I came home yesterday to find that the wind had slammed the door to Zoey’s playroom shut. This wouldn’t have been a problem if not for the fact it had also locked the door and we didn’t have the keys. The door knob had been changed over 10 years ago and the keys misplaced.
Given its the weekend, I sent a few tentative SMSes out to the top few locksmiths that came up on Google just to gauge how much it would cost. It wasn’t a fortune, but I didn’t really feel like paying for it. I decided to Google how to pick a lock instead. Wikihow had a pretty good beginner’s guide but it needed some tools I didn’t have. I decided to sleep on it and look at the problem again this morning.
Woke up this morning and decided that I’m not going to ruin some locksmith’s Sunday by getting them to come do a 2 minute job for $50. Instead, I would solve the problem on my own. The playroom faces the corridor and the window happened to be open. So all I needed to do was to unlock the grilles and voila, entry to the playroom. However, once again, the padlocks on the windows are so old no one even remembers what the keys look like. So the only way I was going to be able to get in via the windows would be to break in.
So I took a sample of the type of padlock that was on the window and went down to the hardware store. When I told the guy at the counter what I needed, he pointed to a box with a bolt cutter and told me that would work. I went and grabbed the cheapest one ($18) and proceeded to pay for it.
He looked at me and asked: “Do you have the strength to use this?”
Me: “I won’t know until I try right?”
Counter guy: “Ya, true. You go and try. I help you set it up correctly first”
He then proceeds to adjust it and demos how to use it.
Country guy: “I think you cannot. Never mind, you try and if cannot, you come down and let me know. I come and help. Or maybe you buy kopi for the construction workers and ask one of them to go help you.”
Me: “Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.”
So I got home, grabbed the tall stool and proceeded to cut the padlock on the middle grille. It takes a bit of work, but once I manage to get the grip on the padlock, it cuts easily and within minutes I’m climbing into the playroom and unlocking the door.
So what did I learn today?
- There is always more than one way to solve a problem.
- People will offer help or provide suggestions. You just need to ask. You also need to decide what help you need and you honestly won’t know until you try tackling the problem yourself.
- I really like tinkering and fixing things. The sense of satisfaction from breaking open the padlock versus just calling the locksmith was awesome.
- We live in a really old HDB flat. I’ve put in a new lock on the window grilles but it’s time to review our security, our locks, our grilles.
For now, I’m going to go buy a new door knob and replace the old one so we won’t have to climb in through the window again.