Thursday, 28 July 2011


The way that my scheduling works is that my service coordinator gives me a stack of envelopes with the info for different sites.  I call the on-site contact for each site and schedule when I do each job.  I was going through my stack and saw this site, "Van Horne", and I got a gut feeling that I didn't want to go to this site.  I knew I had been there before but couldn't remember what I didn't like about it.  Maybe it is dirty... maybe it involves a ton of stairs.. it could be a number of things.
I call the on-site, Doug, and he has one of those voices where you imagine he lives off a diet of whiskey and cigarettes.  It must have jogged my memory because I realized what I didn't like about this site... It's a pet friendly building and the generator is next to a little patch of fake grass where all the dogs go to the bathroom.  The entire courtyard stinks of urine!
I schedule with Doug and then see that I am also replacing the battery.  The batteries we use range in size and are all pretty heavy.  The 8D's are 130 pounds so luckily this one was a 4D (which is still 100 pounds!).
I get to the site and it is in the alley between Cordova and Hastings.  For those who don't know Vancouver very well it is an extremely bad area of Vancouver.  I was in the alley behind "United we can" which is the bottle return station so homeless people gather around this block like it's prime real estate.
Here is a google street view shot down the alley.  It doesn't totally describe the feeling of pulling down there.  I can only compare it to playing a zombie video game where you turn down a dark alley and there are suddenly 30 zombies there ready to eat your brains.  Only in this case, they are not zombies only people with dirty needles but I think that is still pretty scary.

Luckily Doug was a nice guy and didn't mind meeting me in the alley but he couldn't stick around the whole time while I was walking back and forth grabbing tools.  I definitely made sure I locked every door!
Oh and that battery change?  Well.. not so easy.  The battery was mounted at chest height.  Who does that?!  Luckily there was a rickety ladder on site to help me lug 100 pounds of lead and acid!

I also want to note that in that picture you can see I am doing a very bad thing.  I have a metal baking sheet (used as a drip pan) sitting on top of a battery without the terminals covered.  Never do that!  
Anyways I told my service coordinator that I don't exactly love the site and she wrote in the file "Don't said Danielle here alone because it's GHETTO".  Haha glad that she understood :)

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