Giving keys to vendors


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 28, 1999
Shippensburg, PA 17257 USA
The pros and cons of giving keys to vendors was discussed a few months back. I thought I’d share our experience.

The truck driver of our main supplier has a key – he has had it for nine years now. We also gave one to our rept for deliveries – he often made late night deliveries helping out during the holidays. It was a benefit for us since at the busy time of year we were getting two deliveries instead of just one per week.

A few months ago, our rept left for another job. We asked for the key back . We were told he’d get it back to us, etc. etc. Forgot about it.

Last Saturday night, throughout the night, we had major storms. Woke up early to torrential rains and decided to run into the shop and make sure everything was okay. Okay, it’s 7 AM on a Sunday morning. I walked in thinking, “I can’t believe I left the lights on…..” Imagine my surprise when we found our ex-rept framing away. Did I mention it was 7 AM? He lives 30 miles away, it’s not even like we’re in the same town. I have to say my reaction was understated. In hindsight, I should have had him arrested for trespassing, breaking and entering or whatever. Would that stick since we had given him a key?

And what if he had gotten hurt while framing? I don’t even want to go down that road.

We had considered this person a friend, as well as a business 'partner'.

So the long and short of it is, be very careful of who you give a key to and if you live in Central Pennsylvania and you’ve given a key to a rept who recently left the company, change your locks!

...and it's been added to our employee handbook if you're framing off hours without permission, it's cause for immediate termination.

[ 07-21-2005, 03:26 PM: Message edited by: Maryann ]

How "Cheeky" was this guy!! Gees - you are too nice not to have him arrested - how long has he been doing this gig... and what has he taken of yours in the meantime... I might persue it further since you had "terminated" your business association and had asked for the key back.

Even if you don't pursue it further - he needs a little shaking up.
Man, what a low life! Was he using your inventory, too? Thanks for sharing - I think that the addition to your employee handbook is a great idea!
Good reason to change locks. It really is not that expensive and you can have peace of mind.

I'd love to know what response was given too!

Dave Makielski
Good reason to ad an alarm.
Maryann what is a rept? I an not aware of this term, I am sure this will show ignorange of my part.

If I caught this guy I would show him how I first learned to put frames together...a nail gun between the eyes, and maybe somewhere else. What a punk. If I was in your position and had knowledge of where he was employed now, I think I might need to mention it to them.

Patrick Leeland
I wondered where that large cloud of steam I saw last Sunday morning was coming from!

How do some people live with themselves????
Originally posted by D_Derbonne:
What's ignorange?
You were ignoring an orange?
Lmao :D

rept(ile)...very good, Bob :D

Geez Maryann, that is weird. Not to mention wrong. What a fruitloop. Please do tell us what happened.
Anytime anyone left who had a key, for whatever reason, the locks were changed.

Years ago, a company here in San Diego had a manager who would order materials and supplies and split half of it off for himself. They caught him when he was loading ready made frames into his car late at night.
Did they say that this was the first and only time? Or has this been done before?

This gives a whole new meaning to "Vendors that compete with you"! :eek:
On the flip side... if you LEAVE a position and turn your key in, be sure and get a signed/dated receipt. I've seen that scenario go bad, too.

It's rare, I know, but I worked for an owner once that regularly accused former employees of stealing after they left... he also failed to pay employee Social Security, failed to pay taxes, burned vendors, etc...

Maybe we should hook these two guys up?
If I were slimy like him, I would just copy the key and give your back to you with out delay.

So are you going to still give out keys?

The concept makes me laugh like Santa Clause (HO HO HO HO HO). It just aint going to happen at my shop!

Carry on.
On the last day of working at my previous job, they had the locksmith come in while I was still there to change the locks! So much for trust

Ok, everyone has had a good slam at this guy...

But the first thing that came to my mind was....Office Space...Melvin.

As in Here you come in to find him doing orders because he didn't get the memo that he was fired...

Ok, sorry for the Frankenthought...carry on.
I am flabergasted!!

Good grief!!

ok here is my Key story---Years, Years and Years ago--I was "let go, because it is not working out"--ya after working there 2 years? I was so mad, I threw my key on the counter, it skidded across the counter and slipped down the crack between the wall!----"There's your
key!" I yelled at the Assistant Manager who was the poor flunkie that had to "let me go"
Anyway later that week, I went in to get my final paycheck and the manager said to me "We were robbed last night and it was someone with a key" :eek: He didn't accuse me, but the inferance was certainly there-----I walked over to the counter and yanked it away from the wall-retrieved the key that was still there and handed it to him....."Here's my key" Thank God that key was still there!! I would really have looked the fool if it hadn't been!!
lol well the silliness of youth--I probably would have handled that a whole lot different these days!!

Sometimes I think it must be a whole lot harder to be an honest boss flat out told me once that "employees are the worst thieves!"
I hate not being trusted because of someone else! That just
my butt!! If I have done something dishonest than fine don't trust me, but when I have never, ever and franckly can't concieve of ever doing anything dishonest than **** it TRUST ME!!
ok ok, I'll get off it now........sorry!!

I can hardly imagine the nerve.
Me either. As I said my response was very understated to say the least. I was shocked -and pretty much speechless.

He gave us a list of materials that he used and told me to bill him. Of course, if we hadn't walked in on him, I'm relatively sure that we wouldn't have received a list.

He called yesterday to apologize. Wonder if he monitors the grumble? Too little, too late for me.

Locks were changed the next day. Didn't tell him that when he called to apologize. Next time he can make the thirty mile drive at 6 AM and find out he can't get in. We had talked about changing the locks when we didn't get the key back, but weren't really worried about it too much. I mean, who would have the nerve???

I'm going to chalk this one up to a lesson learned...

But how much should I bill for shop time????
Why don't you have him make out a list of all the materials he used. You may be surprised to discover that he lists more than you ever expected. I'd inflate the bill for the shop time. Bet that wasn't his first time "borrowing" your shop.
Originally posted by Jay H:
If I were slimy like him, I would just copy the key and give your back to you with out delay.
This is reason enough to get locks designed with keys that can't be duplicated at Home Depot. It's not that much more expensive. Then, as Mike said, get an alarm system as well. Then, if you don't get the key back you can at least delete their access code.
Matter of policy...

Anytime any employee ends employment who had access to the building...

Either change the locks or change access codes on the alarm system.

Elsa, it is not a matter of trust. It is a matter of sound business practice.

Locks are to keep out honest people. If someone really wants to get into your home or building, they will quite easily. A lock puts an honest person at check that, yes, it would be wrong to break into this facility and I would be breaking the law. The owner does not want anyone without authority to have access. Truly honest people won't break a lock and those that are on the edge won't either...but leave something unlocked and only the most honest will not help themselves.

If an owner of a business does not put in checks and balances to prevent theft as best as possible, the signal being sent to employees and others is that he/she doesn't really care if someone helps themselves.

If these preventative measures are policy and strictly adhered to, then there is absolutely no reason to feel that "trust" enters into the equation. It is just sound policy.

Elsa, if the locks were changed when you left employment, the whole incident of you being called in and questioned about the theft would never have happened because you would have no longer had access. How many other present or past employees had to be suspected because of the loosey goosey way building security was handled?

It really was unfair to you that the store policies put you and others suspect. Better policies adhered to uniformly eliminate problems such as this.

Dave Makielski