Dearest Aurora Pool and Spa,
Last Friday, I came home to find a strange van in my driveway. Assuming it to be a delivery van, the juvenile and I circled the neighborhood to allow it time to move. Not only did the van remain, on the return trip, the juvenile spotted “two weird white dudes in the backyard.”
I thought to myself: Oh this is just lovely! The night of Juvenile’s fancy formal dance, and I have a thousand things to do. I’ve already been delayed and now, we’re being robbed. Fantastic.”
So, I parked on the street. I left the juvenile with a can of pepper spray and instructions to call her dad. Then, I turned my iphone on to record and wandered off to investigate. (I am a firm believer that when one suspects they could be maimed, murdered, or need documentation of events about to transpire, they should record – hence my vast video collection of boring meetings, walks through dimly lit spaces, random conversations, and school buses running stop signs.)
Anyway – back to van.
Halfway up the driveway, I spotted the Aurora logo on the side. This was a relief. I mean, I was confused — but relieved. Any time the “two weird white dudes” in your backyard aren’t drug-addled thieves, strangers with candy, or henchmen for the Illuminati, whom Uncle Clem thinks could be coming for me any day because I mock their organization – it’s a good thing.
Since no one presented themselves, I sent the juvenile on inside and stepped over my mighty watchdog.(Yep, the same dog, who barks incessantly at every shadow in the middle of the night until she foams at the mouth, was currently lazing on the carport, slobbering on herself.)
Around back is where I found the “two dudes” bent over my brand new – came wrapped in the manufacturer’s plastic three days ago – spa with wire guts and innards spilling everywhere. And I did what you’d expect any homeowner to do.
I slapped my hands on my hips and demanded to know “What the hell are you doing and who gave you permission to be here?” Considering the situation, I think that was fairly polite.
The two men said they were authorized service technicians for Aurora. (They never gave me their actual names, so for now, let’s just call them Trespass 1 and Trespass 2. ) Trespass 1 informed me that they were removing the Bluetooth panel and installing a CD player.
I informed him that, no, he most certainly was not. I hadn’t authorized this nor had my husband. (I doubled-checked to be sure.) We didn’t know anything about it. No one had made any contact with us, and they had no right to be there.
At this point, Trespass 2 argued that, yes, they were authorized to be there because they had A WORK ORDER. (I wrote this in all caps because he said this as though it were important, like if it were in the Bible, it’d probably be in red.)
Now, Aurora, I tried to explain to these guys that I own the property. (Seriously, you can check the Tennessee Property Data webpage. It’s legit.) I also own the spa – not financed, not half now and half later, bought, 100% outright, I own it. Now, if I didn’t authorize the work, and my husband didn’t authorize the work – who else has the authority to issue a work order? The answer is: no one. I told them I understood it wasn’t their fault and that their boss was an idiot – really, I’ve talked to this Wesley cat, a gigantic turd has more brain cells, I get it – but no one, including service personnel, should ever enter a private property without first making contact with the homeowner because, had it not been for the logo on the van, I would have assumed they were intruders – and in East Tennessee, where everyone and their momma go armed, this is a good way to get themselves shot.
At the point, Trespass 1 decided to announce that he had a concealed carry permit: I offered to clap for him. And Aurora, I won’t lie. I’ve always heard that cursing might be a sign of higher intelligence, and if that’s true, in this moment, I was GDMF bloody shittin’ brilliant.
Clearly, these boys weren’t getting it. They were on my property without my knowledge or consent, tearing apart my brand new $6000 personal possession and yet somehow maintained the belief that they had every right to do so without any apology. And I didn’t have time to draw them cartoon figures about why that might be wrong – we’d already missed the manicure appointment and I still had to whip the juvenile’s afro into a vision of formal froufrouness. So, I took a photo of their work order, texted copies to those who needed it, and left them to return the spa to it’s original condition, which Trespass 1 assured me he could do because, hmph, he’d “already told me twice, he was an authorized service technician.”
They left 20-30 minutes later without allowing me to inspect the work. And perhaps we could have written this off as an unfortunate “miscommunication,” a funny-after-the-fact story, or cautionary tale for any other poor schmuck who might consider doing business with you in the future.
Then, I found out about the 911 call.
Apparently, your authorized service technicians waited until I’d already been inside a good ten minutes, decided they were askeered of me, and called 911. They then reported to the responding officer that I had (1) pulled a gun on them and (2) threatened to shoot them – um, neither of which happened. Ya know, I don’t mind so much that they called the police and embellished. Heck, most of the HCSO is welcome at my home anytime. They could’ve came right on in, held bobby pins for me, watched the video, laughed… maybe filed some false report charges. A good time would’ve been had by all. Alas, the officer never made contact with me. The guys were apparently on the way out of the subdivision when they spoke to the officer in front of the neighbor’s house, and I guess the officer knew enough about Tennessee state law to realize, even if it had happened, there wasn’t a whole lot that could be done.
But here’s what I think really happened – they damaged the brand new, three-day old spa. Both the interior insulation and cabinet panel are damaged, a screw is missing, and the bluetooth no longer works. I think they knew they damaged it… but I’m guessing a false police report about the scary owner might be a good excuse not to come back and repair the damage they caused, huh?
Additionally, the officer, who never made contact with me or mah video, seems to be of the opinion that I “handled the situation all wrong.” Now, I can respect that the officer has an opinion as wrong and contrary to law as it may be… and the next time I come home to intruders standing in my backyard with my personal property torn to pieces, I’ll consider inviting them in to sip some tea and sing hymns with me instead… or, you know, not.
Where the officer may have went wrong is he shared this opinion with my husband, who has delighted in it and is now constantly texting me “I fought the law, and the law won” memes.
Which means, if he doesn’t stop, I may have to divorce him…
And he’s keeping the worthless dog.
Knew I Should Have Went to Issac’s Pool and Spa