Do you have a Plan B?


Recently, when the manservant was in Chile,  I walked out of the house, pulled the front door shut automatically locking it and,  as I went to put my key into my bag,   realised I was holding the mailbox key!!!!

There’s that second when you look stupidly at the item in your hand as your brain tries to process what’s happened.

Then there’s an utterance like damn, shit, fuck, as you wonder  “how am I going to get back inside”.

Then you can either fall apart or go off to work and, like Scarlett, worry about it later.

I went off to work & as I sat on the train I remembered that I’d given a spare key to a work friend after I’d broken my shoulder last year.    I thought there might be a time that I didn’t turn up for work and she’d have to come and look for me either naked and slippery on the bathroom floor or broken at the bottom of the stairs!

I guess that means I have a Plan B:    I’ve said before and I must say again I *love* my metro station billboards from the Office of Emergency Management!


50 responses

  1. I think “fuck” is my word of choice in that situation. 😉

    I hope this situation is since resolved, i.e. you’re not locked out of your house, are you? I dislike doors that lock automatically. We used to hide a key in our back stairwell but then the breakins happened.

  2. After I locked the dog in the still-running car thinking the little unlocky button on the remote would, oh, I don’t know, unlock the door, I have always kept a spare car key in my wallet. I don’t carry a purse because I lose them but I always know where my wallet is. I figure I can get in my house no matter what, especially since Mr. and Jr. are always home *sigh* and let’s just say there are other ways as well. But with a car key, I can always get home.

    Unless The Damn Car™ makes that impossible, too.

    Glad you had a rescue hero available!

    • I once had a stupid incident where somehow the car key fell off the ring and “ricocheted” into the car just as I shut the door. I was peering through the window looking at the key lying on the seat whilst still holding the keyring! Luckily I’d already got the baby-princess out of the car but my ex-husband was way less than happy at having to bring his key to us. After that he put one of those magnetic key holders under the car but I never needed it.

      Whenever we rent a car it’s usually the manservant who drives and I’m always nagging “have you got the key? have you got the key?” because we’re not used to having a car I suspect it might be easy to leave the key in the ignition.

  3. Ah..this happened to me couple of times and during late night lol.. And I ended up sleeping outside my door cuz I can’t call for help and all spare keys are w/ me and inside, too.. Hmm, I always stay calm but almost cry.. so none of those words i had used ( never used to.. ).

    Glad ur friend still has ur spare key ^.^ No more worries!

  4. I started hiding spare keys in various parts of my parents’ yard after I discovered all of the external doors on their house have those stupid buttons on the doorknob that will lock you out if you don’t check to make sure they’re not in the lock position. My mother is always pushing them, and as a result I’ve been locked out of the house more times than I care to count. My brother swears she does this on purpose. I said, does it really matter when you’re standing outside at 10 pm after making one last trip out to drop something in the garbage can? Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, blah blah blah. 😀

    • Sometimes those “stupid buttons” can be pushed and turned horizontal to the floor so that it is difficult (or impossible) for a person with the key to unlock them. Someone inside has to turn them back to vertical (for the key to work) or pop the button out. (I know this because it happened to the princess – luckily her brother is a locksmith!). I wouldn’t feel comfortable hiding a key in our midget front yard as I’d assume that “someone” saw me and knew what I was doing. Our back yard is a possibility but I’d have to scale the fence to get in and then once I’d unearthed the key I’d have to walk back around the block to the front door as we have a back door that doesn’t unlock from the outside! And, I’m sure there’s one of those “laws” that says the time I need that key will be the time there is 2 feet of snow covering my hiding spot!

  5. I don’t have a plan “B” in regards to keys. Probably should make one, shouldn’t I?

    Several years ago my husband and I lived in a 4th floor apartment. One Saturday I accidentally locked myself out without my keys. I figured I’d have to wait until night when the husband returned to BKK to get back in. Thank goodness one of our Thai rock-climber friends dropped by about that time. He saw that our balcony door was open, so he climbed up the apartment balcony railings to our apartment and opened the door for me! It was great.

