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Old 12-03-2001, 12:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I never wanted any of this to become public. I believe these issues are between me and
Laurie but I will not be blackmailed or lied about. Laurie (Black) Huber AKA Bronze
Star has decided to make our private employment issues public.

This weekend I was sent a post she placed in TanTalk Moderators Forum. The problem I
have is that she seeking “advice from and discussing these issues” with current Soakin’
Up The Rays, Inc. customers and prospective customers that have access and participate
on that forum. The effect of this post in my view is use these customers and prospect to
put pressure on me to pay her money she has no legal right to receive or at this point
deserves to be paid.

I am very sorry, that I have been forced to air these issues publicly but I do not have
access to the TalkTan moderators forum so I can not defend my actions or even see the
entire discussion that resulted from her posting. I do not know how many of my
customers or prospective customers she has spoke about this or if this is the only way she is trying to damage me or my company in an effort to blackmail money from me. So I
must take steps to protect my name and reputation by allowing the indoor tanning
industry to judge who is right and who is wrong.

Her post on TanTalk Forum was what put this in public play for several of my customers
and prospects:

Bronze Star
The "Head" Cheese
Posted: 11/17/01 2:03p I have a
dilemma and would prefer this stay in here... not in public. When Greg and I ended
our arrangement he requested his stuff back.... client lists, prospect lists, sample
cards, etc. Tons of information I know that several companies would just kill for.
Sensitive information that should rightfully go back to him. However, I told him that
I would not return his stuff until I received my severance and the money for the
phone charges incurred. When I last spoke to him, he seemed to think I was going to
simply send everything back right away before getting my final pay and expenses. I
never agreed to this... but anyone who's dealt with him knows what he's like.

Now a week has come and gone and he's not sent what he said he would. I'm sitting
here with all his stuff boxed up ready to go. I am NOT sending it back until he sends
the money. What to do? Anyone? Elsa... you especially, working in a law office. What
can I do? Mike, having had employees... large numbers of them. Advice? I will tell
you that I believe the box is worth a lot more than the severance and phone charges
put together.


Laurie (Black) Huber AKA Bronze Star was hired as a 1099 independent contractor by
Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc. on October 1, 2001 to make phone calls to current and
prospective customers of Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc. with the goal of providing customer service and making product sales being paid a salary for her time and a commission on her sales. She was instructed to have a new phone line installed in her home for her business use of Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc. as well as an toll free phone number for customers to contact her at my expense. I agreed that I would pay for the phone calls to and from Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc. Customers and Prospective Customers.

The only measure of her performance for my company was the number of calls she made
and the sales that resulted from those calls. How many calls did I expect her to make. When I worked for ETS as a regional marketing manager, I made between 100 to 150
outbound calls a day. I know it’s my company and I am a total workaholic ( I average
about 80+ hours a week at my desk, on the phone, or doing training around the country).
But I did expect her to work 8 hours a day making at least 100 to 150 calls a day.

She was terminated for a number of reasons:

1) Not making enough calls.
I gave her a limited list of current customers to call around 500 names on October 9, 2001. When she was terminated on November 2, 2001, she had not completed call that list of 500 customers. 15 days of calling not counting the days she was at the trade show means she was calling less than 34 names a day from that list. The list should have taken her a week not 3 weeks.

2) Not making enough sales.
While she sold for Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc. her total sales was less than $500.

3) Not exclusively working for my company.
My understanding of our relationship was that she was working exclusively for my
company. I did have a problem with her writing articles for Today’s Image magazine. I have discovered that she was selling banners ads for TanTalk, referring customers to TW Tan with her own personal incentive program (I do that for free because I like them not for any incentive), and who know what else.

On Thursday, November 1, 2001, I discussed with her the fact I wanted her just working
for me. That night she sold a banner ad to Eyepro for TanTalk during a chat session.
When I confronted her about what happen we said as a 1099 independent contractor, I
could not tell her what to do.

She was right, I could not tell her who she could sell for but I do control if she sells for me. Because of the all the points listed above and her attitude in our conversation, she was terminated as a contractor for Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc. on Friday November 2, 2001.

Because, of her status as a 1099 independent contractor that worked a total of 33 days. I
had no legal obligation to give her any severance pay. She had to EARN the severance
pay I was offering her by:

1) Sending back my confidential records and information
2) Disconnecting the Toll Free Number as instructed
3) Not discussing or posting anything about her employment, myself or my company to
Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc. Customers or Prospective Customers.

She had received pay for all the weeks she worked. I paid her in advance for each week.
For the Nashville trade show, after I paid for her airfare (Over $600 when mine cost
$200), plus $400 for her expenses (She still has not justified that $400 expense advance
because she has failed to provide me with any recites.)

