It's My Job: Fayetteville Observer Interviews Locksmith Business Owner

Name: Greg Wright

Age: 51

Employer: Rite-Way Safe & Lock Inc., www.ritewaysafeandlock.com

How long have you been a locksmith? "It's all I've ever done. I was born and raised right here," said Wright, as he sat next to a cluster of safes near the front of his Maxwell Street store.

How did you get into this work? "I was a big follower of my grandfather (A.P. Wright). It was to see what he would do. I used to say, 'If he was a plumber, I would be a plumber.' He started renting a building on Franklin Street in 1942. My grandmother said he was making money about '47. 'Bringing home a dollar.' He was the first in the family to walk away from the mill and become an entrepreneur. He just loved to tinker. The original name of the business was Master Repair Shop. The business evolved more after my grandfather got into safes. By the '50s, he was doing lock work. My grandfather was the founder, and my father (James "Billy" Wright) was the backbone. I really love the business of locksmithing that is in my blood."

Do you like your work? "Very much so -- meeting new people constantly who are in dire straits. We get people locked out of houses and cars constantly."

What are your duties? "Opening cars and re-keying locks -- everything from office furniture to keys. We do a little bit of everything. We also deal with safes."

Is there anything about the work that you dread? "It's not so much the work as it's 24/7 all the time. We don't run 24 hours like we used to, but we still work late hours because of our customers."

Is this a job you would recommend to someone interested in establishing a career? "I would say, it might be better to consider the (overall) field of security. Maybe not locksmithing, but something in the security field. Maybe something in the security area of electronics rather than locksmithing. The field has changed a little. Specify what you want to do."

- Michael Futch

Copyright 2014 - The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.

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