Comments The Locksmith Journals

day late

money? whats that?
I've always said that the way to a fortune is to find a store close to a large Army Reserve center and open up a combination tobaconist-locksmith shop.

Funny you should mention that. I seem to recall telling this story earlier, but I got called to the local Army Reserve Center one Saturday afternoon. An E-7 had locked herself out of the office. She was the only one there. Well, with the resources of the U.S. Government behind you, you can afford some pretty high-end locks. The kind that can't be picked. I told her,

"All I can do is drill that lock. That lock costs at least $300 and has to be programmed. That means wait for Monday to order the lock, wait three or four days for it to get here, then wait another couple of days for someone to come out and program it. OR I can break the window in the door and someone can replace the glass on Monday. It's your choice."

"Break the glass." was the answer.
 

9idrr

Veteran Member
An E-7 couldn't figure that out? Affirmative action promotion, maybe? Bumped up due to TIG? PFC Snuffy would've taken care of it, right down to stealin' replacenent glass from the back window of the EM Club.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Okay, I can't let this one pass. The boss has come up with an idea of how to let the ladies on the phones know there is a problem, and what the problem is, by using codes. That way we don't get things piled up and angry customers. What I find amusing is his code for an angry and/or troublesome customer.

"Hey Karen."
 

day late

money? whats that?
Oh, my goodness. TSHTF today. A REAL Harper Valley thing. I mentioned before that one guy, down in Ocala got fired because of poor driving skills. I mean 5 accidents in one year, that is more than enough to let him go. Well, things got worse. I have been informed that he also stole from the company. What and how much, I don't know. I do know that he stole either a company phone or the sim card from it and has been posting most unpleasant messages today. I do not know, but I do suspect that he took what we call 'the bank' with him. 'The bank' is cash we all carry to make change for the customers. i.e. When we open a car, the charge is $69 and they pay with a $100 bill. We have to be able to make change. I carry a bank of $45. I don't know what other people carry. We also hold on to the cash paid by the customers and make a deposit for the boss once a week. Usually it is no more than 1 or 2 hundred. But I have made deposits of over $1,500. And Ocala is much busier than Gainesville. I do not know but I suspect that whatever cash he had collected never made it to the real bank. Whatever he stole, the manager was at the Ocala PD headquarters filing reports and arranging to have him arrested earlier today.

Now we get to a second smith in Ocala who I was told had been 'attacking' one or more of the ladies who handle the phones for the past two days. It wasn't a physical attack, just nasty things said over the phone. I have also heard that while on the phone with the ladies he was trying his best to pick one of them up. As in "Hey why don't we get together for a little fun tonight?" Yesterday, it seems that every job he was sent to he screwed up. Then, since he had a problem with the ladies at dispatch, he quit.

I have also been told that the two of them are the only ones the ladies have had problems with. No respect and not caring about it. I think the two of them have 'Mommy' issues. Nobody else has problems with the ladies, just those two.

So, now Ocala is short two smiths and one or both of them are being hunted by the police. One for theft and for sexual harassment at the least. I forgot to mention. Of all the ladies answering the phones, only one is unmarried and without children and she is in a long-term relationship. This is not good. Things like this make me glad I'm an old married man with no thought or desire to find anything outside of the relationship I already have.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Things just keep getting stranger. I had a chat with the manager earlier. I asked him to just give me the straight of things. Boy did I get an earful. I will call the two former smiths A and B.

A is the guy with the lousy sense of direction. It seems after getting fired for five accidents when he turned over the company phone, he had replaced the sim card with another one. So now he is getting phone service on the company dime. This is not good. But his lousy sense of direction which caused so many accidents extends into his personal decision making. It seems he furnished his apartment with rented furniture. When he ran into some financial hard times, he pawned the rented furniture. You can't do that. You can only pawn property that you actually own. With the dollar amount involved, it comes down to grand theft. He already has a felony warrant out on him.