As far as paying for her phone expenses, here is my problem.
1) When she sold the TanTalk banner on Thursday November 1, 2001 to Eyepro, the
number she gave Brenda to contact her the next day was the Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc.
toll free customer/prospect contact number. How many other calls to that number or made
by her outbound were for her own personal profit not for Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc. and
how do I tell?

2) After she was terminated on several TanTalk post after she removed her job title with Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc., she left the toll free number for people to contact her! That number was intended for Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc. customers/prospects not her personal business.

3) The toll free number as of 12/2/01 has not been disconnected. it just rings onto a
disconnected local number.

4) As of 11/20/01, the message on that toll free number had a split message giving
Laurie’s personal number for her own profits as well as directing Soakin’ Up The Rays,
Inc. customers or prospects to call me at 800-935-7625.

What have I done to settle this problem, on 11/26/01 I offered to:

“If you would like me to pay for your phone bills.

1) You must provide me with copies of the bills so I can determine the amount I owe for
your business calls for my company during the period of your employment with Soakin’
Up The Rays, Inc.

2) Provide recites for your expenses at Nashville equal or greater than your advanced
expense amount. An amount lesser will be deducted from the phone reimbursement.

Regardless of you wanting me to pay your phone expenses, I expect you today to:

1) To have 877-798-6802 phone number disconnected permanently.

2) You return ship all Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc. records and property.”

Her response was “No Dice”

In closing, the offer is still open for me to pay for her phone expenses for business calls for my company during the period of her employment with Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc.
under those conditions. I believe that is only fair to pay the legitimate phone expenses for my company minus any Nashville expenses I do not get a recite for.

Understand, she must return my information regardless! I will not hesitate to prosecute
and/or sue her and/or any person or organization that helps her sell and /or any potential buyer of the confidential records and information of Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc.

Once again, I did not want this to come out, I did everything possible to protect Laurie
after her termination. I offered her a great deal but she did not do her part. She can only blame herself. To make matters worse, Laurie directly put this information out to Soakin’ Up The Rays, Inc. customers and prospects in the TanTalk forum which could effect their relationship with my company.

I must protect myself and my company from her slander and accusations against myself
and my company.

Now, the truth is out in the open.

You judge for yourself!

Note: I am putting this post on TanTalk.Com, Suntanning.Com and TanToday.Com to be
fair to all web boards.
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Old 12-03-2001, 01:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have now been told that she also made phone calls to other Soakin' Up The Rays, Inc. customers "to discuss this situation".

This further proves how she was working to damage me and my company. I bet she wants me to pay for those phone calls as well.

I am glad the truth is finally out!
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Old 12-03-2001, 03:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Laurie is in the moderator forum RIGHT NOW!

Probably talking about this post!

Good job Greg... set the record straight.
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Old 12-03-2001, 06:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Bronze Star,
What did you mean when you said?
"but anyone who's dealt with him knows what he is like."

I have spoken with Greg from Soaking Up The Rays, several times he was always
very nice and friendly. I have been getting his newsletter for years and it is very
informative. He has never failed to send me any samples I wanted.

What are you implying something with that statement with that statement?

Six months ago, I had an employee that was constantly late and I caught her tanning
her friends for free. I quietly asked her about it, she reacted by screamed at me in
front of my customers and storming out.

A week later, I receive notice that she had applied for unemployment. Saying I that I
had fire her? I took a day of my time to go to the unemployment board just to make
sure she did not get unemployment. A spoiled brat.
You sound just like her, you believe everyone owes you everything.

I have been dealing with Greg for years and I know him and how he has helped me
despite the fact I have never bought anything from him.

What you tried to do is wrong and you should send his information back.

What makes you an expert on the tanning industry anyway, you don't even own a

[ This Message was edited by: Caribbean Tan on 2001-12-03 18:49 ]
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Old 12-03-2001, 06:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I do not understand how laurie is even a moderator on
this site. If I am not mistaken, this site is really
for salon owners, not even salon staff. What
credentials does she have to even post, nevermind be a
moderator or admistrator or whatever she is. I
actually learned of the sites that help the salon
owner from Greg when I inquired about his products.
It seems unfair that Greg promotes these sites yet
there is this woman who doesn't own a salon or work in
one or work in the industry at all that can try to
make him look bad. I am sure his loyal customers will
stay with him and support him, but she is damaging his
name and credibility with those who were thinking of
using his products and services. When I read that
email that she sent to the rest of the people that
moderate, it made me ill. I don't even really know
the situation and from what i can see, here is a guy
who gave this woman a job, gave her credibility in an
industry that she had none, and she turned around and
slapped him in the face. When i read that how she
placed a value on his property, i got chills because
it seemed like a bad movie. She wants a severance?
Who gets a severance after working for a month? Did
she not think this would get out? Right there I would
question her intellegence. From all three of
suntanning web boards that i know of, it can be seen
that gossip runs rampant all around in this industry,
so why would she think she could write that in a
moderator room of mostly Greg's customers? I don't
think she should be allowed to moderate anything.
Next we will see all our customers posting and
moderating and telling us how to run our businesses.
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Old 12-03-2001, 07:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No one should be stating an opinion on hearing only one side of any situation.

