February 1, 2011 by Leah
I haven’t updated in a while because I spent January working on a business plan and website for a web-based editing and proofreading business. I am really pleased that I set deadlines, met those deadlines, and was indeed ready to launch just before 10 this morning. Then my phone rang.
In Long Beach, anyone opening any kind of business needs a business license from the city. I applied for mine on Friday, and while I was anticipating some problems with our home address also being the address of the local VA Hospital, no problems arose during the in-person application process, so I thought I was home free. (Indeed, I was told that I was effectively “open for business” as soon as I paid $196.63 to the city.)
This morning’s phone call was from an employee of the Long Beach Business License Office. She informed me that the address I was using to register my business was already registered as the local VA Hospital. I explained that we rent a house from the VA hospital. She said she was on their website and couldn’t see anything about housing. I offered to send a copy of our rental agreement and the contact information of the VA Hospital employee who oversaw the creation of that agreement. The lady blustered a lot and then told me The City didn’t think the VA has the right to play the landlord and that while I was welcome to send whatever I wanted, she would be contacting the VA herself about this matter.
What, does she think I’m squatting in an abandoned shack near the hospital? Camping under a tree? Both would be excellent places for home-based businesses, I’m sure. Also, charging nominal rates to edit other people’s documents is clearly a very serious business endeavor that needs maximum governmental oversight.
Sigh. I’m pretty sure this is all going to blow over. Three people have already suggested I just register the business at my parents’ house in Alaska since it’s location-independent. Still, the confrontational aspect of the entire conversation really upset me and I’ve been feeling frazzled ever since.
All I can do at this point is wait, but in the meantime I decided to make a list of some of the things that are cluttering up my head at the moment. So far I have:
- What if no one likes my business website?
- What if I don’t get any clients?
- Have I gone over the wireless internet bandwidth limit for this month?
- Where’s the copy of Microsoft Office Professional we ordered?
- What operating system is my computer running, anyway?
- How many calories have I eaten today?
- Have I lost any weight in the last two hours?
- Do we have food in the house?
- Is that food as whole, unprocessed, humanely-raised, wildly-caught, and/or locally-grown as I can find?
- Can I really justify spending $15 on a chicken?
- Am I really going to be able to lose 30 pounds?
- Will this aggressive treatment with Acyclovir clear up the shingle-like blisters I’ve had for eight months?
- Why have I had shingles for eight months? What if it’s a sign of something more sinister?
- Are the sheets clean?
- Where did our tiny stuffed moose disappear to?
- Has husband been fed?
- Has dog been fed?
- Do I pay enough attention to dog?
- Do I pay enough attention to husband?
- Where are we going to live in six months?
- Why is it so hard to cancel memberships with Bally Total Fitness?
- Why haven’t I done that yet?
- Is that clean or dirty laundry in that basket?
- Do I have the slowest-growing garden known to mankind?
- Are we going to get kicked out of our house because I applied for a business license?
- Why was that lady from the Business License Office so mean about my house sharing an address with a hospital, anyway?
- Why is the dog’s skin tag growing?
- Is Aaron ever going to go to grad school like he wants to?
- Why did I bother with grad school when I’m unemployable?
- Are we ever going to live overseas like we want to?
- Will we ever have a baby?
- What if all the good baby names are taken by the time that happens?
- Are we ever going to end our dependence on fossil fuels?
- Why are politicians seemingly incapable of thinking long-term?
- How can two people possibly generate so many dirty dishes?
- Am I really unemployable?
- When are we going to sit down and make a budget again?
- What if we screw up our taxes this year?
- Should we celebrate Valentine’s Day or is it just more highly-visible consumerism?
- Why does my head hurt?
- I think everyone is staring at my giant zit.