Comments The Locksmith Journals

RememberGoliad

Senior Member
Just enough time to come up with continuing anecdotes with which to regale us! Excellent!

Let's just hope the Gas-X worked for this elephant! :eleph:
 

day late

money? whats that?
Why am I not surprised? Due to the recent changes I'm off until Sunday. So naturally I get a call this morning. I spoke with the dispatcher, and she told me the new schedule says I worked yesterday and today. I went and did the job then had words with the manager. I was polite. I didn't just unload on him like a banshee. I told him there seems to be some confusion. I explained what happened AND pointed out that I had called him yesterday while I was on my way to the range to unload some bullets. He admitted that someone screwed up somewhere and said he would talk to them. I did tell him that the lady at dispatch had sent me the new schedule. I didn't bother to mention that it clearly states that I'm on duty part of today and yesterday. It's okay. we are all human and changes take time to get used to, but I certainly hope that it doesn't take too long.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Here we go. My first P/T schedule. I'm on call the usual 14 hours on Sunday and then work from 8A.M. 'til 2 P.M. Monday through Thursday. That brings me to 38 hours and I'm limited to 35. However I get two 45 minute breaks on Sunday and a 30 minute break the rest of the week. That brings working hours down to 34.5. That works for me.

It was a strange day today. I sat around the house and did nothing until 4:30 in the afternoon. Then I got a call and before I could get there, I had another one waiting. Same thing happened before I could get to call number 2. Two calls were car lockouts, which are no big deal but the middle one was a scooter lockout. Some college girl had locked the key to her scooter under the seat. (It's a college town. Scooter lockouts happen all the time. The thing is we charge just as much for a scooter as we do for a car.) These are easy to handle but Mrs. late gets upset when they happen usually. The thing is to get the key I stick a couple of air bags under the seat, pump them up to create a gap and then reach inside and fish around until I find the key. I pull it out and hand it to the customer. The reason Mrs. late doesn't like it when I do this is because of my age, and the fact the gap isn't that big, I always scrap up my arm and the bruises can be quite dramatic. It doesn't hurt and does no real harm. It just looks ugly for a week or two. While I'm doing this, as usual, I'm chatting with the customer. I'm advising her to get a spare key and telling her where to hide it on the scooter so this never happens again. Then she tells me,

"I have one. It's in my wallet. My wallet is under the seat with the other key."

Now here is the nice part. As I pump up the air bags I can see the wallet right there in front of me. I stick in a couple of fingers, drag the wallet out and hand it to her. It was so easy and for once Mrs. late has nothing to complain about.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Real quick before I rack out tonight. For a couple of weeks I haven't been able to get my card swiper to work. Went by the boss's house today to get it taken care of. While there I was informed the boss has been a rep for a company that puts tint on house windows for about a year now. It is a special kind of tint. Hi-impact. Meaning the manufacturer claims it will stand up to a 9mm without allowing the glass to crack. In hurricane country there are obvious advantages. So, the boss is telling me if I'm working at a place where the customer can afford such a service and I get a sale, he will give me a commission. I told him NO he won't. That would lessen my SS bennies. THAT'S when the subject of under the table came up. I told him I'm willing to work for cash, but I rarely get a call in these kinds of neighborhoods. However, it has planted the seed that maybe I can work a few more hours just doing what I do under the same conditions. Now we wait and see what he has to say about that.
 

day late

money? whats that?
The flyer the boss gave me lists the company name as "LLumar". The website is WWW.AANDKTINTSOLUTIONS.COM While these may be dealers, I'm sure they will provide enough info to find the manufacturer.

This page talks about added security, but doesn't go into a lot of detail.


Here is what it says about security.

Safety & Security
Glass windows are a common entry point for burglars, as all they need to do is break the glass and climb through to gain entry into the home. While a window tint can’t entirely prevent this, it can make it more difficult for intruders. The binding agent in security film keeps the glass from shattering upon impact.
 
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day late

money? whats that?
From the LLumar website. And trust me, I don't get a penny by talking about this stuff. As I mentioned before, I can't even get a commission if anyone does get it. SS would start taking money away from me. I present the info for those who might want to have a look at it. Since I've never used this stuff, I can't vouch for it.


