People don’t think

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security gulls

Image by *Psycho Delia* via Flickr

It always seems to happen that I get calls to install or change outdoor light fittings in the winter months. The most frequently asked request is to install security lighting. The reason for that of course us that the dark evenings are with us at this time of year and the risk of burglary is thought to be higher. Although most burglaries occur during daylight hours and many of those are opportunistic people fear that the darkness is an invitation for burglars. It is true that some burglaries happen during the dark hours so security lighting is a deterrent. Why don’t people think about such things when the daylight hours are longer in the summer months? The weather will always dictate whether outside installation takes place of course, no-one wants to be working outside when it is wet and windy or cold and icy, apart from the fact that it could be dangerous. This week I have had a few such requests for outside lighting, some of which I have completed. I remember one year when I was asked to install lighting in wood decking in a garden. It was February, it was very cold and frosty and the job took me four times longer than it should have done but my client insisted I did it no matter what the cost. I had to wear gloves but that made it difficult to handle the components. I had to keep coming back indoors to get warm too. I vowed I would never repeat such a stupid method of working again and I have kept that promise. My motto now is I’m sorry but if the weather is bad the job has to wait else get someone else to do it. I do my best for people but some try it on with me! I don’t get many problems with strange requests at work, I just get some strange people to work for now and then! Speaking of which there was a guy call me on Monday who had a problem with a three light chandelier, one of the holders was loose. Thinking and wondering why he couldn’t have tightened it up himself I realised who it was calling me. He is an elderly Jewish gentleman whose wife is suffering with various health problems and I have done many jobs for them in the past. When I got to their apartment he was standing there with his arms wide open to greet me, something he has taken upon himself to do for my last few visits. I get a hug and a kiss but I would prefer he wasn’t so amorous. I try to keep a professional head upon my shoulders so my response is passive. He is sincere but presumptuous. The offending light fitting was over his wife’s bed and she was still in it! This has happened a few times but they are not bothered about me being there, it’s as though I have become part of the family as it were. The job itself wasn’t that easy to fix, well beyond his capability but I managed in the end. I even fixed a problem with a radiator valve that they had in the bathroom. Whilst I was there I met with a woman who does their house chores and now have the prospect of more work in the future. Earlier in the morning I’d been to another job ostensibly to install a power outlet for an electric fire and to fit the same into the opening in the fireplace  which was surrounded by reconstituted granite slabs. Now this guy didn’t even bother to unpack the new fire and see how to fit it. It was designed to either screw straight onto a wall or fit into an opening. It had a flexible cable and plug already fitted as is the norm so all that was required was to fit it in the hole. He could have done that himself, it didn’t require any tools, his three-year old daughter could have done it, except for one thing, the opening, although wide enough, was six millimetres too short in height. He will get someone to grind off the excess. Had he looked at the fire in the first place he would not have needed my services. I fixed a couple of external lights simply by replacing the bulbs! Why don’t people think before they act? It cost him for his omission. I didn’t mind, it made my day a bit easier anyhow and still got paid!

Shirley Anne

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