CLOCKWORK – For the most part, the jobs I attend for Secure Glass run like clockwork. The office staff arranges the schedules and bang-bang-bang, I arrive, do my job, clean up and off to the next one – everyone is happy.
Not this day.
It started just like any other day, but there must have been a misalignment of the planets, or something, going on. Global warming? Something, anyway. Things just weren’t right.
I’d checked out the job the night before; it was another break in. Round the back, a whole glass sliding door panel lay in shattered crystals over the patio and inside on the carpet – quite pretty really in the moonlight. The landlord hadn’t heeded the tenant’s request to have a security light installed out the back. Under the cover of darkness the thieves had levered the door at the edge – trying to dislodge it off its track I reckon – and then the glass had just exploded so they walked in and did their stuff. Too easy! I had measured-up and boarded the entry up and all was planned for a morning installation.
I should have twigged that something wasn’t right when I couldn’t get a response on my assistant’s phone – no signal, it said. Sunspots I reckoned. Then I burnt my toast. I don’t usually do that. I’m good at making toast. It’s one of my specialities; that and making scrambled eggs. Anyway, breakfast over, I went out to the truck. Then I noticed a glimmer of light from the cab light. I hadn’t closed the door properly and it’d been burning all night. Knowing what to expect, when I turned the key all I got was a confused gurrrring and clicking sound. Flat battery. Not too fazed at this point I went inside and made another cup of tea while I waited for the Roadside Assist. Then my phone rang. It was the office. My assistant wouldn’t be available: some ‘personal’ emergency. You get that. They’d arranged a ring-in but he wouldn’t be on-site for another hour. Ah, things might fall into place after all.
But no, my Roadside Assist was caught in a traffic jam on the freeway – ETA another hour. Time for coffee, and I was feeling peckish again. Anyway, three hours later I arrive at the job. The casual assistant had been there for an hour but had been wondering if he’d been given the right address. No, he hadn’t gone in ‘cause the gate to the side of the house was locked and no-one was answering the front door. Uh oh! I ring the tenant and remind her that she had said she’d be in all morning. She apologises profusely, and tells me how she’d received a phone call from her boss asking if she could come in early (what with all these phones now the world’s gone mad with over-communicating). She’d given me an hour, assumed we weren’t coming and then gone to her precious (OK, fair enough) job. Could we wait till lunchtime when she could pop home for a minute to let us in? Well dear, if the day had consisted of just your job . . . well, the company would go broke wouldn’t it.
Yep, the planets were way out of alignment. Half the day gone and nothing done. Should have stayed in bed. I explained politely that we’d have to move on and that we’d get back to her, then tossed the job back to the office for planning and rescheduling. They’re good at that. I looked at the newspaper beside me on the seat. It was open at the page with the Horoscopes – Pisces, it read: Your day will be full of unexpected surprises and romance. I looked at the new assistant . . . Hah, I don’t think so!