Alex Berger: Unlocking a Livelihood
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
DALY CITY — When Alex Berger started copying keys at a hardware store, he didn’t realize he was about to unlock a whole new livelihood. “Back in 2000, I was working in a hardware store and ended up in the key and lock department just by chance,” he recounts. “I really came to enjoy the different aspects of the work—most of all, how happy customers were when I helped them out of tough situations.” Later, after coming to the United States from his home in Eastern Europe, Alex started working for a locksmith company in Sacramento. Eventually, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and started his own locksmith business.
Today, as owner of B & B Locksmith & Security, Inc., Alex says he still enjoys the rewarding feeling he gets from helping customers out of tight spots. “I tell everybody I have the best job ever. Show me another job where the customer is happy to see you when you arrive and happy when you leave. There’s no other job quite like it.”
A resident of Daly City (where he lives with his wife, Yana, and their daughter), Alex expresses his appreciation for the Bay Area’s diverse population. “I’m a people person, so I like interacting with people both in my professional and personal lives. There are a lot of quality people in the Bay Area—plus, the population is really diverse, so it makes for a richer range of interactions.”
Outside of work, Alex likes to spend as much time as possible outdoors. “The outdoors is my getaway,” he affirms. “I do a lot of hiking, backpacking and fishing. Over the last two years, I’ve climbed Mount Whitney and Mount Shasta, and this year I plan to climb Mount Rainier.” In addition to exploring nature, Alex enjoys spending quality time with family and friends.
In regard to his professional career, Alex stresses the importance of customer service and satisfaction. “I want every customer I serve to feel that they received a good service for a good price,” he explains. “I also feel it’s important to be there for them after the fact. If I get a call from a customer about a problem after I’ve already served them, I return ASAP, and if the problem was caused by a mistake on my part, I fix it free of charge.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Alex simply replies that he wouldn’t. “I’d still go to work,” he laughs. “I’m not the kind of guy who can just sit around and do nothing—I need something to keep myself occupied, which is why I’d probably keep doing locksmith work, if only for charity. Maybe I’d spend half my time working and the other half fishing and hiking in the mountains.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Aziza in San Francisco.
Q: Do you consider yourself a dog person or a cat person?
A: A dog person. I have a Hungarian Pointer named Shasta. He’s extremely intelligent—he knows every command there is.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Fishing rods.
Q: Coffee or tea?
A: I enjoy them each at different times of the day: coffee in the morning and tea in the evening.
Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
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A: An early bird. I like to wake up early and get things accomplished so I can be available for my family in the evening.