19 Sep 2009


Concerning crimes such as murders or attacks, Waterloo is rather spoiled, besides stealing your handbag while you are walking on the sideway, pickpockets and some drug dealers, Waterloo is a rather peaceful little town under the watchful eyes of usually friendly policemen.

The only big problem the city has are burgleries. As there are a lot of wealthy to very wealthy to rich people living here, there is a lot to steal too. Therefore people decorated their houses with alarms not always connected to the police and with the only purpose to wake up the whole neighbourhood, only because the cat had jumped on a table or the dog had scratched himself behind an ear. The result was nobody cared about alarms anymore and nobody either wanted to safe the neighbour's computers or TVs and been knocked out by a burgler.

Therefore the city decided from the 1st of September on, that all alarm owners have to declare their alarms to the police. By internet ! The city is so proud that their employees finally learned to use a computer. It had discovered internet only in the last couple of years, and of course now they want to let the whole population know that the city tax is also used to modernize the administration. Where 2 or 3 years ago still electric typewriters were used, now brand new computers are standing and the proud employee can write all documents by typing with two fingers.

Last thursday a 85 year old lady showed up in the city's computer room, where Mr. G helps the Waterloo population twice a week to explain the use of a computer and internet and helps to solve other computer concerning problems. That's a free service that the city offers to make their citizens more modern and intelligent.

As a correct inhabitant, the old lady wanted to declare her alarm to the police and went there. The friendly policeman told her that she has to declare her alarm on internet on their special website where she can find a formular she only has to fill in.

Old Lady didn't understand a word, she had only seen computers in shops or now here at the police and of course had never touched one either. The policeman send her to the city hall. There the employee listened with an in appearance open ear, that she should help the old lady to fill in the formular on the police website that her house was protected by an alarm. The employee made big eyes, didn't know anything about that and wanted to send her back to the police.

The old lady informed her that she just came from the police who had send her to the city hall. The employee asked her collegues and finally somebody remembered that there were 9 computers available to the population with a person who could explain. And so it happened that old lady ended up in Mr. G's computer room. He and his collegue had never heard about a police website either and unfortunately couldn't help her because she didn't know the link to this misterious site.

I don't know what happened to this poor old lady, but yesterday we all were already informed by the local newspaper that an alarm declaration can only be done via internet and that the city hall has a special service for the ignorant people who don't even know how to handle a computer and that they also could go to Mr. G who would help them out.

The only problem was that the services concerned didn't know anything about it. That's called collaboration in administrations.

Meanwhile a couple in a well alarm protected house slept peacefully in their bedroom on the first floor, while downstairs burglers took away everything they could, Madam's purse and Monsieur's wallet, computers, TV video, mobiles, in short everything they could carry.


diane b said...

Not only in Waterloo. We hear of similar administration bungles here too.I do feel sorry for the old and the poor who don't have a computer or the skills.

Lifecruiser said...

Are you trying to kill me? That was the most hilarious (and sad) I've heard in a long time!! Ha ha ha... I even had to read it all for hubby!

Gledwood said...

When I was younger and civil-minded I used to ring the police when I heard alarms going off. But the last couple of times they told me they don't even attend to burglar alarms unless you say you've seen someone actually breaking in. Or as you say, the alarm's actually linked up to the police ...

Tinsie said...

I think Belgium deserves to be the EU's capital nation. If ever anyone suggests that the capital is moved somewhere else, perhaps a city/country with more streamlined administration, I shall go out in the streets and protest :-)

Maribeth said...

It disturbs me that there is so much crime in the world. I think that people do raise their children to respect the property of others.
Still, your recounting of the events is hilarious. Often the "right hand" doesn't know what the "left hand" is doing! lol!

Melli said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhh governmental RED TAPE!!! Don'tcha just LOVE it!? I'm with Lifecruiser! I was laughing so hard my stomach hurts... but it really IS a sad state of affairs! Sheeeeesh!

Hootin' Anni said...

Our burglary system is a bit different...we are connected to the alarm of course, but when it goes off, within a minute or so, we are called by the alarm company to see if there is a problem...we either can key in a special code to tell them it's an emergency and the alarm company will call the police for us!! It's a terrible thing to be burglarized.

I think a lot of others who don't even HAVE a computer...how can they then proclaim the alarm?

Alice said...

Not guilty, ma'am! I didn't steal anything on my one visit to Waterloo in May....lol.

Our house was broken into recently. Nothing was stolen as they were frightened off by the alarm. They thought they had disengaged it by turning off the electricity - they didn't know alarms have their own power.

When I rang the security firm, I was told to also ring the Police, even though nothing was damaged or stolen. To my surprise, the police duly arrived and asked all their questions. They said that it helps to compile a 'picture' of burglar activity in the area and makes it more likely that the perpetrators will be caught before long. We were very impressed.

Pamela said...

Communication. Errrr... I mean lack of communication.

one of my pet peeves.