Although not a pleasant experience, all of us have misplaced or lost our keys. Many of us spend long stressful minutes trying to find our keys, again, having sworn before that we would put them where we could find them…easily and quickly.
And then, there is the key or the lock that does not work. How frustrating. For the last 5 years all you had to do was put the key in the door and it opened. It did not take special thinking or enormous amounts of time. Just insert the key and turn it.
Here I am pulling into my driveway, as I have done hundreds of times before, and take some deep breaths. I had just come from a long client meeting and wanted to get inside, kick off my shoes and find my favorite chair and “think through” the next valuable and needed steps to create some outstanding results together.
I already had my keys in my hand, my purse on my shoulder, my laptop case in my other hand and my trusted water bottle tucked in my elbow.
Insert the key. Nothing.
Still balancing my stuff, I tried again using the key already in the lock of the door. Nothing.
So I started setting down all my “stuff” so I could take a look at why this might be happening.
Well, not only would the key not work it would also not come out of the lock. Thankfully, my next door neighbor has an extra key for my home. I got her on the phone and she was actually on her way home too. Yay.
I took that extra key and opened the front door and entered my home…kicked off my shoes and set everything down.
Off I went to the back door and jiggled the key and lock; pulled; cursed and then took the rest of the assembly stuff off that I have on the key ring. It was a lot of stuff. My kids’ home keys. Library sticker. Gym sticker. Car key fob. Carabiner. Religious symbol. I discovered as I tried to get all that off the ring while the key was stuck in the door, was requiring some talents that I had not fully developed.
I called a locksmith. Asked about availability – told my sad story to someone who answers the phone and who actually did not care about my sad story. It was going to be about $250.00 to get the key out, change the locks and change the front door lock if the first lock would not be easily fixed…and they could come to my home the next afternoon.
Now I was mad, inconvenienced, and still had a key in my back door that would not allow me to get the key out and would be in the door ALL NIGHT.
The key fixer would not be there until the next day. I imagined all kinds of terrible scenarios of my key being stuck in the door all night and poor, unlocked me, could be in serious danger.
I called Tom, my maintenance guy for the home I rent, and asked him if he might have a solution. The next morning Tom came over, oiled the lock, slide the key out and tested it several times. I tipped Tom and thanked him profusely.
“So, Natalie, why are you telling us this story?”
The KEY to our solutions can be very simple or we can complicate the heck out of them. Tom is also an expert key fixer, but it is not a skill I would have thought that was true about him. His truck is totally dented; he always looks like he needs a shave (and he does); he smokes non stop and he lets me know that what he accomplished is no big deal. And my key stuck in my back door was an emergency for me.
Not an emergency for anyone but me. It just was not on my list of “knowing” how to fix the key issue.
Now, if you ask me about leadership, communication and behavioral performance, you will get “fixed” well.
My question for you is…what are you complicating that is really simple, that others are expert at and would easily help you with?
Tom is now my go to for all “fixing” stuff. If he can’t do it, I buy a new one. And if he cannot fix it, he will know who can and will recommend that person to me. He is a one stop fixing guru for all the stuff I don’t know or don’t want to do.
It was a perfect lesson for me about judging and need. I needed the key removed and to have a working lock on my home. I did not need a locksmith, but I did need some help. So I thought about who could I ask for that help?
Who do you have, probably right near to you either technically or physically, that can help you solve and give you the Key to the right solutions? Ask them.
People love to help. Tom also loved his big tip. He had solved for me a big problem I did not know how to fix.
Just so you know, I now have a can of WD40 under my kitchen sink. I’ve taken to using that stuff on everything.
Thank you Tom. Thank you locksmith who potentially was a solution for my door/key issue. Thank you to me for thinking clearly, even during my perceived emergency, what else could help solve this.
To your success,
P.S. There are thousands of books; opinions; solutions for what might be troubling you. When we are in a space where we need clarity, having a thousand answers is not helpful. What would be the value of speaking to an experienced and valued coach, me, where we can find out what is most important to you and for you and then SOLVE it with an action plan? Email me. I would be delighted to be key in helping you produce your next successes, along with your brilliant ideas and valued experiences. Oh my, what a team we will be!!