You know these things that on their own would warrant but a passing thought, a slight ‚hm‘ and then you continue with your day, but combined they make you paranoid and nope out of something?
My new job is a bit like that and I’m not sure I should be staying here. First off it’s a super simple job, they hired me to guard an empty warehouse. Like seriously, there’s nothing in here save for some stray office supplies, a dead plant in one of the windows on the second floor and a whole lot of wasted space. You could house every single homeless in here, run several different businesses on just a tenth of the available space or rent out the space to the many businesses struggling for space in this city. Instead they opt to leave it unoccupied, hire a single guard to hopefully prevent vandalism and keep doing more important things.
Again, on its own I would be inclined to shake my head over rich people and be thankful they chose to toss me, personally money instead of some other random dude. But that’s the thing: They aren’t just doing that, they are paying me handsomely. Seriously, when they handed me the contract I had to do a double-, then a triple take on the number. They are paying me three times my old wage and now a couple months with a couple paychecks in my account I have slowly adapted to receiving a living wage for the first time in my life.
And the third thing that really creeps me out is that nothing ever happens here. I mean I make my rounds, check the doors and shine my light into corners but there’s never so much as a broken window, never even a graffiti on the walls that hasn’t been there for ages. I don’t have to scare off any urban explorers, the only time I ever see other people is when I look out across the street from the watch office to the bus station at shortly after six. They need about half an hour until the last person has found their bus and I usually watch them from my office because I know it’ll be as close as I get to human contact until the end of my shift.
It’s not half-bad if I’m honest, time of my life I’ve preferred being alone to empty small-talk and that was part of the reason I became a night guard in the first place. Money and studies as well of course, but I ended up really liking the job and if pay was better I probably wouldn’t have ventured into office hours at all. And it’s a pretty chill job as well, I get to listen to audio-books, spend hours learning to pick locks and as long as I make my rounds every hour no one even cares what I do in the meantime.
But then last week something happened that gave me reason to believe there is more to this place than meets the eye. One night the motion sensor on my screen lights up and I see two cars approach, one pretty expensive black one followed by a cop car. Of course I immediately jump to attention, check my cameras, the sensors but everything looks great to me. I run down into the yard to catch them, ask what’s going on and then I realize it’s my boss, the one running this whole thing.
„Don’t worry“, he says, „it’s me. I brought these two officers with me.“
I’m anything but ’not worried‘, my mind racing to figure out what’s going on. If that wasn’t the boss of bosses there I would go ahead and call exactly him, all but sure that someone was trying to get access to the building by acting as cops. But no. One of the cops speaks up, the kind that makes you look into her eyes second.
„Can you show us where they came in? We need to take some pictures for the report and insurance company.“
You can probably understand my confusion, I did not detect a break-in and certainly didn’t call one in, yet everyone seems convinced one happened – and more importantly seems strangely chill about it. I mean if I really missed something like that I would assume my boss would yell at me, tell me I’m worthless and what they are paying me for, but not this. Also I wouldn’t expect the big boss to come out to a break-in in an empty warehouse when he probably has several others filled to the brim with valuable stuff. But he nods at me, gestures me to lead the way and says „Go ahead, show them the door and we’ll call someone to secure it better in the morning.“
At this point I have no clue, but I sense that something’s going on that’s above my pay grade and I just roll with it.
„Uh, sure“, I stammer, „but I already locked it again, I hope that’s no problem.“
„No“, says the other cop in his good-cop voice, „that’s understandable.“
I lead them through half the building, probably takes us at least fifteen minutes to get to this one door that I know leads to the outside. I have no idea how one would get into there, the outside has a brightly lit path followed by a wire-mesh fence with barbed wire on top. But dutifully I unlock the door, make some gestures to drive the point across that I have no idea how anyone could get through there and everyone just nods. Cop chick snaps some pictures on her phone, asks for my ID and enters the name – god knows why they don’t have ID scanners in fucking 2019 – and I lock the door again. They ask me if I think there is any chance someone’s still in the building and I say no, I checked everywhere. I even begin to enjoy the situation a little and jokingly wave around the warehouse.
„Not much to hide behind anymore, right?“
Everyone chuckles politely, then I guide them back to their cars and the cops leave. My boss stays behind for a minute, shakes my hand and just says „You’re doing a good job out here“, then leaves without looking back. I return, double-check everything and make sure the camera feeds aren’t looped or anything by walking past one camera, then returning to the office and rewinding the footage until I see me. No, everything okay.
I try to forget about it over the next weeks and nothing else happens, but then my paycheck arrives – They are paying me four times my old wage now.