I suppose the dream’s status detail is borrowed from the Celeste project, but it’s interesting the way it took something that many people, myself included, would view as an advantage, my height. And turned it into a disability.
I scraped yesterday’s English lesson with Samir in favor of helping him hammer out a business plan.
He seems bound and determined to transfer operations to New York City.
I think that plan is beyond awful, but I don’t get to make his decisions; I am but a tool for actualizing his goals, etcetera, ad nauseam.
“You know, there are an awful lot of people repairing phones in New York City,” I told him.
“Yes, but there are an awful lot of broken phones,” he said.
We sat in the library making up numbers:
Rent, New York City: $1500 for office; $1200 for living = $2700
Rent, Poughkeepsie: $1200 for office, $500 for living = $1700
Samir, for whatever reason, is just bound and determined to have a physical address from which to run his smartphone repair empire.
I think that’s cray-zeee.
True, I know nothing about the commercial real estate market in New York City, but it seems to me that even if his rent guesstimate is correct – and I suspect it’s way low – it sticks him with a 12-month operational expense that would be a cement block around his neck if the business didn’t take off.
And he wants it to take off in three months.
“Six months, Samir,” I said. “You want to have enough cash in reserve to tide you over for six months.”
“No, no, three months,” he said adamantly.
I think the ideal business model for him would be a mobile phone repair operation, which he could do in conjunction with his current admittedly awful job. (Not only is his current employer exploiting him, now his current employer is refusing to provide him with a reference! Because he doesn’t want to lose Samir!)
As the mobile repair biz gained traction, he could cut down on hours at the bad job.
He could do the repairs out of the back of his van. He could start off by parking the van three days a week alongside the Vassar campus.
(“But students,” said Samir. “They have no money.”
“Oh, trust me,” I said. “Vassar students have money.”)
He could paper the campus with fliers: Phone fixed while you wait! He could do the car wrap thing! Maybe his van could play a little jingle like an ice cream truck!
I sang the little jingle for him: “Oh, don’t you weep and don’t you moan, for Samir is here to fix your phone. La-la-la!”
“Really, you have to think in terms of your long-range plans, Samir,” I said.
Samir looked at his hands. “I want to marry my girlfriend. I want to bring her to the U.S. But, you know, in our culture, wives do not work. I do not want my wife to work. I want to make the house for her, and she will make me the home.”
Start-up costs for a mobile phone repair business should be considerably less than for a stationary phone repair business since he already has the tools he tells me, and presumably, word of mouth would be his chief marketing channel. So let’s say $5,000 for a van and another $1500 for a generator so he can sauter motherboards when necessary. If the business goes kaput, hey! he still has capital in the form of equipment that has some resale value.
I’m looking into crowd-sourcing platforms.
But how do I make Samir stand out from all those other worthy candidates vying for your Beneficent Bwana dollars?
First day of autumn. Wow! This summer went fast.
Hoping to drive to Barrytown and Annandale-on-Hudson this afternoon for a kind of Steely Dan nostalgia tour. But that will depend upon what my masters at the Scut Factory have in store for me.