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 :)