Beware evening installations – a cautionary tale
Here at GFD Trading we receive a very mixed post bag in the main good, very rarely not so good and occasionally some very unusual indeed sometimes very unusual indeed – take for instance the letter below from one of our Customers a Mrs S. Blood –
To Global Door –
I refer to the recent installation of my new front door originally scheduled for the 1st November but actually installed on the 31st October.
As I have now retired and I am a lady living alone, when the date of the 1st November was advised I was quite pleased as I had a quiet week scheduled and I considered that this would provide a nice diversion and maybe your installers would provide some interesting conversation whilst I supplied them with tea and biscuits.
I was somewhat surprised to be disturbed by the ringing of the telephone whilst I was having my lunch on Wednesday 31st and I was more surprised by the ensuing conversation – the gentleman on the telephone advised me that he worked as one of your installation teams and if it was acceptable with myself could they install my new door that evening rather than the following day. I, being a cautious kind of person questioned why the change of date and time, to which he responded that they were very close to completing a project in my area, they had my door on their van – and that he and his colleague had just received some bad news and would not be available the following day, all of which seemed reasonable. I further questioned why it was they who were calling, and not “head office” to which he gave a very plausible response that he had tried to contact the office but there was a problem with the phones and now his mobile was all but out of charge. Some what reluctantly I agreed to their request, immediately upon ending the call I rang your office and that of Martindales only to find that my telephone was connecting with both numbers but only gave a high-pitched whine, rather than a connection. I subsequently called your number(s) a few times throughout the afternoon with the same result.
At approx. six o clock a dark coloured van pulled up outside my property – as I peered through the curtains into the darkness of the evening I realised that the van was actually black and red with a striking logo describing their business as “Ebloc installations” – a ring at the door bell startled me – I answered, there stood a tall very pale complexioned gentleman in a long leather trench coat draped over very bright red overalls – he introduced himself as Stan and when he spoke it was with a thick eastern European accent – he thanked me for allowing them to install the door at this unusual hour and then said he would go to help Ivan unload my new door. Having expected a blue Martindales van with installation team in blue overalls (as featured in many of your website photographs) I was somewhat taken aback by the appearance of these two gentlemen. When Stan returned to my door to measure the existing opening and check sizes with the new frame prior to commencing any work, I questioned the fact that they were not the installation team I had expected to which he responded that they were “on trial” as an alternative installation team.
They unloaded floodlights from their van and when switched on they gave an eerie “white light” which made Stan and Ivan seem even more ghostly in appearance as they quickly worked to remove my existing door. At this point I decided I should show some British hospitality and enquired if they would like tea (it was by now quite cold) I was somewhat taken aback when they asked if possible could they have “tomato juice” , fortunately I had some and obliged with two glasses which they rapidly drank at which point I noted that they were both in need of some dental work as they each had a couple of somewhat pronounced incisors.
With the new frame in place I noticed they had unwrapped my new door and I was somewhat alarmed to see that it was a “blood “red colour (I had ordered white) I questioned the erroneous colour and I was assured that it was a white door with a red protective wax coating that would disappear at the first sign of natural daylight and sunshine and that it was only visible as red because it was dark. I was less than reassured, I had also chosen black hardware and was particularly looking forward to the “Urn Knocker” which I thought would contrast rather well with the starkness of a white door.
I have to say Stan and Ivan were super-efficient, in a matter of a couple of hours they were all but finished and requested that I inspect the door – eagerly I stepped outside – the door still looked blood red but it was the “Urn Knocker” that caught my eye, whether it was the dimness of the night, the reflection of the white light, or just a trick of the light, I will never know but I recoiled in horror for what I thought I saw rather than my “Urn Knocker” was the face of demon. Seeing my reaction, Stan placed a hand on my bare arm to steady me and for the first time I realised that his skin was ice cold.
He asked “are you OK Mrs Blood” his lips drawn into a tight smile that resembled more of a sneer – “I muttered – the Urn Knocker” – but when I looked again there was no demonic face, just the Black Urn Knocker I had requested looking resplendent against the blood red door.
I have to say that although the colour was wrong the door looked striking and when Stan asked my signature on the “acceptance form” I was more than happy to sign, but when he said, “thank you Scarlet” my blood ran cold, although I was christened “Scarlett Blood” (my parents had a weird sense of humour) Scarlet is a name I have never used only ever calling myself Sarah – how could this stranger have known?
“No-one ever calls me Scarlet” I muttered my name is Sarah, the pair of them gave me a quizzical look and Ivan said “ we know who you are Scarlet and tonight is your lucky night” I gasped in anticipation of what his next words may be –“ A beautiful new Global Front door and good fortune shining upon you tonight we are looking for a Crimson Blood” at which point they turned waved goodbye and headed for their van.
As the van sped away I had the presence of mind to take out my mobile and take a photograph, a copy of which is enclosed, you will note two things within the photograph which made my blood run as cold as Stans hand – first the address on the van I did not get it all but it read
Piata Cetatii 27
Tel 0040 – 266 000 and the remainder is blurred but unless I have misread Google 0049 is the world code for Romania and 266 the area code for Transylvania – but it was the number plate that really scared me and is something which will live with me for a long time
Shaking, I watched the van disappear, with trembling hands I closed my new front door and beat a hasty retreat to my lounge where I poured myself a stiff drink and then another and another and maybe a fourth. By ten o’clock I was more relaxed and made my way to bed but sleep evaded me as I tossed and turned and relived the events of the night before. At about six am I must have drifted off only to be awakened at eight by a ringing of my door bell, I sleepily staggered down stairs and opened my front door to be greeted by the bemused expression of a man in blue overalls bearing a Martindales badge “We have your new door on the van but someone looks to have beaten us to it” I raised my eyes and looked beyond him at the blue van that stood on my drive – slowly I stepped from my doorstep into the early morning sunlight, turned and looked at my gleaming new white front door with its magnificent black “Urn Knocker”. My stomach was churning, my emotions were running wild, somewhere in the background of all of this I heard the man from Martindales say “Yes its one of ours and its an excellent installation job we could not have done better ourselves”
Shaking with relief I invited the fitters in for a cup of tea and tried to explain my story – they listened sympathetically but with little belief a belief that was further diminished when they rang their depot to be told that they knew nothing of the previous evening’s occurrence. After the fitters had left, I sat and tried to rationalise the events in my mind without success –
There is one thing that I have omitted from my story – as I previously stated my parents had a sense of humour – my real name is not Sarah Blood, nor is it Scarlet Blood, it is in fact –
Scarlett Crimson Blood
Please tell me Toni was this some brilliant elaborate hoax on behalf of Global Door or have I dodged a bullet – a silver one at that.
We have to admit we at Global Door are as concerned as Mrs Blood– we have neither heard of or used a company called “Ebloc Installations” – and we have no association with anyone in Transylvania – we have no record of misplacing any doors – the one on the Martindales van was the correct door designated for Mrs Blood – a door for which we have told Mrs Blood there will be no charge as we never got to install it.
If this was an elaborate hoax, we at Global Door were not the perpetrators, we do however have a one-off special offer of a 6-panel white door with black hardware and an Urn knocker with a slightly spooky history for sale