Now and then


I had one job to do on Monday morning. A lady had called me on Sunday to ask me to check out a few small problems with her electrical installation, faulty or missing lights and fittings and one or two switches. Basically minor repairs. I made arrangements to turn up the following morning to not only assess what needed to be done but to do it at the same time. That was the understanding for I almost never drive to a job just to look at it because that is a waste of my time. I usually discuss on the phone and then give a rough estimate as to the likely cost. Most people are happy with that arrangement because they know that one, I will turn up as promised and two, I will do the work on the same visit. If they request me to call on a specific day I am usually able to oblige so that everyone is happy with the arrangement. Some people however, though they are few, will insist I visit and give estimates then they use another electrician having wasted my time in the process. I am experienced enough to give reasonably accurate telephone estimates. Now this lady knew I was going to arrive as we had agreed but then as I arrived and on time things began to change. First of all she began by explaining why she wanted the work doing. She had been away from home for three or four months and had let the house to her niece and her husband. The house was untidy and as I walked over some of the mess she explained that the police had broken into the house because her niece had been trapped in there. Some cover story if ever I heard one. Probably the police were there to arrest someone would be a more plausible explanation but I said nothing. As we moved toward the staircase to go upstairs she turned and said that she didn’t expect the work to be done immediately and could I arrange to do it at some other time? She had gotten me there under false pretenses after we had arranged that I would assess and do the work at the same time. I understand that some folk cannot afford to have the work done straight away but they shouldn’t agree then change their minds once I get there. I decided to walk away from the work and I told the lady that I wasn’t going to have people wasting my time as she was doing. I am not desperate for work that I should be at the beck and call of time-wasters. Nice start to the week. Fortunately I had only travelled less than three miles to get there. I telephoned my local pharmacy to see if they had my prescription ready for collection so that I could collect them on my way back home. They were ready for collection. I hadn’t expected them to be ready until Tuesday so that meant the morning hadn’t been a complete waste of time after all.

Shirley Anne