Safety and Security Window Film Helps Protect Occupants, Properties and Merchandise
Safety and security film helps defend what’s most valuable against break-ins, vandalism, accidents, storms, seismic tremors and blasts. It’s engineered for strength, using a heavy-duty polyester film that bonds to glass with strong adhesives. Once installed, this film provides low-profile defense for windows, glass doors, bathroom mirrors, elevator finishes and other vulnerable hard surfaces in commercial properties.

Versatile, Proven Safety and Effectiveness
LLumar® safety and security film is suitable for a broad range of applications: office buildings, schools, public spaces and jewelry or electronic store display windows. Our film products are extensively tested for optimal performance, meeting numerous certifications and test standards worldwide, including:
ANSI Z97.1, CPSC 16, CFR 1201 and EN12600 standards for safety glazing
General Services Administration (GSA) TS01, ISO 16933, ASTM F1642 and ASTM F2912 standards for blast protection
ASTM E1886/E1996 Level C Missile and Windload Cycling requirements for windstorm protection
Resistance Against Manual Attack, EN356, level P2A
Benefits of Safety and Security Window Film

Burglary Defense
Safety and security film makes glass harder to penetrate so intruders will likely move on, instead of forcing their way in.

Storm Safety
Helps hold fragments in place when glass shatters due to high-force winds and flying debris.
 
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day late

money? whats that?
YEESH!!! Some days you just don't know what to think. I only had one call today. That's alright, I am being paid by the hour to be available. BUT that one call!!! This morning a guy locked himself out of his apartment. I knew it wouldn't be easy as soon as I looked at the door handle. As I'm sure you all know, they always put a layer of clear varnish or whatever on the doorknob and/or deadbolt at the factory. This door handle has been on the door so long that the clear varnish was turning brown. So the first thing I do is apply a little of WD-40 to the lock. Adding lubrication to a lock that old when you have to pick it is NEVER a bad idea. When I do this, I always work the pick in and out several times to loosen up the dirt I know has gotten in there over the years. When I pull the pick out, I wipe it on my thumb and show the customer how much dirt is coming out of it. Even so, it didn't want to pick. I tried a different tool. No luck. I put in the air bags and tried to shim the latch. ZIP! I went through three different ways of opening the door at least three times each and nothing wanted to work. Finally, after 45 minutes, the lock turned and I got the guy inside. I know his dog was happy about that. But the main thing is I managed to help this guy in more ways than one. As I was wiping the dirt off of the pick and on to my thumb, I noticed something. Mixed in with the dirt were little tiny metal shavings. That's not supposed to happen. Dirt I expect. I've even had tiny pieces of wood come out of the lock. Don't ask me how they got in there, I don't have a clue. But metal shavings? That should not happen. It tells me one thing. This lock is on its last legs. The pieces inside the thing are starting to break down. Don't get me wrong. The lock still turned smoothly and may last for years to come. It could have stopped working ten minutes after I left.

I did warn the customer about what I found. Now I could have given him the run around and sold him a new door handle. Then re-keyed the new handle to his old key. A lot more money to be made that way. But instead, I asked if the town home community that he was living in had a maintenance crew. He said they did and I recommended he call them at once. I wasn't going to tell him the lock was going to die today, but I wouldn't bet on it lasting too much longer. Metal shavings are not supposed to even be in the lock, let alone come out of it. A matter of simple wear and tear. And I'm fairly certain that the maintenance people there were going to be a lot cheaper than having me do it right now. He opted for maintenance and thanked me for warning him, even though it took so long to get the door open. But with a ton of dirt coming out of the lock as well as the metal, He understood why it took so long to get him in.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Well, that didn't go as badly as I thought it would. I don't like boasters, so I try not to be one. But the truth is that on the google reviews the company gets, I am mentioned (by name) more often than anyone else. Without exception I am called things like polite, knowledgeable, funny, helpful and things like that. I see it as just part of the job. When I get to a job it doesn't matter if it is a home, vehicle or business. The customer is pi**ed. Not at me, but at themselves, after all I just got there. Most times they are trying to laugh it off or blame someone else, but they are still pi**ed deep down inside. So I always chat with them and assure them they are not alone and are in good company. When I tell them I've done this for cops, they never see that coming. (Unless they are a cop.) Now the customer thinks that if cops do it, then maybe they aren't such a dummy after all. It makes them get off my back and on my side. Customers make such comments on the reviews and even call the dispatch ladies and say such things. Well, as I said, it's just part of the job. The customer already feels like a dummy for whatever happened. They DON'T need me confirming that, so I don't. Tonight, the boss wanted me to tell the other smiths how I treat customers and get so many good reviews.

