Saturday, April 16, 2011

Der Schlüsseldienst

11 comments
Just a few Mondays ago, leaving our apartment around 8pm to go celebrate a friend's birthday, we accidentally left one set of keys on the inside of the door.

And closed the door with the keys still in the lock on the inside.

We had one set of keys with us, but having the other set in the lock on the other side effectively prevents anyone from entering, even with the key. Our apartment door, pretty typical in Germany I think, has no moving parts on the outside except the keyhole. There is a doorknob you can grab, but that's its only purpose - it doesn't turn. On the inside there is a lever to use when you go out.

We realized it right away. There is just one screw on the outside of the lock ensemble which we removed, and tried to stick stuff in there, but didn't figure anything out. So, we asked the neighbor for a phone book and called the locksmith - der Schlüsseldienst.

We went outside the building to wait for him since we didn't have anything else to do. After a few minutes, a very snazzy-looking car pulled up. Out stepped a very tall, young, very well-dressed guy who looked just a little too smooth. We rode up to our apartment in the elevator with him. I passed the screw we had taken out of the door back to my husband, and when the locksmith saw this he gave this smug little chuckle.

We brought him to our apartment door. He took something out of his bag, stuck it in the hole where the screw had been, and clicked. This entire process (including opening the bag) took less than a minute....and cost 80 Euro.

No wonder he was so nicely dressed and had such a nice car.

I had been wondering what to do with my life. Wonder no more...it's all about being a locksmith.

11 comments:

  1. You were lucky. Seriously, that's about the best outcome you could expect. Pretty often they destroy your lock, replace it and bill you several hundred. (Threats to beat you up if you don't pay on the spot optional.)

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  2. 80 Euro!?! Holy. No wonder he was a fancy dresser with a nice car. Might have to find me a new profession in Germany!

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  3. I think you did very well. I locked myself out last year on a day my husband was out of town. The guy I called took something out of his bag (wouldn't let me see it), slid it down the side of the door and it opened immediately. €100.00. I bet it was a plastic credit card he slid down the side of the door, (smile).

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  4. Uh, just 80 EUR? That's likely to be the fee for just getting the guy there, particularly on nights or weeks-ends. The girl next to me spent about 180 EUR on a similar incident.

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  5. Add me to the list of those who say you got off easily. And had it been the weekend, you'd have probably paid triple.

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  6. All the more reason to become a locksmith!

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  7. The same thing happened to me when I was living in Vienna. Totally jet lagged, I slept the day away and jumped up to run buy some food before the stores closed. In my haste, I ran out the door without the key and realized my mistake as the door clicked shut. That was the day I learned the word Schlüsseldienst. My Schlüsseldienst was as, er, efficient as yours! :)

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  8. Wow! I constantly fear locking myself out of these stupid German doors and often double and triple check I have my keys when I gather my things to leave the apartment. You've inspired me to quadruple check now! *ugh* Kind of wished I learned a thing or two from the time I dated a locksmith...

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  9. I almost had to do the same thing in Chicago and it would have cost $150. I think they're all rich.

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  10. Almost? Did you manage to get in yourself? :)

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  11. Oh no. That is one of those moments where you seriously wish you could push a rewind button. I am sorry you had to shell out 80 Euro.

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