Check your home security carefully when tradesmen visit
Editor’s Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers’ loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Recently, my husband and I did some extensive remodeling on our home. We know and trust the contractor, but some of the work was subcontracted to strangers. These men were in and out of our house every day for two months.
During this time, my husband had to go out of town overnight on a business trip. Before I went to sleep that evening, I doublechecked my windows, which I always keep locked because of my severe allergies. Thank heavens I did, because I discovered that one bedroom window was unlocked. I am positive one of the workers did it, although I don’t know whether it was on purpose or by accident.
When I related this to my neighbor, she told me a horrifying story about a friend of hers. The woman had been raped at gunpoint by a man who had crawled through a window he left unlocked when he was there earlier to do some extermination work. She recognized him, and he was apprehended later.
Ann, I’m sure most workers are reputable, but it doesn’t hurt to be extra cautious. Warn your readers to check the locks on all windows and doors anytime a stranger has been in their homes, whether it is a repairman, electrician, plumber or construction worker. I wonder how many burglaries, rapes or murders remain unsolved because there was no sign of forced entry.
— Careful in Louisiana
Dear Louisiana: It pays to be careful. However, the vast majority of repairmen, electricians, plumbers and construction workers are trustworthy.
They could not hold their jobs if they were otherwise. The lesson to be learned here is to check the locks on all doors and windows routinely, whether work has been done or not.
I have been happily married for 10 years to a gem of a husband except for one thing: He has had 35 jobs in 10 years. We went for counseling and were told he is “impulsive and extroverted.”
I am tired of being the breadwinner in the family. We have virtually no savings, and most of what we do have will be depleted soon because he is out of work — again. He told me he wants a job where he can set his own hours and have Fridays off. Whoever heard of such a thing?
I am at my wits’ end, Ann. Divorce is not an option because I love him and never would leave him. What can I do to make him more responsible?
— Tired in Akron, Ohio
Dear Akron: Nothing. There’s a lot of wisdom in the creed of Alcoholics Anonymous. “Accept that which you cannot change.” I recommend it. Looking for an uplifting, quick read? “A Collection of My Favorite Gems of the Day” contains hand-picked jokes and witticisms from the world over. Send a self-addressed, long, business-sized envelope and a check or money order for US$5.25 (this includes postage and handling) to: Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA, USA.