At 5:30 we bid goodbye to Courtney and her group. We would meet up with them in four hours, we estimated. Our first meeting was at 10:30 with the board then a joint meeting at 1 with both the board and the outgoing security company. Courtney and Mark were going to sit in on the first meeting if they arrived in time. Unless they had trouble they had an hour to spare.
In between meetings Jason was going to lead Courtney to the hunting cabin where she was going to stay and give her a quick course on how everything operated and where things were situated.
At 7:30 we boarded the plane for the flight to Frost Borough. The flight was uneventful until it was almost over; there was a little more than the normal turbulence. The seating had been arranged in business format so we could work. Jenny was beside me in the aisle seat. Marcy and Jason were seated across from us. Jenny suddenly got very quiet then she grabbed a barf bag and reclined her seat a little. She had never before been sick on any of the flights we had been on together.
Jason searched his pocket and offered Jenny a pack of antacids, saying “I never fly without a pack.” Whatever upset her stomach passed quickly but she slipped the pack into her pocket. I watcher her closely as we continued with business.
Jason said, “I called my golfing buddy that handled the county for both Wal-Mart and Lowes when they tried to come into the county. He is still representing their interest on the Maryland part of the shore.
He was very positive that one of them may be interested. He has a meeting with both of their management teams this week. It seems that several of their leases at other sites are under renegotiation. I took the liberty of sending him a copy of the building and lot plans yesterday. They are paying leases in the area we were talking about.”
I looked into my contact list and selected the group for all the security new hires. Then I sent them all a text that we would be in the area today and available to meet with anyone needing any more information or had questions for us. I also sent them my meeting schedule for today.
We picked up one of our rental cars at the Frost Borough airport after spending a few minutes with the employees there. This was the first time they had met Jason as VP of Human Resources.
We rode around the college campus to fill in the time before our meeting, while we were waiting on Courtney and Mark to arrive. It was the first time that I had been to every part of it in the daylight. Of course I had looked at it very closely with Google Earth.
In our rounds we found a building that had a sign marked as security. The door was unlocked so we went in. The place stunk to high heaven. There was fresh urine and piles of feces in several places.
I expected it to be a mess, but not like that! If this was the place we were going to be I was going to have it cleaned and sanitized by a commercial company. I took several pictures with my camera and sent them to my email account.
I would bring this problem up in the first meeting with the board. They were going to get the bill for the cleanup. They could withhold the cost from the final payment to the current company if they wanted. If I had to I would have an office trailer brought in until this place was acceptable.
Courtney and her group would not move in until it was spotless and odor free. I had been forced to spend nights in Afghan buildings that had been left that way. You do not get used to it no matter how long you stay in them. That odor gets in your hair and clothes and will slowly nauseate you.
The building was of a nice size with several offices, a break room, a meeting room and a room that was obviously used as a cell. The bathroom fixtures were destroyed. There was a counter in the room that was for public access. It had been trashed with a sledge hammer and all of the cables to security cameras and communications cables had been cut off flush with the wall with cutters and the pieces left on the floor.
I took more pictures. If this were the building then Mr. Skaggs and the board were going to come over here to see the condition before the second meeting. Someone had a lot of work to do before Courtney could start operations next Monday.
Courtney sent me a text that they would be coming through the entrance in 10 minutes or less. I replied that I would meet them at the entrance.
I showed them where to park the Suburban and the trailer. There were several drive-through parking spots large enough for a trailer. As they were disembarking the vehicle I noticed right away there had been a change of clothes with Sly and Becky. When they left the house they had been in jeans. Now they were in matching pant suits and low heels like a lot of the other girls in the office wore. There had been makeup and some work done on their hair.
Sly noticed my questioning look and said, “You can introduce us as trainees or summer interns.” I just smiled as I thought.
It didn’t seem all that long ago that I was ready to drown the life from their bodies for what they had helped to do to Joey. Now they were reaching out for better things of life. It looked like they had made the correct decisions for their future.
At the dinner they were as extremely happy for Janice and Lisa when we announced the full scholarships for them. I guess they did not believe me when I told them they would be college educated when they were naked on the floor trembling in fear at our first unfortunate meeting.
The public relations lady directed us to the meeting room. We had hardly been seated before the board of directors came in. They went through introductions and we did the same. I did introduce Sly and Becky as summer interns for the office.
We had a productive meeting. They explained the expectations that were spelled out in the contract. We explained how we would meet and exceed those expectations.
Jason went over our code of ethics that all of our employees were expected to follow. Courtney went over the policies that were security guidelines.
Courtney explained in detail that criminal activities would not be tolerated from students, security employees or college faculty. There would be no cover-ups or looking the other way for drugs or crimes.
She also stated her intention to have a reasonable working relationship with local authorities but she would go out of her way to protect students from harassment by those same authorities.
Dean Skaggs asked if we had seen the security office in our ride around the campus.
‘Yes we did. After we are finished here I want the board to go over there for a discussion about its condition,” I replied. “There are some problems that need immediate attention or else we will have to have an office trailer brought in before Monday.”
“I was just over there a few days ago everything was fine. What’s wrong?” he asked.
“I think it is best if you, the board and we inspect the place before the meeting with them this afternoon,” I said.
There were a few more minor discussions and the meeting was ended. Jason, Courtney, Sly and Becky left for the hunting cabin. Marcy, Jenny and I along with the board walked over to the security building. I made sure I was at the door first. I opened the door with, “After you,”
“What the hell do you think you are doing?” I heard Dean Skaggs shout after only a couple of the board had stepped through. My mind had several images of what he might have seen as I held the door for the rest of the board to walk in.
I quickly stepped inside and around the standing group to see one of the current security people trying to desperately get his pants up and belted. In his haste and nowhere to go he was stepping in the mess he had deposited in the floor.
Jenny pulled a camera out of her bag and started taking pictures rapid-fire. Then she began taking a series of pictures of the complete interior of the building while minding very carefully where she was stepping. She was doing this while Dean Skaggs and the board were having a screaming fit at the man.
Jenny called the 911 center and asked to speak to the barracks commander. After identifying herself Jenny requested the crime scene truck and a trooper be sent to the building.
The culprit had been in the process of cutting the electrical fixtures out of the walls when the need to empty his bowels hit him. There was a tool bag on the floor not far from him that was not there when we were in there earlier and none of the electrical fixtures had been bothered. They were now all cut out of the wall now and in a box or lying on the floor.
The breaker panel cover had been removed with all of the breakers and wires flush cut. From the distance where I was standing only the main breaker was left in the box. It would take electricians days to pull new wires if the building was wired in conduit. If it was wired prior to the dry wall installation and not in conduit it could take weeks. The building would have to be gutted to be rewired.
It was obvious we were not going to be using this building for a long while. I never expected this kind of problem, let alone to catch them in the act. I motioned Marcy and Jenny to follow me outside to get away from the shouting that was still going on.
I suspected that this afternoons meeting was either going to be cancelled or one hell of a mess.
Edit by Alfmeister