Every day, we grew larger with more clientele. With this vast growth, we required more staff, naturally. We finally moved into our own office. It was a nice four room office with a nice lobby. We had our own supply room! It was naturally all coming together. It was difficult for me to deal with growing the business and deal with all the paperwork and financials. We were on a tighter budget now so even hiring a receptionist was like pulling teeth but we needed one. One day while at the bank, as I was leaving and bumped into a long lost cousin. We had not been very close but at our wedding I remember her and her sister crying and so happy for us at our speeches. They were cousins from my mother’s side. My uncle’s daughters kids. We only really saw them at big family get togethers but always got along just fine! Her name was Serena. She was working for FedEx and just delivering a package. She was so uplifting and pretty bubbly. She had always been that way. We chatted for a bit and she told me she was unhappy with her job. That she was looking for something more challenging. We spoke for a few more minutes and she was on her way. Driving home, I thought of our conversation and a light bulb went off. I thought I could perhaps hire her to help me with the caregiver division of the company. She would be perfect for it. I called her to come over to my house and have a little lunch meeting. We talked about her potentially doing the job and wages. She told me she was still getting money from another source and if I wanted, I could pay her minimum wage but it would have to be in cash. I had no problem with that. As long as everything was in the books, it didn’t bother me how a staff member would get paid. Serena came over a few more times over the summer to discuss how the business worked and so I could train her. Leann also took it upon herself to help me training her to handle the nanny/caregiver division. Leann never liked her very much but we needed staff and we couldn’t afford salaries. Serena was also family and Leann didn’t like that either. My niece was also working for us. Leann would drop hints to me all the time that this was trying into a family business. I told her on many occasions that if she knew anyone who would consider working for us for minimum wage, hire them! She never did. Serena would soon learn the business rather quickly and was doing a fantastic job. So many jobs in that category would finally be moved off my plate and onto hers. Serena seemed to get along great with the clients and her bubby personality would be similar to mine which clients loved. Serena also loved her job which helped. It sure was challenging so it was right up her alley. It’s what she wanted. After a few months into her job she came to my office to have a meeting with me. Serena had mentioned that she had done her mom’s books for her business and was able to help me with that part as well. Her mom owned a business for quite some time and she told me she was the bookkeeper. We decided that we would put her on salary and I would up her wage for taking on that side of the business as well. All the invoices and payments and client receipts would be issued by her. Serena would provide me with a simple summary of the daily events financially. This would open my time to work with sponsors and advertisers including new clients and legalities for assuring the business was up to par with rules and regulations. I was also dealing with forms and research.
We received a letter from the government as all agencies were not able to charge caregivers for anything anymore. It was actually a rule that no foreign worker could ever be charged whatsoever for attaining a job and their paperwork. I was so happy with the new rules because that would mean all the agencies illegally charging these foreigners would have to close down. They did. From hundreds of agencies to perhaps ten legit ones across Canada. The ones whom chose to continue there charging through the roof found new illegal ways of doing it.
So many clients came to tell us of their stories which we similar and marched our personal nannies story for me starting this whole thing in the first place.