I don't like boastful people. I despise those who always have to bring attention to themselves to prove to everyone else just how good they are. Self-centeredness is not one of my favorite things. (Hey, I have gotten thousands of comments and e-mails on the 'Overthrown' series and only a very few know that the name of the author listed on the books is only a pen name.) So, I don't like speaking in public telling others how to do things because it makes me look like the know-it-all that I can't stand. You can guess it, I'm sure. I did provide a few words on how to deal with customers, but I also tried to downplay me and deal with how to make the customer feel better as I work. I told them that getting the customer on your side even before you start to work is always a good thing. Do your best to make them feel at ease. Make them know they are not alone in this. Ya don't have to pump up yourself and you get paid the same anyway.
 

day late

money? whats that?
It was late last night when I posted, so I forgot to mention at the meeting things took another turn towards the very interesting. Back in Dec. we lost Stephanie. Last night I found out that we have a new guy who has been training in Ocala for her job. Because of SS my hours are reduced and the manager said I'd be getting my new schedule. He's already talking about the new guy, Mike, will be getting the van during hours I already work. I doubt it, but this could be a sign that my employment is about to end. The main reason I doubt it is that for nearly seven years I've gone everywhere, done everything, rarely asked for help, never caused any trouble and have put a whole bunch of money in his pocket. In short, I'm a known quantity. Mike is brand new, just as Stephanie was. Maybe he'll last, maybe he won't. So do the boss and manager want to take the chance of letting me go in exchange for someone they don't know about just because he can take more hours? I don't think so. They also know that I can use the money to supplement the SS, so I don't want the hours reduced any more than they are now. If they are, I need to find a different job. He would lose. Especially if Mike either doesn't work out or decides locksmithing isn't for him as Stephanie did. So he can't really depend on me coming back to work if Mike leaves for whatever reason.

As I said, very interesting.
 

day late

money? whats that?
I have said it is getting interesting. In the past I have said that it always pays to be observant. Today is one of my days off and I have discovered another reason why I don't believe that my employment is about to end. Every morning the manager wants every smith to report in on the group text to say they are ready and able to go to work. I don't like that. To me, if you are working for someone and taking their money, you are available at the appointed time. No exceptions, no excuses. Reporting in should not be required. But OK, I'll do it if it makes him feel better. As I said it is my day off. But since I'm part of the group text I get the reports from the other smiths at around 8 A.M. One of the reports THIS morning was most interesting. I have mentioned before the boss's son had a run in with the law. Nothing violent. He was found wandering around in the parking lot of his apartment complex at 2 A.M. naked and stoned out of his mind. So, this morning the son texts telling everyone that he has to be in court. He should be available at 11:15. The manager then quips,

"So, you'll be back on Nov. 15?"

The son answers,

"That should be about how long if I go to the pen."

Now I don't believe for an instant that some kid arrested for being stoned and not causing trouble or doing damage to anything/one is going to the slam. BUT, can the boss really afford the risk of letting me go, with a brand new freshly trained smith he has no idea about, to take my place? When his son (even if he isn't sent away for a while this time) may get into similar trouble later? That would leave him and him alone to handle every call we get in a forty-mile radius. I just don't see that happening. I would guess that my job is secure for quite some time to come.
 

day late

money? whats that?
If I were suspicious I would think something is going on. I've been sitting here all day long and not one call. The boss's son, who is not wearing orange right now, has Sunday off. And I have the other van. I'm guessing that it is just too cold for many people to be out and about. At 10 A.M. it was 37 around here and tomorrow is supposed to be colder. But it is also Monday and people will be going to work. Well I'm on until 10 which leaves a few hours yet. And with this job you never know what is going to happen next.

