Those of us that have worked in the television service field have all had our fair share of unusual customers. Again whilst I was working for Telefusion one of my job cards on this particular morning was to replace an on/off switch on an ITT CVC30 television. The unusual thing was that this was not the first time looking at the job card? One of the other engineers looked at the job with a smile on his face and said “it will take the lady a while to open the door”. He wouldn’t tell me any more!
I arrived at the terraced hose which was a senior citizens development built about the mid 70’s. The door was of the two frosted panel design and I could see as I approached that there was what looked like a wire clothes horse in the way. On ringing the bell I could see the woman approach the door and start to move stuff about apologising for the delay in getting the door open. Eventually the door was opened and I could step into the passage.
There where old news papers clothes and other items stacked all along the passage wall which lead to the lounge. As we went past the kitchen door on my left, (no door fitted) I could clearly see there were pans on the cooker, in the sink and on the floor. There were also plates half with dried up food on them which looked like they had been used once and then left. It was a warm summers day but the smell wasn’t too bad, it had an aroma of rotten apples.
We entered the living room coming in behind the sofa which also had bundles of newspapers stacked up behind it with used plates and discarded food and piled on top more papers. The whole room was like this, you couldn’t sit on the sofa as it was piled high with more stuff and the surrounding walls.There where also what looked like chicken feathers everywhere!
There was a clear passage down the centre of the room to the TV that stood in the corner, pride of place completely on its own. I started replacing the mains switch which had the stem that the knob attached to broken off. As I chatted to her she was peeling some fruit and eating it whist perched on one of the piles of news papers. I asked her if she ever tided up to which the reply was “oh I’m always tidying up I never stop”. The conversation went on to her husband which she talked about as if he where in the present and he maybe upstairs in bed?? The stairs being one of those that came down straight into the living room, it was also piled high with bundles of paper and other items with no way to actually get up there, I was beginng to wonder if this husband she was referring to was still up there where there was no access?
To the right of the TV was a split full height window with white curtains containing green flowers hung at each side. The middle of the upper pane was clean where it had been wiped in a circle many times, the rest of the glass had gone brown over time with condensation. I finished replacing the switch and having fitted the TV all back together shown the lady it all working again. She then said she didn’t need the set on now and I watched as she jabbed the on/off knob with her walking stick to turn it off! That explained why the switch surround was all pot marked and why all the repeat calls for the same problem, broken mains switch!
Every time I drove past on one of Preston’s main roads (North Road that CPC in its first years used to be located)and saw those curtains, it used to bring a little smile to my face! I did hear later that the rental got pulled, to many broken switches I suppose.