I never expected to get through life unscathed, but lately, things have been going wrong on almost a daily basis.
The last incident started after a weeklong trip to visit my mother. We had a lovely time together, so the fates took a rest there. But a few days later, they started acting up again when I noticed that the latch to my door lock had cracked. Naturally, I blamed the last ne’er do-well locksmith who charged me $300.00 for a $35.00 lock. After learning that I could buy a door with a lock in it for that price, I tried sweet-talking them into a refund, though sweet-talking doesn’t always work when certain people have your money. Remember that. It is a cardinal rule of life.
I called them three years after the installation and asked them what kind of an outfit they thought they were running, but that didn’t change anything, either, though venting made me feel better.
Thinking that the broken piece would leave a glitch in my home security system, I decided to replace it. The owner at a nearby hardware store examined it and declared it to be the work of a burglar. I’d asked two people to check in on my place when I was gone and suspected them before launching into some musings about true friends and the meaning of life, et cetera.
I mentioned it to someone in my building who told me of other units that had also been robbed. The landscaper suggested I install an anti-theft device resembling a metal ruler that would make it hard for anyone to jimmy the lock with a credit card. It was brilliant.
Lowe’s didn’t have it security lock, but the salesman referred me to a locksmith who did, so after buying a new lock, I drove to his shop. He found it on a dusty shelf, opened the package and explained the installation process.
“This will work even on a metal door frame?” I asked.
“Of course, but if you need any help, give me a call, and I come do it for you. I only charge you $75.00.”
Wondering what kind of a rummy he though I was, I took the package and left.
Later that night while installing the new lock from Lowe’s, I managed to lock myself in and started sweating especially after noticing the hole where the doorknob had been. I thought about calling that locksmith but decided against it because it was late. I was going to call my building’s security guard, when remembering the credit card trick, I sprung myself out and installed the new lock.
The next day, I went to work on that metal guard unaware that the nails in the package the locksmith sold me were the wrong kind.
Back at Lowe’s, a saleswoman pinpointed the problem as we went into a whole diatribe about locksmiths and how this one tried setting me up to get more business. Then she armed me with the right screws and a new drill bit.
But I had trouble drilling the doorframe outside my place and found the building’s maintenance man and asked for his help.
“No one tried to break in,” he said examining the damage. “If they did, then why isn’t the door scratched? Did they use a special drill that bends?”
‘Good point,’ I thought.
“You can’t drill here anyway because it isn’t yours. Anything inside your unit belongs to you. Anything outside belongs to the building.”
I abandoned the project and returned the lock and the remaining screws. The moral of the story is that even hardware store owners can be wrong, that locksmiths are seldom choir boys and that maintenance men are often smarter than the average bear.