Short Stories - non fiction

Security Detail

My husband Bruce sells alarm systems. He has done this for over 30 years, and he is very good at his job. Every now and then he comes across a wing nut. This story is about a wing nut and the impact he had on our family.
I am not going to get into a lot of details because they don’t really matter, but suffice to say this particular customer who had a variety of medical issues, was prescribed medical marihuana, and lived in a trailer park signed up for a system he could not afford. This was at the crux of the issue. The correct course of action would have been to deal with the accounting team and/or branch manager. The course of action this fellow took was to phone Bruce at home and leave a threatening “I know where you live” message.

His approach was not good. Bruce was not actually worried about the guy, but protocol dictated that he must report issues such as this to his boss. The company took the threat very seriously, and as a result they provided us with a security officer 24/7.
I arrive home that night to find “Colombo” in my kitchen asking Bruce a million questions, drilling him really. He took his assignment very seriously, and wanted to do his best to protect our family. But when he told Bruce not to leave the house, he crossed a line. “We are not going to be holed up because of some pot smoking little dweeb, it’s not happening. Just watch the house while we are sleeping at it will be fine.” said Bruce.

So Bruce leaves the house, and I am sitting in the family room watching TV. It was December, and darkness came early. I notice “Columbo” roaming around our backyard with a flashlight. Really?  

Next thing I know, he’s parked his car right on the walking path across the street and is staring at our house. He did that for a while, then he parked in the driveway. 

His car had the word SECURITY written in large white reflective lettering. And trust me when I say it was capturing the attention of the neighbourhood. 

People dreamt up all sorts of reason for the security detail. One person thought we needed it because someone from work was a stalker. Another thought we were getting divorced and there was a restraining order, and someone else phoned me because her son thought bi-law had finally caught up to him for unpaid parking tickets. Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

In any event, Columbo did his best to “secure the parameter” and keep us safe. He almost tackled our paper boy who dropped off the Ottawa Sun at 5:30 am. Or as he put it “I almost clotheslined him”. Wow! What have we gotten ourselves into?

The second night we had a very young, and very tall security guard. It was his first day on the job. The second dude turned out to be quite high maintenance. For one thing, he would ring our doorbell all night long. “Mind if I warm up my coffee?” or worse “mind if I use your washroom?” Turns out dude was rather routine about his “movements” and visited our restroom every night at around 7:30pm, leaving a very fowl odor behind. REALLY?

The next morning when I went to leave work, security guard #2 was fast asleep in his car. He even had a little blankie over him to keep warm. I thought that opening the garage would wake him, but I was wrong. I thought the sound of my car starting would wake him….nope! I tried tapping on his window, no luck. I literally had to bang on the window to wake him up. That worked! Holy cow, if the dope smoking dweeb had shown up, this guy would have slept through the whole thing!

So things went on, and on, and on. And I started to have a sense for how celebrities feel with these extra people hanging around all of the time. I hated it. It drove me nuts!

One night my son gets a text from his friend who had just left our house “you better have Bruce check on the dude in your driveway”….so Bruce looks outside, and the guard had strung up a very long extension cord from his car to our house so that he could run a heater in his car. It literally was some new issue every night. Did I mention that it drove me nuts?

Then, on a Saturday afternoon, our doorbell rings. So I go to the door, and I see three little hockey players collecting bottles to raise money for their team. They were accompanied by a man who looked like an old farmer. “Must be their grandpa” I think. Nope! Meet security guard #3. and the reason he looked like a farmer? He was a farmer! He was literally called to work while he was in his field working. They told him to get to our house right away, and not to bother changing his clothes. Wow! Seriously? And he felt it was necessary to escort the three 8 year old boys to our door in the interest of our safety.

That was the last straw. I had enough, and Bruce’s breaking point was when the farmer stood and watched over him as he installed our exterior Christmas lights. So we pulled the plug. And that was that.

You never really appreciate your normal life until it becomes abnormal. Normal is better.

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2 thoughts on “Security Detail”

  1. Words fail! A great post! Needless to say, the toothless Canadian contract security industry is a joke. Only in-house security can carry restraints etc whereas contract can only ‘observe and report’. I worked in the industry for more years than I care to say and I have worked with the gamut, ex-P.O./military with ever-roving eyeballs, to red-eyed stoners who hated their dads!

    Liked by 1 person

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