to deliver a piece of paper. Yes, seriously.
The door bell rang yesterday afternoon. It was a long ring, much longer than was needed to summon the resident cats to the door. I thought it must be something urgent or serious. Perhaps one of the neighbours needed some help?
When I opened the door there was a man dressed in orange safety overalls. There were no identifying marks on them. My hackles rose. What did he want?
He was holding a pad of paper. I eyed that cautiously too. Were these the fruit fly people back to tell us they were going to uproot all the fruit trees in the district? No. They had identified themselves and they didn't seem to think there was going to be a problem. They had told us they were just being very, very cautious.
But there was the man in the orange jump suit and, lurking (there is no other word for it) behind him were two more.
They were, they told me, from the "NBN" - the National Broadband Network. Really? What did they want? So far we haven't signed up for the supposedly "super-fast" service. I don't download movies to watch on the computer. I get word type documents sent to me for the most part. They amount to a few megabytes at the most.
But it seems we will lose our landline if we don't allow the NBN team on to the property to do something. Yes, I had heard about that.
I still eyed the one doing the talking with suspicion. He finally got the message and hauled out some ID.
"Here - my ID if you don't believe me."
It is what he should have shown me in the first place of course.
"We were supposed to have the job done by the 6th of June," Mr Jumpsuit tells me.
Oh really? They are running a little late then. He tells me they can't actually tell me when they will be doing the job. I tell him I work from home and I need to know. He shrugs as if it is of no importance at all.
He hands me the form to give them permission to enter the property and do the work. I start to read it. Like any well trained cat I don't sign something without reading it first.
Mr Jumpsuit gets impatient then. He gets impatient? I look at him. I'll sign it when I am good and ready thank you. I don't like his attitude.
He suggests I take the paper and sign it later. There are two carbon copies underneath - one for us, one for them, one for someone else.
I suppose I really am being unkind. I suppose it means they are really delivering one piece of paper each. Are they taking it in turns?