Smith B is another case entirely. I said he was nasty to the ladies who run the phones. The manager gave me a better idea of what he was saying. I will only say that if someone used that kind of language towards my wife there are only two things he can hope for. 1. He will remember me with every step he ever takes, because he will walk with a limp for the rest of his life. 2. I am going to hurt him, and I am going to keep on hurting him until one of two things happen. Either I get too tired, or the cops pull me off. There is no excuse for what he said. I won't repeat it.

On top of that A and B were living in the same apartment. So, when A got fired, B got pi**ed. That is the reason he screwed up so many jobs in one day. It was done on purpose to make the company look bad. When B quit he took all the cash he had with him as well as the company credit cards. The manager called him and asked for all of that and his attitude was 'Too bad, so sad. Stuff it jerk.' The manager mentioned that he would be calling local law enforcement. The cards and cash were put through the mail slot on the door to the Ocala shop somewhere in the middle of the night. BUT this moron gets worse. Before turning over the van, he went into the back of it a destroyed a cabinet holding tools and parts. The manager tells me there is easily $2,000 worth of damage. There is now a felony warrant in the works for him as well.

Never a dull moment in the job.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Sorry it has been so long, but the recent past has been absolutely nuts. I will say my method of treating the customer as a person instead of a meal ticket pays off quite well from time to time. Last week, on Monday I had a kind of expensive job first thing out of the box. The customer wanted me to replace his deadbolt on the front door with one of those expensive key-pad deadbolts. Not a problem. We carry those and while a little time consuming, not very hard. As usual, while working I'm chatting with the customer and he tells me,

"I left my keys in my car and the car unlocked. Somebody stole the keys but didn't take anything out of the car. I think one of my neighbors is just trying to pi** me off."

RED FLAG!!!

"Did you have the keys for your house on the keychain?"

"No. It was just the car keys. Do you guys make car keys? Otherwise, I have to pay to have this thing towed to KIA so they can make a new key."

Anyway, I explained that yes, the company has a smith who is trained for just this sort of thing, but I'm not him. However, I can call this in, and they can send him out here. No need to have the car towed. He liked the idea but called Kia for a price quote, while I was working on the door. He comes back and askes for the company phone number (his wife had called in the job and she was at work.) I hand over some business cards to him and he calls them for a quote. As I'm finishing up the job, he told me that we were going to charge around $300 for the smith to come out and make the key. Kia would not pay for the tow, and they wanted around $1,000 for the key. Guess who got the job? As I was leaving the other smith pulled up, he looked at me as he got out and I told him,

"It's the white Kia out front."

I was parked on the side street. Needless to say, having the second smith pull up as the first one was leaving made a very good impression, not to mention saving him the tow fee, possible damage during the tow, having to Uber over to Kia to pick up the car (Kia doesn't have anyone to drive out and pick up customers. They must get to the shop on their own.) and another $700 on top of that. I love this job.
 

day late

money? whats that?
We all know they are out there, but it is always interesting when you have to deal with them. I was leaving my first job this morning when I got a call for my nemesis, Ginnie Springs. It's a 35 minute trip, one way in light traffic. This is 07/05. Lots of people on I-75 making a late start on heading home, so it could take 45 minutes. I call the customer to let him know I'm on my wat and give an ETA. He tells me the folks out there have told him they can help him, and he cancels the call. Okay, that saves me time and gas, plus it's just about lunch time. I call dispatch and tell the lady what has happened, and she does the work of canceling the dispatch. I call in a 1/2-hour break for lunch, then eat and sit down to watch a little TV. Just after I've eaten and was getting comfortable on the couch, the phone rings. Dispatch wants to know why I canceled the call. The customer is waiting. I tell her,

"I specifically asked him if he was canceling the call and he said yes."