And weather does play a part in what I do. people running from here to there leave the keys behind. I've picked locks in the rain with water from the roof pouring down the back of my neck. All that sort of thing. Actually it was a bit cool the other day when I get to a job. Mom was trying to get her 5 year old into the car in a hurry to get her in the warmth. She picked up the wrong purse and left the one with the keys on the coffee table. That was one of those jobs where I was glad I do things differently. The boss says wear a mask every time. I don't believe in them, but I need the job and he supplies them. As I get closer to her she apologizes for not having one. I turned around went to the van and brought her one. She liked that.
 

day late

money? whats that?
So, today seems to have gone just right as the prelude to my day of days. One call early in the day, then nothing until after supper. That was a call where I get to lie to the boss. I did the right thing and it brought tears. A lady was locked out of her car at a local WAWA. I get there and as I'm working I notice we have a small person clipped into the car seat in the back. Nobody told me about that. I've mentioned before that for a long time jobs like that were free of charge. During my lay-off at the beginning of the plandemic the boss decided that we shouldn't give away those jobs anymore and he doesn't even want to give a discount. Once the car was open and mother and child were reunited, she reached for her wallet to pay for it. I could tell she was highly distressed when I got there. Finding the child in the car told me why, or so I thought. Turns out that was only part of the reason. I told her that we used to do these jobs for free, but during Covid the boss changed his mind and the customer should pay for it. Then I told her,

"I haven't changed my mind. Put the money back in your wallet. I'm going to lie to my boss and tell him you got in by yourself and didn't need me."

She all but broke down on the spot, started crying and told me that she had been leaving an appointment at a nearby hospital and what she had in her wallet was all she had left. I just asked her in the unlikely event that she should get a call from the company, back me up. She promised she would.

And tomorrow, I get to that day that has been so long in coming. I have an appointment with SS to call me at 10 A.M. to make sure all of the t's are dotted and i's crossed. After that the government starts sending me money for the rest of my life. Yeah, I'll still have to hold down a part time job, but everything changes. It's going to take some getting used to. I think I can manage.
 

day late

money? whats that?
So, here I am. A couple of days into semi-retirement and I can't get away from the job. But I have been trying. What can I say? I'm concerned about other people. When the new guy Mike picked up the van from me, he mentioned that the boss hasn't given him a card for gas. I can't just hand over my card. So today a thought came to me, and I contacted him. I can't give you my card. BUT you are working in Gainesville, I live in Gainesville. So, if you need gas, swing by my place and I'll use my card to fill up the van and you can be on your way. He liked it, the boss liked it, my wife...not so much. But then again, she lives on unrealistic expectations. He did say that he was wondering about the job. It seems yesterday he had zero jobs. At the time I contacted him today he had only gotten one. Well, it happens that way some times. And hey, he gets paid to sit around and do nothing. Almost like someone on Social Security. We will see what the future brings.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Interesting, interesting, interesting. The new guy, Mike has had it easy for the past few days. Very few jobs. I think it has just been too cold for people to go out. It was 25 when I got up this morning and this is Florida. But he is a bit short on tools and experience. That's OK, there is always a learning curve. But that curve goes both ways. Last night he stopped by to pick up a tool from me that the boss should have already given him. That's alright. It belongs to the boss anyway. I just asked that he leave it in the van when I get it back from him, in case I need it. At that time he told me that there is a problem with the schedule. It seems he is divorced and next weekend is his time with his son. Nobody ever mentioned that before. It doesn't matter to me that he is divorced, but his time requirements do matter because they affect other people, like me. The schedule says he works weekends. I don't want to cause people unnecessary problems. I'm semi-retired and SS says no more than 35 hours a week. But they don't say what hours they have to be, so I'm flexible. This was kinda loosely discussed this morning via text. Mike has told me that there is a new schedule, but it hasn't been sent to me yet and I'm supposed to get the van at 8 tonight. Now I'm told by Mike that he has the van until next Friday. It would be nice if the boss at least sent me a text telling me when I'm going to be working. It's a little difficult planning what you are going to do and when, if you don't know when you are working. In about ten minutes I'm texting the boss to find out what I need to know.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Yep. Interesting. Just after posting the above, before I could text the boss, I got my new schedule. Now I'm working Friday -Sunday. The boss and I need to have a talk. I don't really care what hours I work, but I'd like to have a regular unchanging schedule. I mean I've been working for him for nearly 7 years. Longer than anyone else. I've gone everywhere, every time, at any hour and rarely had to ask for help. Before being laid off due to the plandemic, I made 45% of whatever I collected. For the first three or four years my W-2 was right at $45,000. Do the math. That means by myself I brought in about $100,000 a year, gross. Then we had more people come onboard so I got less work. But I was still doing the same as before when it comes to where, when and what. I mean you try hanging off the side of an 18 wheeler at 2 A.M. on multiple occasions. It doesn't do good things for your sleeping habits. The point is that I have proven myself to the boss. I've put a lot of money in his pocket. I do believe I deserve being treated a little better than a chess piece being moved around willy-nilly at a moment's notice. But right now, that has to wait. I'm still trying to get him to tell me if he has even sent my W-2 so I can file taxes. First things first and one thing at a time.
 

