Well, you live and you learn. I have ranted extensively about my pool guy problem. I thought my rant was over. A friend of mine introduced me to his pool guy who has been working for me for two months. The first month went by without incident. He did the pool. It looks lovely. I’m happy. However,….. I love that word. It prefaces drama and this particular ‘however’ is the preface to a drama of note.
So last week thursday fell in the middle of holiday week South Africa and so the pool guy didn’t come. Saturday was the last day of the month. The pool guy called me on Saturday morning to say that he wanted to come and get his money. To be perfectly honest I was in bed, and I was not alone. I was not going to leave that situation for anything. I told him to come on Thursday as usual and I’d pay him then. End. Or so I thought.
Tuesday the pool guy sends me an sms to say he is outside my house. I wasn’t there, but I was on my way there to fetch something and leave. I told him not to bother because I wasn’t packing money and I was on my way to a meeting. I reiterated that he would get his payment, as usual, on Thursday.
I got home. Got what I needed and left. I was with my ‘friend’. As I drove up the road, the pool guy passed me. He was on his way to my house. I continued to the next intersection and waited for him to turn his car around and catch up. He was not alone. He was with his son. Or at least he said he was his son. He came to the car window and said that he needed money. I said that I wasn’t carrying money. I was on my way to a meeting. I was not expecting him. I would see him on Thursday as usual. Then the ‘son’, who was maybe seventeen or so came to the window and started yelling, but yelling about how that was his money and he didn’t want it on Thursday he wanted it now. I ignored the ‘son’. I don’t know him. I don’t have anything to do with him. I told the pool guy I’d see him on Thursday and I drove away. I was late for my meeting. I wasn’t as late as I was going to be.
They got into their van and drove after me. They overtook my car and blocked the road with their van. The ‘son’ got out of the van and came towards the car shouting about ‘you rich people think you can do what you want etc’. I opened my window to talk to him. I had my phone in my hand. He reached in and before I knew it he had snatched the phone from my hand and was walking away. I opened the door to go after him and he told me,
‘If you get out of that car I’m going to stab you’.
I confess I hesitated, but my ‘friend’ didn’t. He walked towards the ‘son’ saying,
‘Stab me, come on stab me’. And suddenly he had the ‘son’ by the neck, and was shaking the shit out of him, then with one hand on his neck and the other around his leg, he picked the ‘son’ up and plopped him on the ground. He kept hold of his neck. The son was trying to break free. He squeezed out the words “You’re strangling me”. To which my friend replied. “Yes”. I took that opportunity to prise my phone out of the ‘son’s’ hand.
The pool guy sat in his van and watched. I even went to the van and asked him if he was happy with this situation and he shrugged his shoulders and said “It’s not me fighting”. Is he joking? He brings this little thug into my life and then he has a disclaimer?
Anyway, I alerted my ‘friend’ to the fact that I had the phone and we could leave. We were walking towards the car and I heard the ‘son’ behind me saying something so I turned and he had a screwdriver in his hand coming towards me. I have never in my entire life experienced something like this. I mean what world does he live in? A screwdriver? Really? My friend was unfazed and made towards the ‘son’ again. The son was screaming at me
“You’re a fucking whore, I’m going to send people to kidnap you and rape you. You’re a fucking rich whore. I’m going to smash all the windows in your house”.
My ‘friend’ was walking towards the ‘son’ and the ‘son’ was brandishing the screwdriver, but he is backing away. So I called to my friend that ‘we should please go, leave it, it’s not worth it. We are late’; and other things we women say when we see the testosterone boiling over. He could see the boy was backing away. He made a gesture of impatience and came back to me. Once again we walked towards the car. I turned around again and this time I see the ’son’ with a base ball bat. He’s tapping the ground and threat-swinging it. I just said to my ‘friend’.
“Don’t even think about it. Get into the car”.
The ‘son’ was yelling at my ‘friend’, “You’re a fucking coward hiding behind a woman”.
I yelled at my ‘friend’, “Please, just get into the car”. I was terrified.
There was a line of traffic behind my car and we’d acquired quite an audience. I guess there were too many witnesses because the boy suddenly ran back to his van, got in and drove away. ‘Phew’!
We got into the car. I called the security company to please extra patrol my house. I called to apologise about the meeting, drove straight to the police station and I laid a charge of intimidation. I had already told the pool guy he was fired. I thought that would be an end to it. Alas, no.
Thursday came around and blow me down if the pool guy doesn’t come as usual to do the pool. Everyone comes on Thursday. I like my privacy, so Thursday is my helper’s day, gardener’s day and pool guy day. That is the full extent of the help that I need. Everyone gets paid on Thursday regardless when month end is, because that is the only day I see them and everyone wants cash in hand. This system has been working for years. The rest of the week I want to be alone.
The helper let him in, as usual. She didn’t know the story. Anyway now he was in my property with no way out unless someone opened the gate. I told her not to open it. I called the police and told them that he was here. They said I must say nothing. They would come and get him.
We let people into our homes. We don’t know anything about them, and we let them into our homes and lives. Perhaps we are foolish. I didn’t know anything about this pool guy. I only knew him by his first name. I didn’t know his id number. I didn’t know where he lived. I didn’t even know that he had a ‘son’. It didn’t occur to me to be interested. A friend recommended him, and that was good enough for me. I will never be so lax again.
So, on Thursday the police came and took him with them. He was smiling. He smiled right at me. That is so sinister.
He smiled at me and said ‘It wasn’t me.’ This made me think that he does this all the time. He lets his ‘son’ intimidate and bully people and stands back. He thinks he can easily carry on because ‘it wasn’t him’. Anyway, I paid him and the police took him off and I hope that is the last I hear from him.
As to the threat of kidnapping and rape, well I have the security company on extra alert, and if anything happens to me the police now know where to find him. I’m being vigilant about myself. In all honesty, I can’t imagine myself being the actual victim of this threat, but I don’t want to take it too lightly. It is a threat. It was made. On some level he must have meant it. I hope against all hope that he can’t act on it.
Can you imagine, all this? What world do these people occupy? I am totally finished. I am still in shock.
I was so grateful that my ‘friend’ was with me. I was very impressed with how fearless he was. How sexy is that? He says that it’s because he’s a country boy. He’ll always be a country boy at heart, and country boys are used to fighting and dealing with animals that don’t want to be dealt with.
Anyway, now I’m back at square one and I don’t have a pool guy – again. I think the garden guy and I will figure it out for ourselves for a while. I can’t win. I go to a pool company with a shop front and staff that is supposedly reputable and the staff want me to help them steal from their boss. I go to a pool guy with his own operation and he brings his son to intimidate me.
A baseball bat? What the fuck? A baseball bat? Really? I’m finished. I am totally finished and I am thoroughly klaar!