Long story short, he still needs to get the car open and is waiting for me. What happened to the folks at the park helping him? I don't know but suspect their idea of helping was to call the locksmith they always call. So here I go, off to Ginnie Springs. I've said before phone service out there is next to zero. I call the guy three times when I'm 5 minutes out and three times the call was cut off. I think I did manage to get him to understand I wanted to meet him at the gate simply because he knows where the car is and I don't. I must have gotten that much through. To give you an idea of how wild the phone service out there is, I click the phone number attached to the dispatch and it goes straight to voicemail. I write down the number and dial it from my phone and he answers. We get together, he takes me to the car and it is open in no time. While doing my usual chatting with him I learn this is the second time within a month he has had to call us, from the same place, for the same reason.

Before the job the lady on dispatch said,

"This dude's an idiot."

After the job I told her. He's not an idiot. He's Florida's male answer to California's Valley Girl.
 

day late

money? whats that?
#^%*!^$& Okay, one on me. I hate it when cars get smarter than me. But I do say this wasn't entirely my fault. I was supposed to get off at 8 tonight. I got a call at 7:53 to unlock a car. I'm still on duty so I go. The lady tells me on the phone before I got there that her boyfriend had messed up the fob, so it wasn't working. AND the keys are in the car anyway. So, I get there, unlock the car and the alarm goes off. With most cars just turning on the engine will turn off the alarm. Not this one. The other answer is to get out of the car, close the door, then use the key to lock and unlock the door. That shuts off the alarm. That's when she tells me the key doesn't work in the door. The only other answer is to get under the hood and pull the fuse that goes to the horn. I did that. She was happy and I was on my way. I get home and have just finished an adult beverage when I get a call from dispatch. The car starts but won't go into gear. What did you do? I just pulled the horn fuse. The car should run fine. Another smith is called. He tells us that with some cars, when you pull a fuse, the tranny locks up. Anti-thief device don't ya know. Now when I pulled the fuse I showed the lady exactly where it came from and where to put it back. Long story short, just before 10 I have to run back to the same place and put the fuse back in. The lady says they already tried that, but she also told dispatch that she wasn't sure where it came from. I put the fuse back in the right slot, she starts the car, puts into reverse and the car starts to move. On top of that, the alarm didn't go off again. So now the car is drivable, the alarm is off, and I get home around 10:45. I repeat, I hate it when cars get smarter than me and I especially hate the people who think up all of these 'wonderful' things to keep your car from being stolen. It's late, and I have to get up early. Good night all.

Edit to add. The reason the fob didn't work is because the boyfriend lost the battery to it and the lady didn't know where to get another one.
 

day late

money? whats that?
I'm trying real hard not to be pi**ed right now. We have a new guy I'm sharing the van with. I like him for a number of reasons. First of all, like me, he's a grunt. Not only that, he served at the same post in Germany that I did. A place called Baumholder. That place has been an active military post since the days of the Roman Empire. While I was there in the 70's they were still finding Roman artifacts. Rommel trained his Afrika Corps there. As a matter of fact, the mess hall where I ate for three years had a Swastika built into the stonework just outside the main entrance. I still have a picture of it. On one a thread a while back, someone made the comment,

"Baumholder! That is a place of myth and legend. That's where the real Army lives."

There was an unofficial poem about the place that I can only recall the last part. It went,

"And when I get to heaven,
I'll hear St. Peter yell,
Fall in you soldiers from Baumholder,
You've spent your time in hell."

It was a place where things happen and not all of them get reported. (If you know what I mean, imagine a blanket party of a stuffed shirt 90-day wonder who has CQ for the night. After the party he is stuffed into an available wall locker, taken to the second floor of the barracks and the locker is pushed out the window. He wasn't considered totally useless, so he was given a pillow for his head before the locker was sent out. NO I wasn't involved, but I know the guys who were.) If you survive Baumholder, I can assure you that self-confidence will never be a problem. You know exactly what you are made of. This new guy spent time there. I respect that. But I must admit I'm a bit disappointed in him. About 10 days ago I was told I had a big job this morning. I ended up re-keying 11 locks. The day before I had to go there, I checked out supplies in the back of the van. When I turned the van over to him the last time I had it, it had at least 8 Kwik Set deadbolts and an equal number of doorknobs. Kwik Set is the most common lock used these days. When I checked the van there were NO Kwik Set deadbolts, and only two doorknobs. One of the doorknobs was banged up so badly it can never be sold and the other one didn't have any keys for it. Fortunately, I didn't need them for the job, but come on. When you use supplies, go to the shop and replace what you have used. That way you don't end up being embarrassed in front of the customer by not having the things you need for the job. Most disappointing this guy hasn't been doing that. Puts an unfair burden on me.
 
