Sunday lunchtime, just about to sit down to a roast with the family.
I get a call from a tenant saying the front door lock's knackered; the key won't work and he's locked out; what to do? I thought to myself; well if I ask him to come round to collect my spare key then at best I won't get my key back any time soon; however but more likely outcome is that mine won't work either, and then what? So: "OK, I'll nip round with my key - see you in 10 mins".
I arrive at the house; sure enough, the key (a Eurolock type in a uPVC door) doesn't work either. The key seems to go all the way in; or is it protruding maybe half a mm? Anyway, 20 mins of messing about and clearly it wasn't going to work. Tenant said the housemate was out; not answering his phone, and anyway obviously his key wouldn't work either.
So I start adding up in my mind the likely cost of a Sunday locksmith, thought about my lunch waiting for me, decided I couldn't really have the tenant sitting on the pavement, and decided to have a go at d-i-y'ing; which tenant seemed OK with. I went back home to fetch my trusty cordless drill, and having had a chat on the phone to someone who knows about this stuff, attacked the lock with gusto. I eventually was able to drill through the mechanism completely, over about half an hour, but for some reason it still wouldn't yield, so I had no choice but to Google a locksmith on my phone. Got a quote of £100 including the lock, and he'd be straight round; which wasn't actually too bad I thought.
The guy turned up, and 5 mins later the door swung open... to reveal the housemate coming downstairs in his dressing gown saying very sleepily "What the f***'s going on?". (His key was in the lock on the inside of the door; hence the key outside was a gnat's away from being fully home and hence wouldn't turn).
Not sure whose jaw hit the pavement first: mine, the locksmiths's, or the other tenant's. Anyway, the lad who called me out was pretty mortified about it, and at least there was never any question of me having to cover the locksmith charge. (Might have been different had I just authorised the locksmith without going round in person, I suspect...!)