Alarm Alarm13 Aug 2007
The boss changed a few things at the restaurant while Christopher and I were gone, and one of them was a new alarm system. The system had some startup glitches, but the repairman was there on Saturday to fix a broken sensor. Since I had the late shift on Saturday as my first day back, I was the lucky one to see if the system now worked.
I was still a little groggy from jet lag when I came in last night, but I got a chip and the general instructions to activate the system (push star, wave the chip, push star again). If the green light comes on, the system is activated. If not, I have to double check all the doors and try again. OK, I think I got it. I go through the late shift, we come out at 5:15 am, and I do the star-chip-star thing. The green light blinks a few times and goes out.
Is the alarm now active or not? I have no idea. I now wish I had been a little bit more attentive, for example whether the light was supposed to blink or stay on, and especially the part about deactivating the alarm. The phone number for the alarm company is in the store, I don't have it on me. If I go in and the alarm is active, lights and sirens go off and the police are on their way. Since I'm married to the boss, I decide to take the easy way out. I go home and wake her up.
She's not thrilled, of course, but she calls in and sure enough, the alarm is not active. I go in again, check all the doors, and try again. Same thing happens. By now it's 6:15 am, the opening manager is going to be there in an hour anyway, and I decide to give up and go home to bed.
This was not satisfactory for Frauke... she now has no idea whether the alarm system is still broken or whether her husband is just too dumb to use it. Or maybe noone told him that there is a status monitor in the office to check whether all the doors are locked. It turns out the door to the utility room (a separate room only accessible from outside) is unlocked. During the day it had been opened for, irony of ironies, the repairman from the alarm company. Once that door was locked, Frauke was able to activate the alarm... then she had to deactivate it again right away, since the opening manager had already arrived.
And of course there's no indication from the outside whether the alarm is active or not... otherwise any thief could check the system himself before trying to break in. The trick is that a buzzer sounds if the activation was successful. Tonight I had night shift again... and this time the alarm worked. Don't say I'm not capable of learning from my mistakes.