Thursday, January 31, 2002

Second Meeting with the Attorney

January 31, 2002 Second Meeting with the Attorney We had our second meeting with the attorney at a coffee café. His office is outside of Budapest, but comes here twice a week, but does not have an office here. We established our business name and had it checked to make sure that it is not being used already. It will be American Council for English Studies – Hungary. He presented the business articles of incorporation and we reviewed them. We will be a limited liability corporation, so if there should be any lawsuits for any reason, we will not be personally liable. On Monday, we will sign the papers in front of a Notary Public. The notaries here have Dr. in front of their name. I am not sure what they have done to deserve the title, but in my mind at least they had better have earned it after what I went through to have the same privilege. After we have the papers notarized, we will need to go to a bank and open up a business account with three million forints ($11,000.00) in it that will be frozen until after the courts approve the petition for the business. This is usually a couple of weeks, but the name of the business and our names need to be published in a special publication first. After this, we will each have Residency permits as the managers of the business. One of us will have to get a work permit in addition through the business, since the managers are not allowed to do anything other than manage. With a work permit, one of us will be the teacher of record for the business. As cumbersome as the whole process is, it is very similar to starting a business in the States with the exception of having to wait in lines and lines and more lines within the same agency. Well, that may not be much different than some of my experiences in the States after all. At least here, we don’t have to do it ourselves with an English-Hungarian dictionary in hand. We have someone to do the whole thing for us. Ron had to leave the meeting early to go to an interview. I went to one of the schools to observe a teacher as part of the condition of employment for this school. When I got to the school, neither the teacher nor the student was there. I was early, but the administrator said that the teacher should have been there at least by that time. She said there was no reason for me to wait. It must have been cancelled without their knowledge. Frustration!! This is typical of life here; I am learning from the other teachers that I have met. People either show or they do not and there is no remorse if they do not. After I got home from the attorney meeting, the phone was ringing. It was a pre-school calling for Ron. He had stopped in yesterday and dropped off a resume. They want him to come in for an interview next week. This is the same school that he was so impressed with that he said he would volunteer at if they were not interested in hiring him. Hopefully, they will hire him. Our time has been filled suddenly with interviews, meetings with the attorney, interviewing banks for the business, and the realtor. We interviewed banks not only to see which would give us the best deal on charges, but also to see who had the English speakers; so that we do not need to drag an interpreter along with us each time we do something. We will probably deal with Citibank. They do not have checking accounts here. Everything is cash, credit card, bank debit card, or postal money order. It took this long to realize that the ATM machines do not have deposit slots. You cannot make a deposit at an ATM you have to go into the bank. Of course, you can withdraw money from the ATM otherwise they would just be strange decorations in the walls. In order to pay your utility bills, you can call your bank’s bill paying service and direct them to pay the bill or you have to go to the Post Office with cash and pay the bills there. Almost all bills can be paid at the Post Office. How it works with credit cards, I have no idea. Rent is paid in cash and they give you a receipt. I would not want to be the person that collects the rent with all of that cash in my pocket.

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