Back when I was an employee the slightest sign of a sniffle was enough for me to be ringing my manager. “I am a workshy fop, and I’m not coming in today because you’re going to pay me anyway.” That, of course, ended when I resigned from my ‘Big Business’ career path.

Today, and indeed yesterday, I dragged myself out of bed and to the van, sick as a very ill dog, to go and open some doors. Being self-employed, as I’m sure the majority of readers are, we keep the UK pharmacists in business, doping ourselves up on Lemsip and aspirin (other cold cures are available ed) and whatever else we think will help. None of it does*, of course, it just makes us feel a little more human again, so we can get out and earn. Which helps drive the evolution of the common cold – less impact, but longer duration and more infective.

Because, of course, I have no fat pension to fall back on, no sick days, or ‘Duvet Days’ – yes, some employers offer these so you can throw a sickie without throwing a sickie, to let you stay in bed all day, guilt free! – so failing to get out of bed means no income. Even worse, for pre-booked jobs it would mean letting down whoever had asked you to attend.

Some days, like today, I think I must have been slightly mad to quit a cushy non-job with a pension, until I think back to just how bad sitting at a desk all day was, with no actual work and nothing to keep my mind occupied. If the work had stayed interesting, I’d have stayed. And, that, of course, is why I love locksmithing. After more than a decade I still don’t know the answer to every question, and I have yet to master every technique. Perhaps one day it will be boring, though I hope not. I am constantly learning new things, and, indeed, teaching them. The forum is great for that!

Since apparently a change is as good as a rest, I have, on occasion taught others to be locksmiths. I generally don’t do beginner classes, preferring to teach more advanced skills. However, in a first for me, I’m going to be teaching a 5 day course next week. Some poor daft soul who has his heart set on being a locksmith, joining the crowded market. I can only hope he has done his market research!

The other thing, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, is I’m relaunching KibbLock. Yes, I’m (re-)starting a lock manufacturing company in the UK. Very sensible…

As they say (who?) a change is as good as a rest – and I so need a rest!

Obviously though, if I rest, then I don’t get paid. So a change it is.

We all need to adapt to survive, to evolve, in today’s fast moving market. Just look at the rate at which electronic locks have appeared. Mechanical locks with higher tolerances and better design are also appearing – I ran into the first code lock I couldn’t manipulate last week. Even after taking it apart, I can’t find even a theoretical attack on this, a very unreliable(!) clone of a well-evolved design. In a few more years we are going to be running into these things every day. What then? Even a simple issue can mean a door with no keyhole to pick, and not even the first clue where you could drill. The customer lost their mobile phone, and you need to open every door in the house? Could make for an interesting change! Right, time for another Lemsip, & my MasterLock 4400 bluetooth padlock has just been delivered…



This article originally appeared in the print edition of Locks and Security Magazine

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