As I mentioned before, I managed to break my lock on my apartment.  When my apartment complex repainted the door, they somehow made the bolt area too tight for the bolt.  So, not paying attention to it, I continued to use the lock and just kept applying more torque to the lock to lock and unlock the door.

Yesterday, the lock decided that it had had enough.  I locked the door like I normally do, and went to work.  After a long day of setting up my new office, practicing softball in the rain, not eating, and generally being exhausted, I got home, and turned the lock.  And kept turning.  And turning. And turning.  And the lock kept spinning.  Not good.  When I pulled my key out, the tumbler came with it.  Uh-oh.  And the door was still locked.  Oh boy…

So, time to try to resolve this issue.  Thank goodness for cell phones!  First call is to the apartment complex’s main number.  Yes, they were closed, (did I mention it was 9 o’clock at night?) but they have an emergency number on their message, in which one can call for after hours emergencies.  So, I write the number down and call and page the service guy.  So, I wait.  For 20 minutes.  After no call back, I called 411 on the cell and got a locksmith to come out.  Turns out the guy had to completely remove the lock and replace it.  I’m actually OK so far, I figure I’ll call the apartment complex in the morning to discuss how I will get my money back.

When I called the office the next day, they had changed their message, which now included a different emergency number.  No wonder I never got a response!   I figured that they must have changed something over that night.  Again, no problem, I’ll get things worked out, I think.  I finally reached a receptionist.  I explained what had happened.  She immediate sent me to the manager.  Good, or so I thought.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

I start speaking to the manager.  I explained what happened.  I thought I was reasonable and calm.  Then things started to go wrong.

The manager comes back and says, ‘Didn’t you get the notice?’ 

Me: ‘Huh?  What notice?’

Manager: ‘We put notices on everyone’s door two days ago.’

Me: ‘No, but I got a notice about the gym being moved.’

Manager: ‘That was it.  It also had information about the new emergency number’

Me: ‘Ah, I didn’t see it on the memo.  The subject and main paragraph was about the gym getting moved’

Manager: ‘Well, it’s not our fault you didn’t completely read the memo’

Me: ‘Wait a second.  The memo is sitting on my counter.  Because I was *LOCKED OUT OF MY APARTMENT* I could not read the memo’

Manager: ‘Well, it’s not our fault that you didn’t read the memo.  We sent it out two days ago’

Me: ‘Uh, if you knew about the number change two days ago, why didn’t you change the message on the answering machine?’

Manager: ‘Because it was in the memo’

At this point, I gave up.  I told her what I wanted her to do about my problem.  I spent a lot of money fixing a problem that should have been handled by the complex’s maintenance team.  She indicated that it wasn’t her problem.  At that point, I asked for the phone number of the company that owned the apartment complex.  She refused to give me the number.  Fortunately, I was able to call back, and speak to another person to get the number.  I didn’t reach the office, but I will on Monday.  Also, the manager called back stating that they would credit me for the cost of the lock.

I’m still a little peeved about this.  One thing that I learned from the Raving Fans training that I received is how to deal with an upset customer.  I’m a freakin’ computer programmer, and even *I* know that this was the wrong way to handle a situation.  In fact, all the manager had to say was, ‘It appears that the number change and the message change did not happen at the same time.  I am sorry that you had to go through that experience and I will see what I can do’.  THAT’S IT.  At that point, I would have been happy.  Instead I got blamed for the lock breaking, not reading every word of a memo that was stuffed in the door crack (wind, what wind?), and generally being stupid.

The moral of the story.  Always keep the emerency repair number in you cell phone.


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