There’s a man in a box out by the gates. I say box, technically it’s a Portacabin. A good one too. Sturdy. With thick glass and a door you’d need a Jeep to yank off. The sort of Portacabin you could transport to the moon and it would make a perfectly adequate lunar base. You can’t see much through the heavily tinted safety glass, but it looks nice in there. A flat screen television, monitors, a DAB radio, a jug kettle and two wall-mounted phones. It belongs to Solar Security – a subsidiary of Blue Sun – and the man inside is either Nelson or, when Nelson isn’t at work, Not Nelson.
Nelson’s in his fifties and has a fabulous head of well quaffed hair. Like Johnny Suede or Shakin’ Stevens at his peak. Coupled with his meaty sideburns he looks like a man from a bygone age. Perhaps the Portacabin is actually a time machine and Nelson’s a Time Warden? God knows he’s not much of a security warden. In fact nobody’s quite sure what he does. He doesn’t let people in through the gates – we have blue swipe cards for that. He doesn’t let visitors in who ring – reception does that. And he doesn’t walk the perimeter. In fact, he’s rarely seen outside of his fancy box.
The guy who isn’t Nelson is actually three or four guys. But we think of them all as Not Nelson because none of them make much of an impression. And there’s quite a turn over, which makes me think Nelson has some unsanitary habits you wouldn’t want going on in your Portacabin.
We’ve asked at employee forum meetings what Nelson actually does and we’re told, “He’s responsible for security.” That’s it. We’ve mentioned about him not letting people in or walking the perimeter and we’re told, “He’s responsible for security.” We’ve asked why his shed needs to be so Lah-De-Dah Gunner Graham and we’re told, “He’s responsible for security.”
I wish I was responsible for security. I want that cabin. I’ll happily become a Not Nelson and put up with Nelson’s farting/racism/finger painting with old placenta just to spend my days watching a flat screen and boiling a jug kettle.