    • Oh, that’s a great story! It must be fun to retell that as not many people could claim rock-climber friends coming to the rescue. We never leave any windows or the balcony door unlocked so even if I had rock climbing friends I’d still be screwed.

  6. I have a spare key at work. I have a spare key in my car. And, most importantly, I have spare house & car keys in a lock box hidden on my house. One $300+ locksmith bill (because the keepers of my backup key had lost it and not told me) was enough to teach me to pay $35 for a lockbox!

    • Ouch @ $300 (and careless friends!) That’s a good idea about leaving a spare at work – I think I’ll do that. In the book I was reading today the character hid a spare key to his house in his neighbour’s yard. That way if it was found the finder would assume it was for that house, not his, and assume the lock was changed when it didn’t work LOL…

  7. You’ve got to hide a key…………under something, on a nail, dig a hole to place a small jar in…..
    In reality, locks only keep friends and yourself out of your home. Robbers won’t hunt for a hidden key, they smash and enter if they want to get in. So, go ahead and hide a key so you have easy access to your home. 😉

  8. The billboard is hilarious, but the thought of you lying broken on the bathroom floor or at the bottom of the stairs really causes me to shudder.

    It’s actually a really good idea to give a key to trusted friend who could come check on you if you don’t show up for work. It could very well save your life.

    A couple years ago when I was working on a temporary project at my present company one of my co-workers didn’t show up for work, and he hadn’t called either. This was a guy who did EVERYTHING on a schedule. He came and went at exactly the same times and had his lunch and walks at exactly the same times every day. The one time he was late due to a blow out, he called.

    We knew something was wrong when he didn’t show up, and someone called the police, but because he was an adult with no known health condition we couldn’t report him missing until he was missing for 48 hours. The waiting was so unnerving. When the police did go check on him they found him in bed. He had died in his sleep. It was very sad. We were a small group working very intensely on a demanding project. He was only a few years older than me. Even though I didn’t really know him it hit me very hard. As it turned out, he had a heart condition, which he had not shared with us. He was a sweet guy.

    So, okay… cannot be broken on the bathroom floor or at the bottom of the stairs. I said so.

    • Oh LBeeeze I remember that sad story from a comment you left on a post I’d done on not seeing my elderly neighbour for a few days. It would’ve been such a shock to you all. I’m also very regimented in my schedule so it’s nice to know that someone does have a key and will come looking for me earlier than the police would.
      When the manservant goes away he leaves me with the words “and remember, you are not allowed to fall” …. 🙂 LOL

      • I totally agree with the manservant. You are not allowed to fall. It comforts me to know you’d have someone coming by to check on you if you failed to appear on schedule.

  9. Since I used to go out in the middle of nowhere to work on remote equipment, I learned early on to physically look at my keys in my hand, concentrate and tell myself at least twice that, yes, those were indeed my keys, all before locking my truck. It’s a long walk to anywhere in the cold and snow. No mistakes. Plan B? Probably a rock. LOL

    • I learned early on to physically look at my keys in my hand, concentrate and tell myself at least twice that, yes, those were indeed my keys” I have my house key on a boomerang keyring – it reminds me to come back 🙂 so I usually feel the shape of that. My house key, the mailbox key and the shed key hang on a key holder and my house key is always the one closest to the door. It mystifies me why I went over a few hooks and got a key which is tiny and has a keyring nothing like a boomerang! I must’ve subconsciously thought the USPS was doing night deliveries …. ha ha ha.

  10. Oh, Yes ! … I sympathize ! …
    Everybody, one day is in the same situation ! … Last summer, I was ! … I ask my neighbours permission to come back home through their balcony : they refused, they did not believe that I was an acrobat, but at least, I did it ! … And then I broke my window glass !

    • Wow Apolline that’s impressive! I would not like to break my glass – I imagine it’s expensive to get it repaired and I wouldn’t be able to sleep in the house with a broken window (too scary!).

