In the building where I live, you get someone to do it for you.
Coming home from work today, it was so frustrating. I realized upon reaching my condo unit that I had forgotten my keys inside! I called my roommate Christian, who always came home early to go to the gym, except he informed me he was currently out of town! (What a great roommate that makes me, huh.)
I called Jose, my other roommate, but I knew he often came home late, and alas, he said he’d be home by 8:30. It was only 6pm. Rare moment that I got to come home so early. (Normally, I finish work around 9 to 10pm.)
I didn’t want to wait around so I went and visited the admin office and asked if they could open my door. I had visions of a brawny security guard smashing down my door with his boots, or forcibly breaking open the doorknob. Something entertainingly disastrous and violent.
The secretary picked up the phone and called someone, after she heard my problem. She told me to talk to the person on the end of the line, to negotiate the cost. We haggled. Five hundred per lock was the first offer. I had two and simply could not spend that much. He relented and said five hundred for both locks. Relieved I had slashed 50% off the price, I agreed and put down the receiver. Then the secretary gave me this flat look like she thought I was a stupid, stupid tenant — then called the guy back and haggled it down to 400.
“Will he destroy my locks?” I asked sadly, thinking of how much it would cost me to replace all my locks. Waiting two hours for my roommate to arrive was starting to get a lot more attractive.
“No. We have the master lock,” she declared with a bland look on her face, like she had done this many times over. “He’ll be here in 10 minutes. Don’t fret, he has got a motorcycle.” How efficient, I thought, though a bit puzzled why they had to hire a third party. Must be a specialist.
And then a stupid bit later, miffed that they had a master key. So anybody could just come into my condo??? Although I was wont to say this publicly, as I was there asking them to break in. Wouldn’t I sound just so uppity.
The guy finally arrived, and we were escorted by security to my door. Whereupon he bent down on the floor, took out some pieces of wire and tin… and picked both my locks with ease, in under 10 minutes. Master lock, indeed. Dumbly, I handed him my money, he grinned widely and was escorted out by security.
Somehow I think I will have trouble sleeping tonight…