It's A Wonderful Life

May 2, 2019
Locksmithing remains an interesting vocation because no two jobs are alike. New challenges await every day.

At one time I visited the Abloy lock factory in Finland. Abloy padlock bodies are formed in an oval shape. I watched as a man sat in front of a large sanding wheel and hand-formed each padlock body into the oval shape we know so well. At another location in the factory people were seated around a large table. They were assembling springs and parts in place to produce a completed mortise lock. I am sure each person in the factory was proud of the work they were doing and the locks they were producing but my mind was drawn to the repetitive nature of the work they were doing.

My grandfather worked as a mailman in Chicago during the depression years of the 1930s. I am sure he was happy to have any kind of job during those trying times. While delivering mail is a noble occupation, it again illustrates a repetitive type of business. Both my grandfather in Chicago and the assemblers in Finland had become accustomed to working an exact amount of hours each week, working in a known routine, and having to do more physical than mental assignments.

The difference between locksmithing and the businesses described above came to mind recently when I tried contacting a locksmith friend by phone. There was no answer on his phone and I found out later that he had taken a couple days off to attend Mardi-Gras in New Orleans.

No two days in our business are alike and that is what makes it so interesting. There is very little repetition here. We have to think on our feet at all times. Whether it is a baby locked in a car or a request for a large access control job, the pressure is on. However, we are our own boss. Pressure does not extend to how many letters you deliver or how many mortise locks you assemble each day.

It is your choice to accept a job or not accept a job. You can hustle one day and take it easy another day. The choice is yours. What a wonderful life!