Keys lost down drain in Blacktown – Key Fishing Time
I am never going to become rich from being a locksmith – I just don’t have what it takes. I don’t have what it takes to look someone in the eye and tell them they need a lock replacing when I know I can fix I can fix the lock with a much cheaper barrel replacement. I don’t have what it takes to do unnecessary work, something that is rife within this industry. This lack of riches does not trouble me. I know I am a locksmith as opposed to a superhero bit I am still lucky to be in a job which involves helping multiple people who are in trouble every day and I take pleasure in it.
The elderly who are living alone make up a sizeable portion of my business. I take great pride in servicing these people knowing the because of their age, their infirmity and being alone they are soft targets to shysters. I remember attending the home of one elderly gent who wanted his house rekeyed because he believed someone had broken into his home and stolen the insulation from his ceiling. A quick check of his ceiling made it clear that indeed there was no insulation in it but neither was there any indication that there ever had been. I suspected the poor gent had been targeted by one of the fly by night insulation installation companies that sprang up and then disappeared during the global economic crisis and that they had targeted him knowing he was too infirm to get into his roof to see if the work had been done… So they had just pretended to do it and in fact had installed nothing.
It placed me in a difficult position. I didn’t wish for the poor guy to incur further expense rekeying because of an imaginary thief. Neither did I want to embarrass him by explaining I thought he’d been tricked. It was now some five years after the insulation company had come and gone so there was little point in trying to take the matter further. In the end I did rekey his locks but charged him only for the wholesale price of the new barrels and a small amount of my time in attending. He never knew of the favour I was doing him but that’s okay because I did. I left my card with him and let him know I was in a consortium of tradesmen who provided services to the elderly so if ever anyone came around offering him services such as removing dangerous algae from his roof tiles, or to rewire his whole house to bring it up to modern code…. to give me a call first so I can check he was getting the best price. He never did call me again – I like to tell myself that’s because no one tried to take advantage of him again and he had no reason to. I hope I am right.
I had another similar job recently where an elderly lady had dropped her keys down a drain. It was going to be a very lucrative job for me as she was going to need her whole house rekeyed, new keys for her car and a new transponder. The poor dear was beside herself and was very concerned about how she was going to manage as a result of this huge expense.
The drain that had swallowed her keys with right out the front of her house. It was not possible to see down the drain where the keys were but I had some experience with this problem had previously been able to recover some keys using a powerful magnet on the end of a strong piece of fishing line. It wasn’t in my interests to offer this solution because if I found the keys I was doing myself out of work worth in excess of $1000 but like I said…. I’m not a superhero but I don’t take advantage of people in difficult circumstances.
10 minutes of drain fishing later and I had found not only my new customers keys but also a second rather weathered looking set which she bashfully admitted were also hers… lost down the same drain only three months before. She had called another locksmiths that time who had replaced all her locks and she had been too embarrassed to call them back to say she had done it again.
All’s well that ended well I charged her for my normal callout fee but of course there was no charge for lock or key replacement. I was lucky enough to leave with five jars of her fantastic tomato chutney and tomato jam. Tomato jam for the uninitiated is superb, without a doubt the best jam I’ve ever had the pleasure of to try.
Here’s hoping I need to do a spot of drain fishing in the future because only two weeks after this job I am down to my last jar.