This is something that should have stayed PRIVATE.

Laurie never talked public about any of this and what she said in a private forum was very general and only asked advice. Not once did she ever try to get anyone not to use Greg's products.

So, Greg and Laurie should discuss this between themselves and everyone else should stay out of it.

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Old 12-03-2001, 07:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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On 2001-12-03 18:59, Electric Beach wrote:
She wants a severance?

No, I never asked for it. He offered it to me.

I am sorry that some people fail to see two sides to every story and ONE post I made inquiring to do the right thing was taken completely out of context. Instead they are more than willing to read half truths and complete fabrications without once e-mailing me for confirmation. Greg has painted a very sordid picture of my time with him. I cannot stop him from saying what he will or from stopping people from believing what they choose. But realize when you draw conclusions or speculations based on only one side of the story... you appear small minded. Especially when none of you make an attempt to discover the real truth.

If you truly wish to involve yourself in something that does not involve you then my e-mail address is Laurie@tantalk.com. By all means, write me and I will answer you personally.
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Old 12-03-2001, 07:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Laurie's post was made the moderator's forum to a select few. It was a general post asking for advice. None of us were advised to all of the details of the relationship between Laurie and Greg. I, being one of Greg's customers and a moderator at TanTalk, did reply to Laurie's post. My response was to generally let her know to keep the line of communication open between herself and Greg.

In the entirety of the post it was repeatedly mentioned that Laurie would not go into detail, but needed general advice. And, at no time in the post was customer relationships with Greg mentioned.

In fact, Greg if you search your records, you will see that my salon ordered products from you after Laurie left your employ.

Something that was private between moderators was violated. Although we know who violated this trust, what you chose to did with that information was out of line. Greg, you decided to make this information public, not Laurie. The mature way to handle this situation would have been to talk to Laurie directly, not post this information for the world to see.

By the way, a 1099 contract employee is allowed by law to do other work for other employers. That's why they are called contract labor.

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Old 12-03-2001, 08:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I am very happy you are a customer and I thank you for your orders . I hope my
disagreement with Laurie will not effect our business relationship.

Laurie, asked people to hear both sides, I am simply offering to everyone my side of this story because I was not given the opportunity to offer my side of the story inside the Tantalk Moderators Forum.

I am sorry this has happen as well but I am now aware that Laurie called a moderator on
another board to "seek advice as well". At what point, does seeking "advice" from my
customers/prospects become bashing or blackmailing me and my company. I have
repeatedly tried to resolve this privately but she has failed to live up to our agreements.

Other than her demand first send me the money then I will send the stuff back. I tried sending $400 to see if that would get my stuff back but that failed. I gave up. Then I discovered what she was doing with her postings and phone calls.

Your right that 1099 rules indicate that I can not stop her for working for others at the same time she is working for me but she should have not used the phone lines I was
paying for to do it. That was wrong!

I do have the right to stop her for working for me because she was not getting the job

The 1099 laws also indicate that I did not owe her any severance but I offered it in return for her sending my property back, turning off the toll free number and not making his public. All things she failed to promptly do, so she did not get the severance pay. She had to earn it, it was not a welfare check!

She made this "public" by repeatedly seeking "advice" from my customers and prospects in the Tantalk moderators forum and her direct phone calls. I believe she hoped that those customers/prospect would put pressure on me to get what she wanted but did not deserve.

Think, if you caught an employee selling hair care products to your tanners on your time using your phone and salon. You fired them because they were not getting the job do for you but this ex-employee had a key and demanded you give them "severance" pay they did not deserve in advance before you got the key back.

How would you react?

What if after a few days, she then offered to sell your key to several of your tanners or the salon down the block?

Just because you did not pay her? In trying to sell that key she told them "you know how she is" trying to make you look like a bad person just for not giving in to her demands.

How would you feel, you did nothing wrong but you are the being lied and talked about?

I have offered to pay Laurie's phone expenses under the conditions I outlined, I still have not receive any indication she plans on doing that either publicly or privately.

What else can I do?

I will not be blackmailed or intimidated, even if it cost me customers or prospects.

I tried being nice and it did not work.

I now have to act to get my side of the story out because she has been secretly telling my customers/prospects her side of the story. The problem is I do not know who she talked to. So, I told everyone. I did not have a choice.

I simply ask you to put yourself into my shoes.

What would you do?

Maybe what I did?

Greg Klesius
Soakin' Up The Rays, Inc.
Working to protect tanning salon owner profits from diversion (TM)

[ This Message was edited by: Soakinuptherays on 2001-12-03 20:11 ]
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Old 12-03-2001, 08:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Greg, personally I think you over-reacted. So your side of the story is out...good and bad. Happy?
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