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day late

money? whats that?
I know I'm going to sound like Gomer Pyle here, so please bare with me. Have you ever had a situation where there is a surprise, that really isn't a surprise, and the only surprising thing about it, is that it took so long for the surprise to happen? That's where I am this morning. I was just finishing breakfast when the lady in charge of the ladies who answer the phones called me. She said she knew it was my day off, but there was a mandatory meeting at 10 A.M. I was planning on pushing the mower around the yard at that time to beat today's rain and told her so. Nope. Mandatory meeting, I had to be there. My yard is a bit over an acer and I'm 66. I don't get it all at one time like I did when I was 40. I get a section at a time over a few days. What I had to do this morning was a small section, so I got to work. I finished most of it just in time for the meeting. The meeting starts with the surprise announcement that the manager has been fired. The only reason given was because of "bad behavior". Now if you have been following this saga, you know the manager has always said, 'If you have a problem, call me and I'll help you out'. You also know I consider that to be total BS because of the number of times I called for help and got either nothing or next to it. You may have also picked up that I believe the manager has a real problem with a superiority complex. Well, I'm just guessing, but I believe that attitude has finally turned around and bitten him in the backside.

The guy who was manager before this one told me years ago not to trust him. For reasons of my own, I have found that to be good advice. You know how some of these kinds of people can be. When they believe themselves to be lord and master, they think they can say whatever to whoever and it makes no difference. They are the high poobah and nobody is going to believe what a low-life bottom sucker like you says. And if you say anything, I'll bury you. It was a couple of years ago now when he was feeling very full of himself when he let it slip that his intention was to take over the company for himself within five years. I know I'm low man on the totem pole. If I said anything to the boss, he would talk to the manager, who would deny it and then find a reason to fire me. I needed the job, I kept my mouth shut. Well, during the meeting the boss said there would be changes in the pay structure now that the manager is gone and he would be calling us individually later today to tell us about what was going to happen. He's talking across the board increases for all of us. That's nice, but because of SS I can't accept, which is what I have to tell him when it is my turn. But I do believe that mentioning what the manager was planning behind his back might be a good idea. I mean what's the worst that can happen to me? He won't fire me for talking bad about the guy he just fired. He might want to know why I didn't mention this before, but let's be honest. If I had said something back then, I would have been the one fired. I was just looking out for my job. Never a dull moment around here.
 
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Bob the Builder

Contributing Member
Funny you should mention that. I seem to recall telling this story earlier, but I got called to the local Army Reserve Center one Saturday afternoon. An E-7 had locked herself out of the office. She was the only one there. Well, with the resources of the U.S. Government behind you, you can afford some pretty high-end locks. The kind that can't be picked. I told her,

"All I can do is drill that lock. That lock costs at least $300 and has to be programmed. That means wait for Monday to order the lock, wait three or four days for it to get here, then wait another couple of days for someone to come out and program it. OR I can break the window in the door and someone can replace the glass on Monday. It's your choice."


Had the same problem in the squadron finance flight chiefs office. They have a separate key system because of payroll and personnel records and I don't have the squadron master key for them.
Solution:
Get an 8 ft ladder and remove a ceiling tile.
Hop over the wall.
Unlock door.
Look around to see if anyone notices. Nope. Disappear.
 
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day late

money? whats that?
Had the same problem in the squadron finance flight chiefs office. They have a separate key system because of payroll and personnel records and I don't have the squadron master key for them.
Solution:
Get an 8 ft ladder and remove a ceiling tile.
Hop over the wall.
Unlock door.
Look around to see if anyone notices. Nope. Disappear.

