at my other job, we’ll go out; just you and Annie. Would you like that?
It is Wednesday, the worst day of the week to go out in the fog and clean up the mess of two teenage millionaire geeks. Theirs is not the usual mess of pizza boxes and beer bottles; rather the mess is a result of all the drinking and binging. The parents are weak and the sons have control of the house, the business, and their father’s money. While they make a good looking pair in their suits when they actually put on something that resembles a pants and a shirt, they are not cut out for the corporate world and the mess I have to contend with besides vacuuming and cleaning the house and telling lies on their behalf, is that I am part of a secret because the boys have no sense and frankly do not care if the house comes tumbling down at their feet.
Their names are Ian and Dan, tall lanky lads with long hair, wearing glasses. The secret I’m talking about is what they do on Wednesday afternoons when I am at their house cleaning up. I am ordered by them to clean the living room and the bedrooms first when I come to the house. Ian is the computer whiz and can do research, buy and sell anything on the internet. Dan is the sleaze. He also wears glasses but is a much better-looking guy than his brother. Dan gets the girls.
On Wednesday afternoons after lunch when their parents are both at work, the doorbell rings and Dan answers the door. Five minutes later four girls arrive – American, Australian, Japanese and an English rose. They wear cheerleader outfits consisting of a quarter Tshirt and bottoms with an ultra short white frill, and start to dance on two poles, sliding up and down showing off their perky bottoms. Ian and Dan lie back on the beds and watch the girls perform. They are actually eating popcorn and laughing like kids. The girls start to kiss and they laugh like schoolboys. They can do anything with each other, but they can’t touch. At four, the girls put their clothes back on and Ian, the money man, hands them a wad of money.
The first time I caught them they begged me not to tell their parents. Getting their fortune at eighteen depended on their behaviour and how they did at school. Their father and mother who knew nothing about the dancing afternoons were not money wasters or insensitive to the boys; they were just tired of the boys wearing them out with their pranks. I told them that I felt uncomfortable not telling their parents and did not want to lose my job. Oh, don’t worry about that, Ian said. There’s more where that came from. Dan and I will pay twice what they pay you. You do a good job, luv. What if your father finds out, I wanted to know? He’ll say I knew all the time and did not tell him. Dan laughed. There you go again, Annie. If you lose your job, Dan and I will employ you. Do you want to come with us for an early supper at The Trailer Park Lounge and Grill?