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Convenient, But So, So Stupid

, , , , , | Working | August 3, 2021

I used to volunteer with my township’s all-volunteer first-aid squad. One day, we got a call to respond to a woman who had fallen on the second floor of her apartment and could not get back up. She was alone in the apartment. The complex was comprised of about sixty units. We arrived along with a police officer, which was standard practice for the township.

We located the apartment. Since we did not want to break anything to get in if possible, we started checking doors and windows, hoping something was open through which one of us could climb. There was nothing. We checked the back and considered climbing to the second-story balcony, but there was nothing to use for hand- and footholds. Since the woman was stable and still on the phone with 911, we spent a good ten minutes walking around and around the apartment building, desperately trying to find a reasonable way to get inside. It was then that a neighbor came to us.

Neighbor: “Is [Patient] okay?”

Me: “She’s called 911. We can’t find a way in without breaking a window. Do you know if a neighbor or a nearby relative has a key?”

Neighbor: “Well, actually, I happen to know that every key in the complex works on every door. They’re all the same.”

Cop: What?!

Neighbor: “Yes. Let me go get my key. You’ll be able to get into her apartment.”

I just shook my head in disbelief.

The neighbor got her key and, sure enough, we were able to access the patient without breaking anything. My partner, the cop, and I agreed to never mention this to anyone. It blew my mind that such a thing was allowed to happen. When someone moved out and a new tenant moved in, obviously, the lock was not changed. The new tenant would have simply been given the same. Old. Key.

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