We were having a little trouble with our satellite dish.
It was nothing serious, but I think I may have overdone it with the lump-hammer. Anyways I thought it was about time to get it fixed. I phoned The People.
I got onto a nice girl [on the phone – it’s a figure of speech] who said there were no problems, and their chap would be out on Thursday to fix things. I thanked her and was about to hang up when she started rattling off a list of terms and conditions.
First of all, she said all animals and children had to be locked up. What? I have no problem with locking up children but my dog roams free, and I told her so. She said they all had to be locked up for “Health and Safety”.
Next, I had to provide off street parking. That was fine, because the nearest street to me is about six miles away. We have lots of roads around here, but no streets. Apparently this is something to do with “Health and Safety”.
There were several other things she waffled on about such as wanting to know if I was over eighteen, as an adult had to supervise the work. I immediately had visions of a four year old complete with tool belt shinning up my roof, but I let it pass. I assumed it was “Health and Safety” again.
The chap arrived today.
He was a very nice bloke, but he took one look at Sandy and started to tell me to lock her up. ‘Scared of dogs?’ I asked. ‘Nah!’ says he. ‘Health and Safety’.
We went up on the roof.
At this point I should add that we have a very large flat roof. It is almost large enough to land a Cessna on, but not quite [as I found out once to my cost]. Access to it is through a door, so it’s a bit like stepping out into a gravel garden.
He took one look around and said that he would have to drill a hole in the wall. I asked what for, and he said he had to insert a bolt to attach his safety harness to. I pointed out that he was on a flat roof, that was very solid and that the nearest edge was about twelve feet away. ‘It doesn’t matter,’ says he, ‘Health and Safety requirements.’ I told him very politely that if he tried to bore holes in my wall, he really would have health and safety worries, so he though better of that one, but kept giving nervous glances at the road, in case there was a Health and Safety Officer loitering around. There wasn’t.
He had to run an extra cable across the flat roof, which was fine, but then he wanted to nail it down for Health and Safety reasons. Once again I had to quietly remind him that sticking nails thorough my flat roof would not be good for his health or his safety.
It took him about twenty minutes to fix my dish, and a further hour and a half to run through his Health and Safety checklist, but he did a grand job.
I watched him drive away.
I noticed that he didn’t wear his seat belt.