“Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.” – Patti Smith

Monday morning I called Gord at his work and his secretary connected me right away.  He said what the good word is this morning.  I said we are coming to Fredericton, Gord.  He said you made my day.  I said I got to go and disconnected the phone.

The next day when I got to the office, Sandy said somebody by the name of Garry called for you earlier this morning and he left his number for you to call him back.  She said he sounded like a smooth talker. I said he used to work for me.  He’s indeed a charmer.  I wonder how the hell he got my number. Probably he got it from John.  I said thanks Sandy.

When I looked at the telephone number, the area code looked familiar but I didn’t want to rush to call him back.  I spent a few minutes in the computer room talking to a couple of people and then grab a cup of coffee before I came back to my office.  I closed my office door and before I picked up the phone to call Garry.  My phone was answered right away.  He said this is Garry.  I said I am returning your call, Garry.  He said thanks, Mir.  He said he was calling from Fredericton and wanted to discuss the details of the job and address any questions you might have.  I said I am all ears.

He spent a few minutes talking about the job description and then he went into explaining the salary and benefits.  He said as I understood that you have already accepted the job.  He said do you have any idea about the starting date.  I said we need to sell our house and wait for the kids to finish their school.  We are hoping to be in Fredericton in the first week of July.  He said what you need to know is that we will take care of your moving expenses 100 percent which will include the expenses associated with the moving company as well as your expenses on the road to Fredericton like meals, gas, hotels, etc.  Furthermore, you can stay in a hotel here in Fredericton for 2 to 4 weeks before you move into your house here in Fredericton.         

Likewise, you need to come to the office sometime in Fredericton to meet with the folks you are going to work with.  Typically, what happens is when you come here with your family for we call “House Hunting”; you spend a couple of hours meeting with those folks.  By the way, he said all expenses for your “House Hunting” visit will be covered 100 percent.  

Finally, he said we will reimburse you the amount of money you pay as commission to real estate folks for selling your house.

However, you need to know that you will have to sign a paper, stating that you will serve the government a minimum two years otherwise you will have to pay back all the money on your move that you had received.  We chatted for a couple of minutes longer before he gave me his contact information and he said please feel free to call me anytime if you have any questions.  

When I went home I told Lynda that I was little surprised that the HR guy from Fredericton called and left a message for me at the office.  She said I don’t understand why he would do that.  I said no harm’s done.  I had to tell a white lie to Sandy.

I briefed Lynda in details about how they will take care of our expenses.  She was really pleased with that news.

She said what’s next.  I said perhaps we should get in touch with some realtors to see if we can get our house listed for sale.  She said I will take care of that tomorrow.  She asked me when you are going to tell Mrs. Benda.  I said we need to give her only one month notice and if everything works out the way we are planning, I will let her know on June 1st.  In the meanwhile we need to look into getting rid of your car and trading in our Ford for a better car to drive to Fredericton.  Once we get there, I may not need a car to drive to work which means that you can have the car.  She said that sounds like a plan.  I am sure we all going to miss the Buick.

It took only a week for Lynda to get the house listed.  We made the asking price realistic to entice the potential buyers.  Lynda could have been a skilful real estate agent.  The real estate lady became very friendly with Lynda and she let her speak to the potential buyers and explain the features of the house.  The house was in a much better condition than the time we bought it.  It didn’t take too long to find the right buyer.  If I remember correctly, we set the closing date on Monday the June 30, 1980.

Lynda was indeed a planner.  She bought boxes and gradually started packing those things we don’t need on a daily basis including the winter stuff.  At the same time she started getting rid of the things we were not going to use again.  She knew that the government was paying for the moving and we could have taken anything we wanted to but she was very careful about it.          

I was busy at work and was trying very hard to avoid Mrs. Benda as I didn’t see any need to confront her on those things which used to bother me.  Mrs. Benda wasn’t happy because for some reason she didn’t get the house she wanted to.  She was still in the market but she had some unique requirements for the house they were hunting.

On Friday when I came home and wanted to take my family for the cheap spaghetti supper, Lynda told me that we need to talk.  We went in our bedroom and I said what’s up.  She said she had a telephone call from one of our neighbours saying that our tenants in the townhome rented out rooms to other folks and there seemed to be so many people living in the townhome.  I didn’t know what to say.  We thought they were very nice people but we had been wrong before.  Obviously, we were not very judge of characters.  Finally I said when we get back from the restaurant; we will leave the kids home and go see them. 

When we went to our townhome, the guy came out and said everything’s fine and he’s looking after our property.  I said to him that you must have realized that the townhome is designed for one family and we have reasons to believe that there’s more than one family is living in the townhome.  He said you are talking about my nephews.  They are here only temporarily.  I said how long you consider temporary.  He said three months.  I said it’s not acceptable to us and we will have to get our lawyer to deal with that.

Lynda was really mad but she controlled her temper.  We ended up getting our lawyer to deal with the situation and find new tenants as we failed miserably to find descent people who can be trusted with our property.  I told Lynda that we are into too many things right now and we will be better off leaving it with our lawyer.

Our Story – Chapter 28