That Awkward Moment with the Maintenance Man

You alarm system won’t work without an upgrade.

I received that notice from my alarm company. Then received it again. And yet another time, much like other offers that come my way. I currently find myself grasping for time, always feeling behind in life. Is it because I get up at 3 a.m. for work and rarely get a restful sleep for fear of missing my alarm? Is it because I am a single mom and purposely put my son first, discarding mail, email, and phone calls for much of the week? Likely a combination of both, I realized I needed to schedule an appointment with the alarm company to come change the expiring technology for something more modern. We picked the soonest afternoon they had.

Of course it was during a rare late nap my son decided to take, so I corralled my two dogs into the backyard so they wouldn’t bark at the workman’s arrival and wake the toddler. Once the man pulled into the driveway, I met him outside and explained where my son was and asked if he could be quiet during his work. He explained that as a grandfather himself he understood, and assured me his work would be quick.

Then as he entered my kitchen, he called his dispatch to check in and I was reminded that men can’t whisper. I couldn’t imagine his voice could get any louder as he described my alarm model over speakerphone, his volume matched by the crackling colleague coming through his device. Blinking hard in disbelief, I whispered, as a hint, that I was going to go check on my son, another hint, and left him to his conversation. Fortunately, Mr. Carter hadn’t stirred.

I could hear his phone call had thankfully ended when my alarm went off. I quickly went to my keypad to silence the house once again. The workman quickly explained to me the alarm was necessary to test the new unit. Realizing this must be a joke, I watched him return to his original position in my laundry room to trip the system again. Helpless, the alarm eee-ahhh’d for what seemed like an hour and I waited for the tiny voice of a confused Mr. Carter to harmonize with the audible alert blaring in my house. Nothing. The test was over and my son miraculously slept through it.

Relieved, I was then told his work was done and all I had to do was sign some paperwork. We gathered again in the kitchen and as he pointed out where I was supposed to sign, I noticed from the corner of my eye my bra. Yes, apparently sometime over the weekend I had discarded one of my bras right on the kitchen island where we were, and failed to move it in the aforementioned hectic lifestyle I now live. Here we were … the workman, me, and my bra. I made no attempt to move it since there is no way the workman could have missed it so why try now, and signed what was needed to get this guy gone.

I let the dogs in and had time to place my red face in my hands before Mr. Carter finally woke up.

Original published of GA Voice.

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