A diary of one man's utter failure, depression, frustration, cock-ups, and impecuniousness, starting in August 1947
The control room called me at home, asking me to go to a large Derby electrical retailer, who'd been hit the night before.
I set off, finding the famous store, on a retail park, right next to one of their competitors (Comet).
The raiders had blasted their way through a breeze block wall, and exited the same way, with many thousands of pounds worth of TV, videos, etc. The wall had been temporarily bocked up, but could not be properly secured until the Monday.
I was given the door codes (no keys), and told to stay in the shop area at all times (where the damaged wall was), and not to stay in the kitchen area.
The staff departed about 1845hrs, and I took a look around to familiarise myself with the layout. Then made a flask of tea, and brought it along with my sandwiches, into the shop area, settling in a chair at the inquiry desk, facing about 60 TV screens, all on showing the same channel.
Around 1900hrs came a knocking at the back door!
It was the manageress who had forgotten take some paperwork with her. She went into the back office to collect them, then returned to the shop to ask me to release her, during which she said; "You can change the channels if you want to, the remotes are in that draw" Pointing to a draw in the desk where I was sitting.
Off she went, and I delved into the remote controls, there were about a hundred or so in the draw.
After managing to get about 15 of the TV's on different channels, loud alarms began ringing from one of the shelving units. I eventually located the source of the alarm on the radio display shelves, and realised that a code was needed to deactivate/silence the horrible grating noise.
Without the code, all I could do was press 'silence', at after about three minutes the klaxons would start again!
Having no contact numbers for the firms staff, I rang our Control Room, asking them to try and contact the Manageress, and get the required code.
It was well gone midnight when they rang back with a 4 digit code, by which time I was on the verge of insanity with the hours of the noise and pressing the silence button every three minutes!
I put the code in - after which the noise started again, and did not stop again until the arrival of the staff at 0730hrs in the morning!
A good job no one broke in that night, because I was so disorientated with the hours of noise, I would have been no use at all.
The Manageress explained that she had given the wrong code, and laughed about it.
I had to sit in the car for ages until I felt clear headed enough to drive.
When I got home, control rang asking me to go back to the same store again that Sunday night, for 16 hours shift, 1600hrs to 0800hrs!
On arrival at the store, I made sure I was given the correct codes for all of the alarms in the store (better late than never).
I was sat there, about 2300hrs, watching dozens of channels on the TVs, when I heard a thudding noise, although it sounded a bit distant, I thought I'd better investigate.
I opened the back (side) door, and gingerly peered out into up and down the alleyway, although I could see nothing untoward, the thudding noise was clearly coming from nearby, and it suddenly stopped, and I heard voices shouting. I boldly marched (actually, crept up) the alleyway to the parade of shop fronts, to see two vehicles and a several scrota loading stuff from Comet into one of the vans.
I called the emergency services, and tried to get a good description of the vans and crooks for the police. Within minutes the squad cars flew into the car park, and the offenders scattered - unfortunately two of them towards where I was in the alleyway. I retreated in through the back door, as I tried to close it behind me, there was pressure from the other side trying to force it open as I tried to close it!
A managed to hold them off for a minute or so, and verbally advised them to go forth and multiply.... they burst in through the door.
Turns out it was the police, who saw the yobs running into the alleyway, then saw the door being closed as they entered the alleyway, and assumed it must have been the crooks going in through the door.
Well that was the reason they gave me at the hospital for the police Alsation biting me.
A Nottingham University, the boating lake and cafeteria were having work done to upgrade them, and the local yobbet's had been visiting causing damage.
So we were called in to monitor the situation overnight.
Early on, I was patrolling around the perimeter of the lake, while awaiting the departure of the staff, and used my binoculars to view the wildlife on the islands, when I noticed what I thought were suspicious packages and boxes on one of them.
Being conscientious, I made a mental note to investigate further later on.
As I gleaned more of the layout of the place, I came to the far end of the site, and saw that there were about 40 of the rowing boats on the bank, and decided to use one to row out to the island to investigate when everyone had left site.
Around 2030hrs all the people had left, I secured the gate, and went to where the boats were on the bank. I chose one and rowed out towards the island.
As I was wading back to the bank, I wondered why I had not chosen a boat without a leak in the bottom!
I was selected for a one night job at a new office block in Birmingham, and even got travelling expenses.
This made me wonder why a firm in Birmingham would require a security officer from a penny ante firm in Nottingham to look after a site in Smethwick one night?
Suspicious of imminent danger, I drove to Smethwick, only getting lost twice en route, and found the building on time to start the 1700hr to 0800hrs 15 hour shift.
The chap in charge explained, that all I have to do, is to check each office door, and respond to any alarm activations, and not to use the lifts. Sounded alright up until then.
Off he went, and I secured the front doors, then returned to the reception area where I was to be based, to peruse the plans of the building. There were 502 offices, and 566 doors, on six floors!
I'd just got the doors checked in time for me open the doors to let the staff in!
No break, feet and legs aching, tired, and frustrated I left for Nottingham.
The Skoda let me down on the motorway, and the RAC had to get me home - where the phone rang as I got in, it was Control asking me if I fancied another shift there!
My answer is not printable here.