I had promised a number of posts ago, to start telling the “complex tales” about where I’m working. I’ve found my life once again full of delightful (and some not-so-delightful) people who can make my day more interesting than I ever thought possible.
Several weeks ago, when I hired on ~ one of the problems was maintenance…or rather the lack of it. We tried Toby in the job – and that didn’t work out. I did have someone that lived at the complex who was versed in some of the skills that were needed, so it was decided to give him a try.
One of the first things anyone managing or doing anything at an apartment complex learns is how to drill a lock. Yes, sometimes you have to change locks for legal reasons (usually having to do with an eviction) and there is no key. It is not difficult to do – unless you don’t do it correctly.
It was the end of the day, and R said that he would drill the lock for me – we were taking possession of an apartment that someone had vacated before the police were going to arrive. As he had never done this before, I showed him where to drill (there are two places) and how deep to drill (drilling for oil will only complicate the process). He repeated the where and the what for ~ and I started on my way home. I had to walk to the train to had downtown and then wait for a bus to carry me home. I had no sooner gotten to the train station when the first call came from R. Disaster evidently had struck.
I turned around and headed back to work. I arrived to find a very frustrated newbie maintenance man, metal shavings all over the porch – and a lock that looked as if it had been hit completely in the middle by a meteorite…there was a one and one half inch crater in the center of a three inch lock.
Now we are in a mess. The purpose of drilling in two places is to get the pins to loosen and eventually drop off and the lock gently, quietly and sweetly comes open. If not, you have to continue drilling in a circular pattern around the lock hoping that the screws from the inside will eventually drop out and you can twist the lock open.
Literally 12 ~ yes ~ twelve holes later, one of the screws drops – but the lock pins are holding strong. I now have a newbie maintenance man with steam coming out of his ears and if not-gentle conversation from him could have melted the lock ~ it would have.
I decided that the time for direct action had finally arrived. I really didn’t think the second screw was going to drop, the pins were there for the duration and I really didn’t have anymore time to mess with it. Since the drill was made of metal – I delivered several strong blows with the side of the drill to the lock casing ~ and the second screw dropped. And we were home free…except for the 2nd lock. Looking at R I asked if he was OK doing he next one. He assured me he was and with a quick motion of the drill, he began. It was success!!
I took out the sword of management and dubbed him “no longer newbie” on the spot…and again wended my way home. I also would never admit to him that the first lock I ever drilled on a vacant apartment ~ we ended up kicking the door in because I made such a mess of it. I have SOME pride left after all!!!
—more to follow