Friday, 31 July 2015

Parallel Universe Saturdays? []

Strange things, they say, happen at sea, but that's nothing compared to the strangeness of last Saturday in our marina car park.

I was helping the manager out in his absence by manning the phone and computer in the little marina hut. Late that afternoon, just before closing between 3.30pm and 4pm, a couple arrived at the gate and enquired about moorings. The marina is full at the moment, so unfortunately there was no room for them, but we had a nice friendly chat about the marina and Lolly the flood predicting cat. They said a cheery goodbye, and everything seemed all right with the world.

A few minutes later two gentleman arrived at the gate. They called the office number and I went out to chat to them. They had come to view a boat. All the adverts for the marina state that boat viewing is strictly by appointment. This is because the marina is a key-holders only site and it is run by one person who may not be available at a drop of a hat to show people around. I explained to these two men that I was manning the office and the manager was away but would be back a week tomorrow. They were welcome to book an appointment with him on his return. The more talkative of the two said they'd travelled 180 miles just to be here. I apologised to them and as I was explaining that I'm not allowed to admit visitors onto site another man accompanied by a woman arrived. They too wanted to see a boat for sale but they couldn't remember which one or where they had seen the advert. I kindly explained again the viewing policy as stated on all adverts, and that I have no authority to show visitors the site or boats. The man who arrived as part of the later couple started to become angry and demanding. He wanted contact details of people with boats for sale, and became aggressive in manner when I declined. He started calling abuse about the marina at me, and the way it is run. The situation was escalating at a pace that matched the raising of his voice.

In the end I backed away from the gate because nothing I could say would calm him. He wanted access to the site and I certainly wasn't going to concede after such behaviour. The group of people eventually left and made their way to the car park where the loud shouts of abuse continued. I could hear it from inside the office, even above the sound of the radio. After five or so minutes they left the premises. I was considering calling the police.

Two days later I was shown a forum post

Strange, I thought, I don't recall three men as a group approaching the marina on Saturday, and the two that did travelled a great distance just to visit us, their only destination. I also never told anyone the manager would be away longer than the eight days he specified he'd be gone, but the forum post states 'a couple of weeks'. But yes, there were two other families, if he is indeed referring to the couple that arrived first and enquired about a mooring only, and also the couple with the abusive man. Can this really be the same incident? They were, after all, the only visitors that day and his post echoes some of the things the ranting man shouted at me.
If this is the afternoon and incident that the man in the forum post is referring to the 'unacceptable behaviour' in my own opinion was that exhibited by those on the other side of the gate. Not only the actions of the man who lost his temper, but also that of the three people who chose to stand and do nothing whilst I was verbally assaulted by a male in their company. Had the tables been turned I would have stepped in to try and calm the situation and defend any one of them, a stranger, from the onslaught of another.
But perhaps the parallels of this day and his post are merely a coincidence. Perhaps the gentleman is referring to events of a different Saturday, a day that I do not recall. A Saturday lost in time. 

I have dusted off this blog (I've been meaning to update for a while now my degree is finished) to take the opportunity to put online what actually happened that day. I think my side of events, the other side to his story, deserves to have a home online too - at least for as long as his does.