We have all had them – those bizarre experiences where we react and then seriously question our own actions. This morning I had two rather controversial events happen. I just wonder how other people might have reacted.
Just to paint a little background… People outside the UK might not know what a Local Authority is (or local Council). They are government departments who manage the individual districts of each city in Britain. I rent a home from a Local Authority in London.
This morning, the Local Authority was sending a plumber to replace the toilet cistern. I was about to wish they hadn’t bothered.
At 10.30am, the plumber came knocking. I can detect alcohol from a mile off. This man looked like he was plain and simply pissed drunk. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I cautiously decided to let him in. Just as he was stepping past the threshold, he trips on the doorstep and literally falls through the doorway.
He’s embarrassed. Pulling himself together, he tries hard to avoid eye contact and heads straight to the toilet. I feel sick with nerves, but allow events to unfold because I’m trying to get close enough to smell for alcohol.
We are both about to regret this moment. At last, his mouth opens, “Oh, I’ve brought the wrong type of cistern, I’ll be back in half an hour”
Of course, the fumes that are howling from his breath were unmistakable; a pungent smell of alcohol and stale tobacco, mixed with an odour of dirty clothes and God only knows what else.
Alcohol….drunk men… stale tobacco… all have triggering memories for me and perhaps I’m about to take my reaction too far.
Immediately, I telephone his Supervisor and explain what had just happened.
“Really”? He said in a matter of fact manner
“He’s not allowed back on my property”
He has no questions or even a shaddow of a doubt and responds quietly, “I understand”.
As if things were not dramatic enough, bizarre event number two was about to unfold.
I’m just hanging up the phone to the police when there’s a loud crunching noise coming from outside. Right in front of my window, a car has hit another car that is parked at the roadside.
The driver stopped to inspect the damage and then promptly drove away. In the short space of 5-10 minutes, I was taking note of my second car number plate of the day.
I reach for the phone, but hesitate. I lift the handset and then hesitate. I put it down. Pick it up. Put it down… How can I call the police within seconds of reporting another crime? Will they think I’m sort sort of crazy Scotsman out on some sort of vigilante mission? Huh, Cat the bounty hunter, indeed!
The car outside has some minor damage – a huge score along the backside. If it were my car, I would die. However, I was too paranoid to report it. Silly, really. Under the darkness of night, I might put a note on the windscreen, providing the offending car number plate. On the other hand, perhaps I might rather not be involved.
Tonight I feel guilty for the plumber. Perhaps he will lose his job. I wonder if Police arrested him. Will it put his family in hardship? Should I have handled it differently?
So, my dear friends, if these two bizarre situations happened to you, what action would you take?