Keeping Busy In The Storm! | Millennium Locksmiths
With Ciara, Brendan & Dennis causing havoc across the country, it’s understandable how the adverse conditions have affected everyone! The weather has caused various issues for the average homeowner, from strong winds to torrential rain. A preceding storm also hit some of the regions now being affected by Dennis, Ciara, which brought stronger winds than Dennis but less rain. Nevertheless, rivers were complete, and the ground saturated before Dennis arrived. This is why so many people are now affected by the weather, as there’s been no chance for the rain to calm between storms. The country has seen rainfall of up to 10cm in certain areas.
I don’t think it’s a surprise that strong winds mean a lot of door problems – we’ve all experienced a gust snatching a door and flinging it open or slamming it shut unexpectedly. The sheer force involved can cause damage and leave us on the wrong side of the door.
The phone started ringing early and kept going all day.
The day’s first call was straightforward – the customer had nipped out to their car first thing, and the front door had shut behind him. So it was a case of getting the door open so he could get back inside and finish getting ready for work, albeit a little late. A simple local job but one which needed responding to quickly, meaning that my routine was out of sync – but I’m used to that.
Next, I drove 10 miles to a business whose front door wouldn’t unlock. A crowd of people all waiting to get inside added to the pressure, but I got the door open quickly and replaced the high-security cylinder, which was faulty, and then it was on to the next job.
This time the customer was experiencing intermittent problems locking and unlocking their uPVC door. I diagnosed a faulty mechanism and was able to replace it from the stock I carry on the van, meaning the customer was safe and secure immediately without the need for a return visit. A much-needed cuppa here with the customer before going off to the next job – all the while, my phone was ringing with enquiries from potential customers about jobs and suppliers about parts orders. It cannot be easy to juggle these.
The next job was a 20-minute drive to another slammed door, so a case of opening the door and checking that the violent way the door had shut hadn’t damaged the latch.
Whilst many of these jobs are straightforward, there is a degree of pressure in travelling between the jobs – the wind and driving rain made road conditions difficult and slowed me down – I hate keeping customers waiting. Still, it can’t be helped sometimes, and I always try to inform customers of any delays.
Then it’s back across the county after a hasty sandwich to another customer who cannot lock their front door. This time it’s an old door mechanism which has given up the ghost. Here the customer opted to upgrade the cylinder to a high-security Thumbturn for added peace of mind. Fortunately, this customer had a porch so I could shelter from the persistent rain.
It’s a frustration that I’m not always able to help customers when they ring – I have to consider their location and factor in where I already have work booked. There is simply no sense in zigzagging endlessly across the countryside – it would mean most of my time in the van rather than doing locksmith work. A quick pause between jobs to place my stock order for delivery tomorrow – unusually difficult today because of the poor phone signal!
Mid-afternoon, the traffic gets worse as schools finish and the light is fading (my job is trickier in the dark), so I was keen to get the last jobs done quickly. Next was a job for a letting agent – a landlord wanted the locks changed at the end of a tenancy – the trickiest part of this job was the parking. Fortunately, it was a quick job, and I was off again. This time to a home where the door had jammed earlier in the day – an old Sashlock jolted out of place when the door slammed. A fiddly job to get the door open but then straightforward replacement of the lock.
People rushing around in the wind and rain can quickly lose their keys, so that was the next job – fortunately, down the road from the last one. Here it was simply a case of opening the door and changing the cylinder, Phew!
Finally, I could go home, but the work’s not done yet; today’s stock delivery is to be put away in the van ready for tomorrow, a couple of return visit appointments to make with customers and then today’s invoices to send.
What a day!