      • I had to repare my window :((( 50 € and the worry to carry it to home without breaking it ! … To change a broken window, I’m an expert now ! … But it was less expansive than to change the lock of the security door ! … After all that … my key is now every day under my underwear, hanging from a ribbon :))))) ! …. Don’t tell it to anyone ! … :)))

  11. My backup plan is Roomy. None of us has ever lost a key – so the chances of us losing them when the other one got locked out …? Slim, or?
    Actually we have that kind of door that doesn’t lock you out if you shut it. You have to physically lock it with a key. It’s kind a annoying but for a very good cause.

  12. had to smile as daughter2 had the same thing happen to her this week. she had to go to the real estate agent to ask for their master key to get in again, as both spare keys she had left with family could not be located (men were looking for them!).

    • LOL @ men were looking for them…. I’ve been responsible for locking and unlocking a residence for 35 years and have never locked myself out before or lost a key (that I can remember) – hope this is not the beginning of the big decline…. !!!

  13. my next door neighbor has a key, and I am pretty sure I have a key in my dragon out back, and I THINK I did give a key to my sister (who lives a few blocks away) recently, though I may not have. she had one before I changed the locks and then we discovered I didn’t give her one when I asked her to pick something up from my house last year. Pretty sure I got a couple copies after that.

    • It would be hard for me to give a key to a neighbour, comfort wise. If the manservant and I are away at the same time we give keys to a couple who come in and work using our wifi and generally hang out away from their kids and I give a neighbour that stupid mailbox key to keep the box clear. All those years I lived in Sydney no-one had a spare key to our house though I had keys to a few others’ houses. When I lived in the middle of no-where no houses were locked so there was never a problem with being locked out.

  14. Our front door is easy to accidentally lock. It’s happened enough times that we’ve got a spare set hidden in the storage shed! One time I had to knock the screen out (luckily it was summer and the windows were open), and stand on a cinderblock to climb inside.

    • We never leave windows open so I’d have to break glass to get in – I think at that stage it would be better to call a locksmith. I could never sleep in the house with a broken window and I think calling a glazier after hours would be hideously expensive. Calling a locksmith at night would be expensive too – so I’m glad someone else had a key for me! 🙂

  15. After the third time I locked my car keys inside the car and had to phone the RACQ to break into the vehicle I had three duplicates cut….they are hidden in various places OUTSIDE the car.

    • With the exception of the stupid incident mentioned above to KatZ (which I don’t consider to be my fault really) I’ve never locked keys in a car. And, ’til this recent incident I’d never locked myself out of a house either – I’ve always been really paranoid about checking I had keys. Senility might be creeping in…..

  16. >.< Oh no!!! I've been locked out before in the winter, and had to take refuge at a neighbors until a family member came home. XD I'm so glad that there's managers and RA's who have extra master keys, too.

    • You were lucky to have neighbours you could visit until family got home. Actually, that happened to our next door neighbour – she had her lock changed while she was at work and the locksmith was supposed to leave the new key hidden off the side of her front steps but she couldn’t find it. It was 10pm and she knocked on our door, nearly crying, and had a couple of drinks with the manservant while she waited for the locksmith to get back to her! She was lucky the manservant was home because I don’t open the door at night when I’m by myself – especially at 10pm!

  17. You have proven something here that only comes with age: best not to panic )…think clearly. After cursing. It clears the mind. I do not always remember it but I do much more often now than in years past.

  18. And I keep a spare key hidden as well as one in my handbag. But our big old door here will only lock with a key. Handy that. However, if I lost the key somewhere during the day at work, I can still dig one up. Literally, since I buried it.

  19. what a shit situation but also I say sorry for this: I had laughed, because your writing is everytime so funny. My plan B in this “fuck” situation is my neighbor, she have a second key from my house….LOL I often wake she up in the night….And I like this good billboard sign at the metro station.

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