Had a similar problem with a local Verizon store. Tried the same trick. No luck. They had a firewall in the attic that went all the way up to the roof. That was one we had to walk away from.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Sorry. I put this little ditty on the main and forgot to bring it here. Just goes to show some of the kinds of people I have to deal with.

It's not just weirdness, it's people in general. I got back from a call a short time ago. A group of young people were locked out of their car. Before I got there, I was told a man named Joseph would pay the bill. I opened the car, the young people jumped in and sped off. Joseph is an older vet. He has no money. He has no credit card. He also seems to have PTSD. He punched a column when he was presented with the bill. In short, I'm not getting paid for the job because those young people stuck him with a bill he cannot pay. I called the boss, he said to just leave. The "entitled" younger generation will never grow up and one day it is going to bite them in the backside. When it does, they will, of course, blame everyone and everything for being against them because that type of childish behavior has always worked before. But some day it won't, and they will be totally lost.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Ok. here's where I have to be careful. I could get into trouble, but it would be worth it. I had a job yesterday. It was the classic case of lock the door, step outside, close the door, and then remember the keys are on the coffee table. Normally I don't give these kinds of jobs a second thought. This time it was different. The customer was a lady I'd say late forties to early fifties. Quite pleasant to work for. But she is also a care giver. The young man she is caring for is mid-20's hands twisted like pretzels, drooling constantly, and with the mental abilities of a five year old. Once the door was open and after we had settled the bill, she started asking about getting one of those keypad deadbolts for the front door. I made my recommendations and suggested she could save a lot of money by buying the lock, and installing it herself or have a friend do it for her. I didn't tell her, but I will tell you that the boss says if we provide the lock in a case like this, whatever the purchase price was, we double it. Then on top of that a charge for the service call. In this case the service call would be $90. Add to that the lock which may cost $45 and double that. You're now at $180. THAT for a $45 lock and half an hour's worth of work. I told you the boss is greedy. Anyway, she looks at me and asks if I'm available to do work off the clock. Seems to me this lady can use all the help she can get. So I have agreed to drop by in about two weeks and get the job done. And I will certainly be less expensive working off the clock than on. The only danger is the boss finds out, but that's not likely to happen. I'm not going to tell and the lady is getting the job done for a lot less money, so I don't think she is going to say anything either.
 
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RememberGoliad

Senior Member
Hey, you did what the customer called the office for, at the quoted rate, and completed the job arranged to the satisfaction and mutual benefit of both, right? Then anything else after that is between you and the customer so long as you're not involving your employer in any ongoing way. It's one thing to swing by in the work van full of work tools on the clock and pocket the proceeds, it's quite another to go help a new acquaintance on your day off using your own tools and in your own car. No different than if you were in Lowe's or HD, and a friendly-but-clueless customer strikes up a conversation about the technicalities of using something they're considering purchasing and you decide to offer your knowledge and ability to help them.

That knowledge in your head is YOURS. So long as you're not using something that's THEIRS without permission, the boss has no claim on the time nor the proceeds from any "side job" you might pick up. Greedy bastard or not, he has no monopoly on your knowledge.

I know you're not a "kid" but it's analogous... I have had high school kids that I've used on jobs as helpers, and they make side deals all the time with my customers, for things I'd do if asked....and probably pay the kid less to do it than he could get by doing it direct. I know about the existence of 98% of these 'side jobs' because one or the other--and sometimes both of em--will clear it with me before making a deal. I encourage it. I don't mind it at all. Hell, I've lent hand tools to one of the boys to go do jobs that way.

I'd go over there and put in that lock with exactly zero niggles from my conscience.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Hooo boy! Something just came down that I admit, I should have seen but didn't. As mentioned, before we are currently shorthanded in Ocala. This morning I get a call for me to go to Ocala and open a car. I call dispatch and point out this call is 45 minutes away from me. Are you sure you want me to go there? The answer was YES. We are short in Ocala and the guy who is down there now is overwhelmed. He needs help. I should have seen this coming. Now the other Gainesville smiths and I are going to be making a number of long distance calls to cover for Ocala. This is not going to be fun.
 

