This recollection is by way of light relief. Sometimes with our work, we encounter unexpected humour and, on occasions, bizarre situations which add interest to an otherwise routine day.
Process serving is sometimes seen as dull, boring and routine work, albeit “bread & butter” for many of our members. It can at times be confrontational and downright dangerous, but sometimes produces moments of priceless humour!
I needed to personally serve Court issued documents upon an offshore worker. He was proving to be evasive and elusive. I made several abortive attendances to his home address, which was in a typically isolated position, so difficult for conducting neighbourhood enquiries. Notes and cards left produced no response.
On a whim, I called at about 8am one Saturday. I was heartened to see a burly looking man seated with his back to me as I approached the front door. He was visible through what appeared to be the lounge window, sat on a sofa and watching TV. It appeared he was oblivious to my approach.
It was a solid wood front door containing a letterbox about 2 foot or so off the ground. This is a pertinent point.
I did my usual authoritative knock upon the door. I have been told that I have a “Policeman’s knock”, though I’ve never been in the Police!
There was some delay, then, unexpectedly the letterbox flapped up. I saw 2 eyes looking up at me from the letterbox and realised that it was a small child. I said something like “Hello, is Mr Joker (name changed!) there?” Rather abruptly the boy responded, “He’s not here”. Thinking on my feet and bluffing, I said “I’ve just seen him”.
The letterbox flap immediately dropped. I then heard a loud “stage whisper” emanate from behind the door: “He says he’s just seen you!”
A short while later the subject himself answered the door. He rather sheepishly admitted his identity and accepted the documentation without any fuss. Meanwhile I was mentally punching the air and thinking “got you!”
Clearly the young boy had been sent to the door with instructions along the lines of “Tell them I’m not here”, but was flummoxed when I went “off script”. No doubt he’ll grow up “wiser” and more devious!
Article submitted by Full Member F/723 Mark Peachman of Sapphire Investigations Bureau Limited www.sib-ltd.co.uk