I had always been the one to come up with great ideas that worked so of course my mind went into full gear trying to come up with a way where we could help these people but we had to be able to pay for our office and staff including our supplies. I had a conversation with my lawyer whom was also a friend. He spoke to me about non for profit companies and how they worked. The light went on rather quickly! We would open a non for profit company that could possibly help these people by having them become members of our society. My brain went on. If they were members of our society, we could protect them by helping with what ever their needs while here on work. We could also help employers to not get taken advantage of, working with their employees. I started having dreams of how nice it would be to turn into a massive organisation that worked through out Canada helping foreigners everywhere. The dream went on to even reach every Country to have our non for profit exsist within it. My mind raced for days. I brought the idea up to Leann and could see the excitment in her eyes as well. She knew I was on to something and she could catch my drift! We started the process. Thinking of the name first and then filling out the many forms required to open a non for profit society. Temporary Foreign Workers Association of Canada. In short. T.F.W.A of Canada. As our papers went in, we were getting approved. Every document was stamped with approval. We finally got our association papers finalized in June of 2010. With excitment and celebration, we had a staff meeting and explained how both companies would coexist. Americanadian was the licensed agency that could legally work with matching nannies/ caregivers and skilled workers with potential employers. The association would be the big bear charity that protected everyone within it. For six hundred dollars, you could join the association and be given a number. Using that number for up to two years from your joining date, you would receive assistance financially, lawyers fees would be covered, aid with food or living, assistance with all paperwork and assistance with all immigration matters while in Canada. We would then contract people like law firms and immigration consultants to do the work for us for a fraction of the cost, for a non for profit association. It was all working out. The staff would soon be divided. Those that worked for Americanadian and those that worked for the TFWA. Things were getting better everyday! TFWA would pay our rent and pay Americanadian for doing all the work it could legally do. TFWA pay the lawyers fees and pay for any assistance the member needed within reason. Our Calgary news crews would eventually catch word of our association and come down to do an article on us. We would then start to get calls from prominent agencies asking our advise on certain topics they were having problems dealing with. I began making friends with several boarder security officers. It seemed that the association would start to attract several illegal immigrants stuck in Canada because they simply were scared and didn’t know what to do to make things right. The TFWA was able to help every illegal immigrant by sending them home and properly fix their paperwork so they were able to get on the right track and come back legally. Some of our clients were in Canada just visiting and decided to stay. They were doctors, teachers, wealthy and poor. One client was a doctor. A specialist. He had been in the Country illegally for over eight years and didn’t know what to do. He was very wealthy and stranded. He thought if he had left, he wouldn’t be allowed back because his papers expired. We had a family of wealthy educated people from the age of 25 to 80. Six members of the family, stranded because they didn’t want to be legally separated from each other if they turned themselves in. We were able to help each and every individual regardless of their problems, get on the right track. By the following summer, we had helped over seven thousand illegal immigrants. They did not have to become a member. Some cases, the individuals didn’t have the funds to become a member. What kind of a helpful association could we be if the ones that couldn’t pay couldn’t receive help? With that much love, care and attention, our business would soon begin to grow faster. The only problem was one of our staff members, Lilly would soon start to get jealous of our advancement and in Spanish, being trying to take our clients by telling them she could help them better. I let it go a few times and had conversations with her about it in which she totally denied it. My heart still couldn’t let her go. Leann became so angry about it that she decided to fire her. Until today, Lilly still blames me for her being fired when it had nothing to do with me. After Lilly was escorted out of the building, the staff noticed that all her computer programming was porn sites. She had hardly been working or doing her job. Paperwork started to come forward of her sabotaging clients papers by not sending them into the government. It was disastrous but with hard work and dedication, we managed to fix it all. Lilly ended up taking us to the labor board by complaining we didn’t pay her enough. Not only did we over pay her but we found out she was having sexual relationships in the office after hours and cheating on her husband. Lilly was also a very believable liar. She managed to swindle the labor board in believing her story and we needed up having to pay her a few thousand more dollars. I didn’t care. I just wanted her gone. That was all. We needed more paperwork processors so I hired my nephew, again for fraction of what I would of had to pay for a regular salaried employee. My family never had salaries, they would get paid hourly for the work they did. My niece was now our receptionist, my nephew helping with endless paperwork and my cousin dealing with a division of the company and our books. Family could be trusted. Many of our clients paid in cash so there was always cash floating around the office. Serena was always good at handling it and processing it properly. Leann helped take over the processing of the work permits so our clients could legally work. It was called the Labor Market Opinion process. Many of those were done on a daily basis. Leann’s dad was seeking employment. As a man in his late 50s and a recovering alcoholic, I had no choice but to agree because I had family members working for us, why couldn’t she? He was a man knkwn for great talk but no action. Actually, that is an understatement. All he did was talk but there was never any action! He wasn’t paid more than my family members but always asked me for money. For food, gas, whatever. It was also always urgent! He had filled gas at the gas station and discovered he had no money so he would have to rush to me to get money leaving his drivers license with the gas attendant. One of many problems I had to endure with him. He would continuously try changing our plans and strategies with these potential bigger and better ideas. This man was beginning to be a huge pain in the ass.