Texican

Live Free & Die Free.... God Freedom Country....
DL,

Past time for a heart to heart talk with the boss.

Texican....
 

day late

money? whats that?
Being observant and keeping your mouth shut is always a good plan. I've been off for almost a week because of my limited schedule and helping out Mike to have some time with his son. During that time I would text Mike from time to time to see how he was doing. Well, he had several boring days where he did almost nothing. On one day he actually did nothing all day long. Then yesterday he had a busy day and had a lock blow up on him and the boss's son had to swing by and bail him out. Not surprising for a newbie and there is always a learning curve. Even the boss is understanding about it. I had to go by the boss's house this morning to pick up some things for work and we had a chat about Mike. He seems pleased with Mike's performance so far, but he wanted me to drop off some things to his son. I said sure, I've got nothing going on. I called the son and we met at the shop for me to transfer things to him. He told me he was at the shop to make a car key for a customer. The customer didn't show. We were talking and he was complaining that yesterday he was getting slammed with job and job and they were all appointments for today. I told him I felt for him. I've had days like that. The thing is I haven't had a job all day. I told him that at 11 A.M. and still haven't done anything.

This does tell me one thing. We work for an hourly wage or commission if our works value exceeds our hourly rate. The son doesn't have enough time to get from one fire to the next. I sit on my hands. I just wonder what his paycheck looks like. But then again it doesn't really matter. I get SS and a check for sitting here doing nothing. I can live with that. If the boss wants to work his son that hard and pay him that much, so be it. But does he understand that a young guy can get easily burnt out by working too much when he wants to be playing too much? I wonder. This could blow up in his face and even if I wanted to, I couldn't help him. Time restraints due to SS don't ya know.
 

day late

money? whats that?
I must admit, sometimes it is fun not only getting to use tools I don't normally use, but also making the customer think I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. I left a job a short time ago. An interior door to the wife's office was locked and the key was inside. That stupid lock just did not want to pick. The door was mostly glass with a keypad lever handle. And they don't have the code for the keypad. Normally I don't get to use the under the door tool, but this time it was just the thing. AND having the glass there allowed me to actually see what I was doing. The customer had his doubts about if it was going to work, but the door opened in seconds after I got the tool. So, while I'm standing there and he has gotten literally bags of keys out of the room, and still can't find the key to the door, we block it open because in order to re-key the lock I have to remove it and take it apart. That isn't what I was called to do and he had hopes of finding the key. Then comes the money question.

"As long as you are here, can you re-key three other locks for us?"

All three were Smart Key locks and he had the keys for those. I was done with those in about fifteen minutes. It would have been less than ten, but his wife got home with the groceries and he wanted me to show her what I was doing and how it was done. Now, we get back to the first door I was called to open. They found the key but wanted to have me reprogram the keypad. Without the factory temporary code there is nothing I can do. I told them they would have to contact the manufacturer for the code. They didn't like that but understood. As I'm totaling the bill it hit me. I went into the room, pulled the cover off of the battery storage area. Low and behold inside are two red buttons. One says 'reset' and the other 'program'. Right next to the buttons are written instructions on how to reset the code for the keypad. The lady of the house was ready to break out into her happy dance and repeatedly thanked me for "Making my day". As I was leaving they insisted me giving them some business cards. It's good to have happy customers.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Just what I needed to end the day. I've said that things can get a little dicey from time to time. The last call of the day I'm sent halfway across town to open a car. It's in a well-lighted gas station and there are two ladies who look like mother and daughter standing next to the car which is at the pump. I stop and ask if they are looking for me and they say yes. So, I park the van, grab my tools and start for the car. Even before I get out of the van some guy, a homeless panhandler by the look of him, is hitting up the mother for a donation. I hear her tell him everything is locked in the car. It was an easy one to open and since I'm watching what I'm doing I can't keep an eye on him. I did hear him comment on my work.