RememberGoliad

Senior Member
Not quite. I do think it is fair to ask her to pay for the parts. Other than that, we are in agreement. The Lord approves of those who go the extra mile, and care for those who cannot care for themselves.

I was presuming she'd pick out her own lockset and have it on hand for you.
 

day late

money? whats that?
I don't have long. I need to turn over the van to the new guy in a little bit. But this is one of those jobs that makes me feel like a thief. I had to go to a store in the Mall. They were having trouble with the front door lock. It was a simple fix. Take off a panel, tighten one screw, reinstall the panel. Total time, about 15 minutes. The boss charges $100 for the service call and another $90 per hour that I'm there. AND you pay for at least the first hour, no matter how long I'm there. So, it's $190 for 15 minutes' worth of work. I spent more time on the phone with the corporate headquarters doing paperwork than I did working. But I don't set the prices, I just do the work.
 

day late

money? whats that?
It's mystery time again. As I've said, we are down to one smith in Ocala. The boss said he is going to be rearranging the schedule. That's understandable. When he asked about it in our last meeting, I told him that the new guy and I were fine with the schedule as it was and there was no need to change it. NORMALLY the new guy would have dropped off the van this evening and I would be covering for the next few days. NOPE! The boss has changed it so that I have tomorrow off and then work Tues. though Thurs. That kind of throws things a bit out of wack for us. My problem is that I found out about it just before the new guy dropped off the van. He gets here and I tell him about the change. I also tell him to let me handle it and we will work the regular schedule this week and switch over next week. I could have made this fly with the boss, if he had let me. I dropped him off at his place, was on my way home when I get a call from the boss. The new guy has called him to get things sorted out. Now I have to turn around, pick up the new guy, get him to take me home, and then sit on my butt tomorrow, until the time comes for him to pick me up tomorrow. It's better to hand the boss an accomplished fact than to give him possibilities. That's how I would have made it work. I have the van, so let us do this week on the old schedule and we make the changes next week. Seems I have found the new guy's weakness. He's the nervous type. Doesn't want to rock the boat when he knows he has gotten into a good thing. I don't blame him for that. But it would have been easier to do it my way.

As far as Ocala goes, the boss is in deep doo-doo. I haven't really looked at the schedule yet, but a quick scan says that at least one day this coming week there will be NOBODY on duty. That's not good for business. I also notice that the son is going to be going down to Ocala once or twice next week to try to pick up the slack. That could explain the reason for the schedule change here, but it was un-necessary. The son drives the 'big' van and still could have gone down there without affecting my schedule at all, since the new guy and I drive the small van. Something is going on behind the scenes and I think this is one I'm going to take an interest in, as long as the boss is willing to listen.
 

day late

money? whats that?
Oh my, I hope I don't have any more days like today again, any time soon. It was a most unusual day. It started off easily enough. A lock out and an install of a keypad lock the customer had bought. No big deal. It was after that, that things got weird. I got a call to go to the local airport. There were a number of locks they wanted rekeyed. A big job, but nothing I can't handle. The problem was that the customer didn't want to talk to the lady at dispatch, he wanted to talk to the smith who was going to do the job. Based on the idea that I would have a better knowledge of what was needed. Well, the ladies on the phones are very familiar with what we do. But, okay. I called him and he told me a general idea of what was needed.

