Tonight I came across this ABC Article on one of my favourite Fruit Shop’s in Mt Gravatt, just 15 minutes down the road. I knew they had closed down, and unexpectedly more than a few weeks back but only learned about Doris’ and Tony predicament from the ABC news article.
Doris and Tony wouldn’t know me but I remember every time I popped in Doris was there working. She was always busy and never complaining, happy to make sure long customer queues were cleared by jumping on the till herself until all the customers were served, then going about other business. Tony and Doris didn’t just run a Fruit Shop, they ran and managed much more than that. A strong work ethic, passion and commitment to providing excellent produce and unparalleled customer service.
After reading through the article I was absolutely flabbergasted, and even more flabbergasted by the comments. Especially the comments blaming Tony & Doris for seeking help with their business, in particular their ATO tax obligations in this example. Hindsight is a lovely thing, but when you are a business owner working 12 to 16 hour days and giving up most if not all weekends, I can understand how an individual, particularly one adept at selling a solution that would make your life easier. You would listen. Anyone would listen.
As a business owner I can truly appreciate the unfortunate position Tony & Doris now find themselves in. After putting their lives into their business, serving the community around them, providing good quality food for families all around south east Brisbane and now facing the prospect of loosing everything they once worked so hard for. It’s not the retirement plan anyone has in mind.
They face the prospect of losing everything and that is a very bitter pill to swallow. They put their trust in an individual that no doubt promised and went to great trouble to convince them both he could help solve their tax obligations.
It’s absolutely frightening to me that I might find myself in the same position. There have been instances where scammers have come so close that my guard is up all the time. Emails, phone calls and people calling in offering one service or another. In this day and age it’s very easy to become cynical and suspicious of everyone. Every email, every phone call, and especially after the constant stream of stories like this, the hacking stories and the constant loss of personal data. It’s a game of cat and mouse and the game is constantly changing which can make it hard to spot.
Even the most savvy of business owners can be undone by a clever and creative new scam. It happens all the time.
My wife and I enjoyed our weekly trips to Crisp on Creek and it’s going to be hard to find a suitable substitute. I wish Tony & Doris all the best and hope there is a speedy resolution to this problem so they can focus on the retirement that they whole heatedly deserve. Thank you for all your dedication to our community.