"He knows what he is doing."

I get the driver's door open, and have to deal with the daughter about payment, but I'm keeping an ear open in case mom has a problem. Mr. panhandler thinks now the car is open, surely mom can now get to her purse for that donation, right? The conversation starts to become more insistent and I'm starting to think I'm going to have to step in. About that time mom asks if I could open the passenger's door, which I do. She gets in and closes the door. Now mister panhandler starts to get upset. He is just about to get loud when the guy working at the station comes out and orders him to leave. The station attendant is about 6' 2', 280lbs. and not very happy. (Edit to add, I forgot. Mr. panhandler is about 5'8" and maybe 150 lbs.) Now I admit his belly was only slightly larger than his chest, but I wouldn't want to meet him under unpleasant circumstances. The guy left, mom and daughter were happy to be on their way. I don't know where that might be, they had Virgina plates. But everything turned out well for everyone except the panhandler. Not a bad way to end the day.
 
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day late

money? whats that?
Information is always valuable and knowing when to keep your mouth shut (until the right time) can be priceless. Ever since I came back to work I've heard things that bothered me. A while back when I still had two bosses one of them wanted me to put a tracker in my car so they would know where I was while I was working. I compromised. When I was on a job, I plugged it in, while I was on my own time I unplugged it. Nobody ever said anything. Once the one boss quit, the remaining boss told me we aren't using those anymore. So I left it with him at the shop. Now I'm driving the company van. Yeah, there is a dash cam, but that's okay. If something happens, it could prove I didn't (or did) do it. Well, today I had it confirmed to me that the van is being tracked in real time. Before this, during the meetings we have, I've heard about people getting e-mails about their driving habits. That came from dashcam footage, and I never got an e-mail advising me on how to drive. When I got the van yesterday from the new guy, he mentioned that he had gotten told that he needed to be in Gainesville by 8 A.M. He lives a few miles away in High Springs. It's about a 15 or 20 minute trip. MAYBE they are looking through the dashcam to see where he is at the time. Still they want him here at no later than 8. But then came the cincher. I'm allowed a 30 minute break each day. When I take it is up to me. I have a very special knife that I really like. It's a Kukri. Also known as a Gurka. It is a knife designed for the worst kind of close in combat. A heavy hawk-billed blade that will easily hack through bone. My brother and I used it a few years ago the split the breastbone of a nice big pig he had gotten while hunting. It took two swings and the bone was done. But the grip has come loose. I'm afraid to swing in now for fear the blade will leave the grip. I want it repaired by an expert. So, during my break today I went to a local bladesmith to see if he could fix it for me. Once arrangements were made and I was leaving I called the lady on dispatch to let her know I was back on the clock. I had told her before this that I had some personal business to take care of. She came back asking me "At what address?" Ummm, well, whatever address you sent me to next. Then she tells me that she wanted to make sure of what I was talking about because the last ping she got from the van placed me at the bladesmiths shop I had just left.

Ya know, I don't like the idea that I'm being tracked. I've worked for the boss for almost seven years. I've gone everywhere, done everything. I'm never late for work. I have more positive reviews on Google than anyone else with the company. (I got another one just this morning that the boss copied and sent out on the group text as an example of what he likes to see.) Yet they want to track me. Almost feels like they don't trust me. I know, I know, they are doing it to everyone and it's not personal. But it does make me want to take a peek under the dash and find that thing. I mean if they get upset, I can always ask them for the justification for tracking me. Or maybe just find another job. I will take a pause to think before I give them pause to think. It could make a difference.
 

Freebirde

Senior Member
" I know, I know, they are doing it to everyone and it's not personal."

Legally, if they do it to one person's van/truck they need to do it to everyone. Might not be the boss bothering to check but a bored/nosey dispatcher.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Mike told me when I got the van from him the manager called him a day or two ago, and said that he was supposed to be in Gainesville by 8 A.M. They knew he wasn't by checking the location of the van. Mike has been doing things like I do. Sit at home until he gets a call. The difference being after that first call, he sits at the shop all day. So it isn't just a bored dispatcher.
 