It sounded like an extensive job, needing a number of locks and parts, so I made arrangements to drop by before the scheduled time in order to make sure I had what was needed when I got there. I get there and we take a tour. The first door currently has to be opened from the inside. He wants it to open from both sides, but he has to be able to lock it from the inside for overnight. What he thinks is an adjustment is a complete replacement. We go inside. There are two doors the open from the inside into rooms that have very important equipment, and the hanger, so he wants some kind of keypad lock installed so that anyone in that room has to have the proper code to get into the rooms. The simplest answer is to remove the doorknobs, turn them around so that the keyhole is on the other side and put them back on the door. Then we get to a door handle that is cracked and is in defendant need of replacement. Next follows a door handle that is certainly failing. I mean when you put the key in the lock, the plug as we call it, shouldn't move in and out. It should only turn right and left. This thing doesn't turn at all and certainly moves in and out. MAYBE it can be fixed, but replacement is more likely. THEN we get to the room when some of the most important stuff is done and there is a push paddle on the door so that in case of an emergency the people inside just push the paddle and the door opens. In this case the paddle doesn't work at all.

Before I went to do the inspection, I called the boss and gave him an idea of what I was up against and said that I would be needing help on this job. He told me to look things over, take a lot of notes and even more pictures, then send them to him. I did that. Before I got out of the parking lot, he was on the phone asking questions. I answered them and he decided to take the job from me and would bring the help he needed. I have no problem with that. But the boss will. One thing I didn't mention is that the customer wants a master key for all the doors. That means the employees have a key that will work on their doors, but he will have a key that works on their doors as well as his. Quite a diference.

Then I get a call from the son. I need to go by his place so he can do inventory on my van. This is at about 4 P.M. I have a job lined up for 5:30 at a self-storage place to cut five locks. I report to dispatch, and they say no problem they will send it to the other smith here in town. At roughly 5 P.M. I get a call. The other smith is on his way out of town, so I have to handle the call. I got there at about 5:45 and the lady at the business says that first of all she has to be somewhere else in about 20 minutes. So, I can't do the job today. She also informs me that the smith who had been sent out before started to cut the lock on the wrong unit. This lock will never work again, so I have to have a replacement for it, after I finish cutting it off. BUT HEY, we can do that tomorrow.

A most interesting day, and I didn't tell you all of it.
 

day late

money? whats that?
So much for hoping. Yesterday just seemed like it wasn't going to end. And it seemed like half of the jobs were just weird. One of the first ones I got was way out of town. A lady needed to get the shed opened so she could mow the lawn. I talking about one of those places with lots of acreage. I get there and she has the key, but it doesn't work. This has happened so many times. I squirt the lock with WD-40, work the key in and out, and the lock turns just fine. Now she doesn't understand why that worked. After all she sprayed it with graphite. (Bang head on wall at this point) I explain to her that at the molecular level graphite is granular, just like dirt. Putting graphite in the lock has only compounded the problem. She took it well but did remark "I just paid you $165 just to learn that." Still, she was glad to be able to get to the mower. A little later I have to go to a guy that has the key broken off it the lock.

Usually when this happens it's because someone used the wrong key, got frustrated when it didn't work, and tried to force it. I just need to use a probe I have and work the thing out far enough to grab it with needle nose pliers and pull it out. Not this time and this is the only time I've seen this happen. Only about a quarter of the key broke off. The very tip of the thing. I've got to take the lock off the door, take it completely apart and get that little piece out, then put it all back together. I still don't know how just the tip of the key broke off, especially since it was the right key. Maybe the fact at some point in the past this lock was also sprayed with graphite had something to do with it.

This was followed by a business call. They had accidently closed the door, locked, with the keys inside. The problem here was that it is an industrial lever handle. Where most locks have only five pins, these will have either six or seven. Very hard to pick. Well, picking didn't work. But there was enough room to use the under the door tool. I tried that. I just couldn't get that thing to work either. As a last resort I air-bagged the door and began to use various tools to lever the latch back. At one point I had it, then the tool I was using to hold the latch open slipped and I had to start over again. I finally got it, but a real pain in the backside.

I was supposed to go back to the storage place to cut those locks. It also seems one of our guys went out there the day before I went and was about halfway through a lock when it was discovered it was the wrong unit. This lock is never going to work again, so I have to get a replacement to take with me and the lady gets that one for free. I call and leave a message that I'm on my way. Five minutes later I get a text from her. "Sorry, I'm not there today. I will call and reschedule."

This wasn't all of it, but man! what a day.
 
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