I’ve been wanting to blog about this since it happened but some of my clients read this blog, so I had to put enough time between the event and the post so they can’t figure out if it was them with me that day.
I had been through a series of traumatic events and escaped with my family to Europe for a month. I knew I was temporarily outrunning my life and the rest of my family, that it would all rear end me eventually. The way I saw it, I was letting my foot off the brakes to ease the first blow.
My job, being at the top of my “don’t give a shit right now list” received the most neglect when I returned. I breezed through a month of messages and ignored followup to any of them.
In there was one about an upgrade to how we Realtors get into houses.
Here is the main way we used to do it. A lockbox goes on the door handle of a house for sale.
And it looked like this.
In that shadow area is an indentation to put the pager looking “key” we carry. Both have metal contacts so the key and box can “talk” to each other. Once the pin number is entered it spits out this little box with a key to the house so we can show it to the potential buyer.
So the upgrade was to affect 97% of the pager looking keys and we were to turn them in for a new key to the new system.
I didn’t go to the training or change out my key. I forgot about it.
A few months go by and finally I’m working with a buyer. I have a bunch of houses lined up to show and although I’m a little rusty, I’m ready to take on the world of work again.
We get to the first house, and I see this freaky thing on the door:
I flip it over, look everywhere, but there is no indentation to put my key. Suddenly the work messages flood my brain and “turn in your key/get trained for the new system” flashes red.
I look back at the client standing in the cold with her baby and smile. “Just a second.”
The good angel on my right shoulder says, “Apologize immediately. Tell her we’re done, you screwed up and don’t have a key to get into the houses. Hope she doesn’t find a more competant Realtor who won’t waste her time.”
The bad angel on the left says, “Hang on, act cool. Use your imagination to claw your way outta this jam.”
I stand up. Blink. Blink. Blink. I’m about to go with the good angel then have a split second change of heart.
I point my old key at the thing like it’s magic while I tell the client it’s sending wireless “messages” to the box. I go through the motions of tapping in my pin code to make it all look legit.
And the box drops open with a key to the house.
Turns out I had one of the 3% of the keys that didn’t need to be turned in. It had infrared and did indeed send a message to open that box.
I had no idea the thing was supposed to work this way and to this day have not attended the training for the new system.
Edited Note: This post was selected for Best of Holidailies.