Friday, 21 January 2011


The Problems of Rectory Living, Part 154.

We've had big problems with the patio door lock for ages now. The darn thing's mechanism won't lock because the deadlocks won't engage, but with gentle persuasion, after about 10 or 15 minutes we have been managing to get it locked. However, last night and this morning it just will not work any longer. Archie was our burglar alarm last night, but obviously insurance companies don't accept big dogs as replacement locks!

So, off to Yellow Pages today to acquire a locksmith! After a long conversation with a very nice wee lassie from Manchester, she went off to book the job in and kept me "on hold" for the longest time.


Sorry Sir, but we can't do this job.


You are classed as a business address.

It's my home!

But you don't own it.

No, but ....

It's a Vicarage, isn't it?


So you don't own it.

No, but I'm chair of a committee that does own it, I'm one of the church trustees, and I sign the cheques.

But you don't own it, and we need authorisation from the owner.

How do you get that?

We can't, so we cannot do this job.

But why not?

Because it's a Vicarage and we can't change the locks, for legal reasons, unless we get the home-owner's approval.

But I have been given the authority to authorise this job.

But the house doesn't belong to you.

Well, it jointly belongs to me as one of three trustees...

But you don't pay the mortgage.

There is no mortgage!

So, since you didn't pay the mortgage the house doesn't belong to you. Vicarages are classed as businesses, and we don't do businesses.

But it's my hoose!

Sorry, sir, but maybe you can get a local locksmith who is prepared to take the risk.

But unless you are sending someone up from Manchester, you would be calling a local locksmith?

But we can't do that because you are a business.

Can I speak to your manager?

(Now go to the top of this conversation and repeat the explanations and questions with the same answers)

So, I phoned the local locksmith and he'll be round within the hour. Probably the same guy I'd have been getting anyway! Ah! The joys!

My problem is that I know too many guys who could get the door open in a twinkle, but not enough who can get it to lock up again!

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