Sometimes it’s so liberating to get to the end of the week.
Such was the case this Friday for Kate and I as we wandered dazedly around the showroom, switching out lights, locking doors, shutting down the computer and so on. We said goodbye at the door after discussing our need for rest, our plans for the weekend, and even managing a shared laugh at exactly how much had gone wrong that week – from feeling sick, to supplier problems, to half the sewing machines breaking down. Hooray – it was Friday! We were going home to rest, we could temporarily forget about out of stock fabrics, the man had come to fix the sewing machines, and things were generally looking up.
We set the alarm, locked the door, and got into our cars. As I was leaving the car park, the alarm we had just set suddenly -and quite annoyingly – went off. I rolled down my window and called to Kate, who was rolling her eyes in annoyance and walking back to the building. “Did one of the dogs get in?” I asked. She shrugged and waved me on.
I drove home, relieved to be headed for the sofa, dinner, and a hot bath.
No sooner had I sat down than the phone rang. “Hey!” I answered, stretching wearily on the sofa. There was a short pause, and then Kate’s voice spoke quietly into my ear.
“We locked the sewing machine man in.”
She sounded so jointly horrified and and amused that I could not reply; I just laughed and laughed and laughed.
It wasn’t only that we’d been so weak and weary that we’d forgotten about the sewing machine man and locked him in the workroom. It wasn’t just that his bewildered stumbling around in the darkness of the workroom looking for a light switch had triggered off the burglar alarm. It wasn’t even that Kate, annoyed at being inconvenienced in this way on top of everything else, re-entered the building and reset the alarm with a great deal of muttering to herself, oblivious to the predicament of the hapless sewing machine man upstairs.
No, it was the image of Kate, having returned to her car and driven to the front of the building in order to turn, suddenly seeing the fire exit door bursting open and the poor, imprisoned sewing machine man staggering out in a desperate bid for freedom, forever disillusioned with his job, his trust in interior designers shattered into small pieces. I could only imagine the panic on his face as he saw Kate, one of the cruel, crazy women who had needlessly locked him in a darkened room and left him there without explanation for the weekend. I could also picture Kate’s look of horror and embarrassment, being of a very gentle, generally unintimidating disposition, as she realised that she had effectively become so self-absorbed that she was capable of forgetting the existence of an innocent, hard-working man she had spoken to only minutes before.
I’m still giggling now, thinking about it. Poor guy. Victim of weary women at the end of a wearing week.