Sunday, December 20, 2009

An Alarming Day

We live in a very secure building, with several codes to enter before you can get to our apartment door.  Nonetheless, the owner of the apartment has also installed a burglar alarm which we have been asked to use.  The other day, after lunch at a café, I took off for a haircut appointment while Gene and Susanne went back to the apartment, where they found the burglar alarm ringing its head off.

No burglar, but apparently a short in the system, as they couldn't turn it off.  Dozens of times they entered the code that's meant to stop it, but the alarm continued to blare. They finally reached the apartment manager by phone, who in turn tried to reach someone who could help, but no luck.  And the blaring alarm continued to blare.  The manager told them how to find and remove the battery.  The alarm continued to blare.  She then told them to remove a metal cover and disconnect the wires in the "black box".  They couldn't find any tools and Gene was about to go out to try to buy a screwdriver when my more practical sister shrieked through the din, "Just f----- cut it!"  So he did.  And the alarm continued to blare. 

Finally, in desperation they cut a wire to a nondescript white box and blessed silence descended.  Shaky-legged and with throbbing headaches, they called me at the hairdresser to tell me it was safe to come home, two and a half hours after the nightmare started.  They were troopers and I am profoundly grateful to them for working through the ordeal.  And to my lucky stars for having made the haircut appointment that day.

Turns out the alarm is not monitored and rings nowhere but in the apartment. Duh?

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