A little over a year ago, Jay A. Buerger responded to a blog I manage and asked me to help him. Initial contact sent up a red flag or two, but I found myself feeling excited about the proposal he offered. An opportunity, not just for me, but for many. I could see the benefit of the recycled plastic aggregate program he proposed and thought it would be a good thing. I believed it would offer jobs for others, income for me – as I completed the work requested by Jay A. Buerger, and benefit the landfills by removing much of the plastics that could be recycled.
I worked hard to help put together the proposal and the right people. Then spent much time and effort to make connections.
During the first discussions, there was talk of payment, he indicated that his organization had contracts for me to sign and didn’t want to sign my contracts, since I would be contracting to them (see quoted email message below). So, I waited for contracts. None came. On several occasions, I asked for payment, but none came. After one job was initially completed, I requested a sum of money and he wrote a personal check, for a penance of that request, telling me it was a “good faith payment” since the company hadn’t gotten the contracts out.
Again, I experienced red flags. I felt unsure of the man I was working with… And questioned his ethical values, but he continued sending me copies of emails, and I felt that I “needed” the job. Ethically, I had agreed to do the job and felt bound to complete the work, although I struggled with the lack of payment for my work. I was struggling to get back on my feet after taking time away from my business to take care of my mother, and he’d promised all the right things. His promises had thus far been empty.
At some point during this phase of working for Buerger, I began to recognize the characteristics of an abuser, and the vivid misrepresentations. At about the same time a couple of people who had been actively working on the project, stopped.
I saw major red flags, but I’d invested a lot of time and effort into the project, and wanted to be reimbursed for my time.
This email implied much (and included documents):
CC:Saturday, May 28, 2011 1:33 P
Some of this is confidential so be aware of who you share this with please. You may or may not want to share the test results of the concrete with Balkrete as the aggregate.
You will find these results and more in the Balkrete Business Plan Current in the back pages of the presentation. As the questions pop up for you, which are all valid and good questions, I want you to have the information and answers to those questions at your finger tips on paper!
Please feel free to share most of this information with whom ever you feel comfortable with now.
It was a pleasure to speak with you this morning. We will meet soon so I can get some no compete disclosure forms to you.
Also, I will be sending to you a very current model of a compensation plan to you as soon as possible. I am excited about having met you and having a real writer on the Balkrete Team.
PS We will soon hear about the results of days of my writings in the contest known as the Clean Tech Open. Entry was closed yesterday. Semi finalist announced mid June. I have a feeling we will do well and I’ll bet we are the cream of the crop and we will rise to the top.
Jay A. Buerger GRI CRS CRB
Buerger and Company Real Estate
6061 South Olathe Street
Centennial, Colorado 80016
O: 303 694.1111 C: 303 829.8495
From: Tom Balkum [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2011 9:26 AM
To: Kelan Brady; Jay Buerger
Subject: Emailing: Balkrete ExSum vc4.3, Balkrete Business Plan CURRENT v2.0, Balkrete- Slides vc4, Proforma Balkrete CURRENT v1.2
Current Balkrete pitch-
I’ve always believed that if I act with integrity, others will also.
In this case, he acted with no integrity. Although, I worked hard and completed all the jobs requested, I was not paid. Until now, after he sued me in small claims court for a refund of the money he did pay me from his personal account (which he referred to as a personal loan), I’ve revealed nothing of the discrepancies of his behavior to the public. But I believe people have a need to know that this man is a fraud.
Jay A. Buerger’s abusive behavior culminated in the court room.
After fighting the battle and remaining calm through the majority of it, his condescending attitude and tone hit me and I reacted. Not my usual demeanor, but I’d had enough and the Judge appeared to be ignoring it.
In the end, I got paid for a later job that he tried to squirm his way out of, but I had documented. At least it was deducted from the amount of money he had sued me for. . .
I learned a few things from this experience. Abusive, condescending people can enter into any part of your life. You must be able to recognize them, know what to look for and when you do recognize it, no matter what – leave them in your dust. You need to recognize condescending and abusive people, even when it is not in a personal relationship. This article about the 7 characteristics of an abuser may help you.
When you feel the red flags, check marks in a professional relationship, look closer. Those are warning signs to give you a chance to get out of the relationship before it destroys you, your business, or your career. As for my situation, I will be notifying those who were part of the project, known to me about this situation, and giving them a heads up to this man’s character. I will recommend to anyone who knows him or is currently in business with him, that they get out of business with Jay A. Buerger and never associate with him on any level for any business venture, because he will screw you over in ways you’ve never imagined.
Meanwhile, I’m scraping the dirt off my feet and walking on… I have life to live and I plan to live it well.