I’m really bad at not being verbose, so I have to cut this down by two thirds for it to fit in a pamphlet. But since it would be a shame for all these nice words to go to waste, I’ll post my rough draft here.
When I made my company, I chose the name Always Loyal not just to demonstrate to customers my military past, but to, with two words, convey some of the values on which this whole enterprise is founded: integrity, honesty, knowledge, commitment. In many of my competitors, these traits are absent, so it is a common experience to encounter price gouging and intimidation, but not with us. These core values are what define us and set us apart from others.
Integrity, as the Marine Corps tells it, is doing the right thing, even when there is no reward and no one watching, but what is right? There is no universal consensus on what the right thing to do is and it generally differs from person to person, so my view of integrity is being true to yourself and your values in all actions. What I say is also what I do, and the people that I choose to work with me share the same quality. While other locksmith companies will quote a low “starting price” over the phone only to increase it drastically when they’re face to face with the customer, we give exact quotes and only increase the price according to the demands of the job and your choice as to which options to take. Integrity is the most important of our core values, and it means that we will do everything to the best of our ability, not for the sake of getting paid, but for earning our living through good work for reasonable wages.
Honesty is the most easily defined value, yet also the easiest to overlook or ignore. Something that I have found to be endemic in the world of locksmithing is dishonesty, where greedy men will obfuscate the situation to mislead customers and make an excuse for increasing the bill. With how little the average person knows about locks, it is not difficult to deceive customers with flimsy justifications for hundreds of dollars, and it is because of this disgusting practice that, when a job is complicated and has varying options, we will explain how things work, what actions you can take, and the cost of each. Always Loyal isn’t here to get rich with dollars obtained through deceit or guile, we are here to work and earn our pay, so when you call, the vagaries of the task at hand will be explained to you in detail and all prices will be stated up front. Unlike the owners of many other companies, I have no stomach for lies.
Knowledge is an extremely important value in this trade, as much of it is difficult to obtain and must be inferred. Part of knowledge is being able to figure out new situations, as there is seemingly no end to the variety of locks in the world and many jobs that locksmiths take on are entirely unique. A lack of understanding of how locks work can lead to damaged property and unnecessary expenses, something that I have seen other people do often. Here is an example from my time under a different company: one day, an unscrupulous kid whose role was to unlock car and house doors for high prices encountered a Kwikset “Smartkey” lock on a house that needed to be opened. These locks are very difficult to pick, so the standard practice is to drill them out and replace them, and this kid took a drill to the deadbolt on the front door. His drill ran out of battery and, for some reason, after wasting a few hours of the customer’s time, he gave up, leaving me to be tasked out with picking up his mess. As soon as I got there, I walked to the door leading in the house from the garage and bypassed the latch in an instant, as the deadbolt on this door had been unlocked. Because of the kid’s lack of knowledge about gaining entry (and complete disregard for learning, as the job was nothing more to him than a big paycheck from exploiting customers), he cost this poor guy an unnecessary amount of money to have his damaged locks replaced, something that I did for the cost of parts. That was the poor attitude of the company I had worked under, which introduced me to the trade and taught me nothing besides what not to do. Knowledge is the difference between a functioning lock and property damage, and it is one of my core values not because I seek to master my trade, which I do, but because situations like the one I described are unacceptable and easily avoided. From myself and all my locksmiths there is demanded a level of competence that requires not just knowing how to do various tasks, but being able to independently expand on that knowledge when unique problems need solving. The precept of being knowledgeable encompasses not only the basic understanding that the shady kid in my tale lacked, but the ability and drive to understand locks never before seen so that your property is not damaged, but improved, and your security is not compromised, but strengthened. Ask me about my neck if you want to hear about how a disregard for this core value nearly cost me my life.
Commitment is something that sets us apart from the rest by a mile. We do the job until it’s done, and if it’s not done correctly, we’ll come back. I have worked on opening difficult locks for hours at a time in the freezing cold, driven the long stretches of miles that other people were unwilling to endure so that someone can get in their home or start their car, and very often advise or assist people beyond the scope of the task they called me for. Going above and beyond for the sake of our customers and our love of the trade is something that I strive to do with every job and expect the same of my locksmiths. There’s no half-assed work here, because we’re not in this trade to make easy money, but to do a job to the best of our ability until it’s done and actually earn our pay. Where other locksmiths don’t go, we go, and where other locksmiths don’t want to bother, we want to earn your business.
I hope going over our core values helped explain a bit about who we are at Always Loyal, the meaning behind the name, and the mores to which we, through correct action, hold ourselves accountable. My mention of other locksmith companies is not an attempt to disparage my competitors, but to give a general impression of the sad state of the trade within Colorado against which my goal of bringing integrity to the trade can be framed. We set ourselves apart through our actions, not by advertising campaigns on search engines that shout “cheap” in the url while being exorbitant in the irl. That’s why we advertise face to face, why an effort’s been made to explain our values in the first place, because we at Always Loyal are willing to do more.