I was driving my van through Burleigh Waters late on a Saturday afternoon when I saw a young guy standing on the side of the road making a phone call when all of a sudden he started waving at me to pull over. I did so and he asked me “Hey man.. Are you the locksmith?”
I pointed to the van, with the big LOCKSMITH writing on it, held up my bag of tools, flashed him my best “You guessed it champ!” grin and replied. “Yes, that would be me, I’m the Locksmith”.
“Aweseome! Man! I’m so glad I saw you driving past and caught you… I thought you were going to drive straight past. Can we make this quick? I need to get into my mailbox fast.”
My warning bells didn’t go off immediately. Many people lose the keys to their letterbox and usually, that’s the reason someone calls me to help them. I do all the due diligence, check addresses, IDs, and even take a photo of the person in some cases to confirm identity.
This young gentleman had left his Drivers Licence in a Hotel in Sydney accidentally and they’d express posted it back to him. The problem was… it was sitting in his letter box, which was locked, and his flatmate who was out of town had the only working key. My new client had to drive across to town to work in bar, super high chance he would be pulled over for a random breath test later that night so he didn’t want to risk driving without his licence.
What You Should Secure Before Fixing Client’s Letterbox?
We had a brief discussion about providing a right of entry to the letterbox which he accepted. He showed me he had keys to the building, and proved to me he was a resident, so I popped the letterbox in about 15 seconds flat. Letterbox security is usually not very high-tech, and in this case, the bar was set even lower.
To his relief his drivers licence was inside. So was a speeding fine which brought him less joy. I started filling out a bit of the paperwork to bill him for my time when he handed my my fee, thanked me and then raced off to his car as he was running late.
Too easy I thought.
I was walking back to my van when… a Locksmith Van pulls up.
Whoops I thought.
Looks like my new client had already called someone… I thought he hadn’t yet got through. When he asked me if I was the locksmith… I didn’t realise he was asking are you THE locksmith I called.
The other Burleigh Waters Locksmith was pretty understanding about it, especially when I handed him half the money I’d just been paid. The Gold Coast is a big place but it’s also a small place. We Locksmith’s pretty much know each other and though we are all competing for business we aren’t trying to actively hurt each other’s business. That’s just not a cool way to do business.
At some point when one or the other is too busy to take jobs we refer them on to each other, and it industry referrals from other Locksmiths would soon dry up if we started trying to poach jobs.
Anyway, all worked out fine.
My advice for share apartment dwellers is make sure you all have a key to the mailbox. You won’t need a key, until the day comes when you do.