Texican

Live Free & Die Free.... God Freedom Country....
dl,

Time to tell the boss to turn off the tracker in the van while you are using it for you do what you are told and do not need anyone tracking you.

Texican....
 

day late

money? whats that?
dl,

Time to tell the boss to turn off the tracker in the van while you are using it for you do what you are told and do not need anyone tracking you.

Texican....
My style is more along the lines of getting him to admit I've always been there and done that. Admit I'm always on time and my cash deposits are always right on the dollar. Then ask him why he doesn't trust me and point out I find it offensive. That way he paints himself into a corner.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Yet another interesting day. I only had two calls today, but the first one whoooo boy. I was told to go to a popular local restaurant because they had a problem with the back door. I was to repair the doorknob, if possible, replace it if necessary. I got there and because it is popular even at about 10:45 in the morning I had trouble finding a place to park. They show me the doorknob, well handle actually, and those handles are supposed to be parallel with the ground. This one is pointing straight down. This thing is dead, dead, dead. Ok, I've got replacements in the van. I grab one and change it out. No big deal. THEN I'm told that it takes a BIG man with his full weight and shoulder against the door to get the thing open. The door has a metal frame that someone in the past tried to break into. They warped and damaged the frame. The only fix that I can do is use the angle grinder and grind down the strike plate on the frame. It is stainless steel. I depleted four batteries for the grinder and it still wasn't right. I had to call the other smith who was working and get him to come over so I could barrow his grinder. While I was waiting I was told the old handle had a button on the inside to lock the door. The one I installed didn't have that. It makes no difference. Once the door is closed it can only be opened on the outside with the key, but that's not what they wanted. So, while I'm waiting on the other guy, I have to remove the handle I installed and put in the kind they wanted. It would be nice if people gave you all the information you need before you get started. To make an even longer story short, between the handles and grinding I spent a little over two hours on that job. At least I know the boss is happy. Total cost for that job was a hair under $500. Oddly the people at the restaurant were very pleased. They didn't have to hit the door like a fullback to get it open any more.

After that I went home, had lunch and checked Google to see if anyone had left a review of that job. Fearing the worst actually. The restaurant was told an estimate of the high side of $300. There was a new review, but not about what I had done. Someone left a review saying that first of all they couldn't believe they had to make an appointment to get something done for them. (What it was, I have no idea. He didn't say. For example, if you need a car key made, time must be arranged for the smith to come to you and another smith to cover his calls during that time. If it is a business job it could take a smith all day, or more.) Then went on to say that the person on the phone was rude and very unhelpful. AND he would never recommend using our services. Now the ladies who handle the phones are all top notch. Always polite and always helpful. Even they have gotten many good comments from the people that leave reviews. Just by the way it was written, I suspect we had one of those "special" people who thinks that the whole world is there to serve them. Sometimes you just have to take the good with the bad. There is one other thing I was going to mention but it is bedtime, so it must wait for tomorrow.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Sorry it has taken this long to get back. Lots going on and most of it isn't PAID work. It's getting the kitchen redone after plumbing problems.

The thing I was going to mention is that it seems the boss and manager are having a hard time deciding on what to do with me. My hours are limited and they have recently hired two guys for Gainesville. That might make me a little more expendable. BUT at the same time I've got 7 years of experience. You just don't throw that out. You don't know if the new guys are going to work out or not. But am I available when they need me? You can see the problem. Most recently the manager wanted me available for more hours. I can't do that. So it seems he has found a solution. I work three days a week at $10 an hour. Two days it is from 8 to 8, and the third day is 8 to 10. Simple math says that is 38 hours. I can only work 35 hours. The answer? I get a 1 1/2 hour break every day. Never more than 45 minutes at a time, but still an hour and a half. That means I can arrange to have 45 minutes each day for lunch and supper. That is so nice. You wouldn't believe how many times I've had to leave a hot meal on the table because of a job.

About the experience you don't throw away. It just happened. I was sent to a job and told before I left the lady seemed panicked. If it is your home, why panic? This is a job where you get I.D. first. This time I didn't have to. Before I even started the lady told me to stop. She pulled out her phone and disabled the alarm system inside before I got to work. If she can do that, then she belongs there. Problem solved.
 
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