Thursday, June 12, 2014

I've never been robbed and would like to keep it that way

It was a thought that had crossed my brain more than once, but it never actually happened.
'It' was an armed robbery. (Not committing one, being a victim of one.)
I spent nine months working at a convenience store where people conveniently paid way more for a product than they would at a grocery store.
Of course, the grocery store was not open 24-hours a day, so I guess if you look at it that way the store was convenient.
And thanks to what I believe was an old Monte Python bit, I had to endure the question, “If you are open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, why do you have locks on the doors?” dozens of times.
The people would then guffaw at their 'original' comment.
I would smile and play along, all the while thinking, “Because you can't buy these doors without locks, genius.”
Because my manager was a jerk, I was given straight night shifts, meaning I worked from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
That also meant I got to deal with all the drunks, weirdos and general rabble rousers who were out and about at that time of the night.
And it was during those night shifts I often wondered if I would ever be robbed.
I had escorted a shop lifter out of the store – a very drunk shop lifter – but I never had anyone come rushing in and demand money.
I had been threatened while working there on a few occasions. Once was by a drunk guy – big surprise there – who wanted to fight me because I was tall.
“Are you tough Mr. Tall Man? Why don't you come down here and we will see how tough Mr. Tall Man really is.”
He was the most aggressive customer I ever encountered and all I could think was 'Buddy, I am just trying to do a minimum-wage shift here.' I must admit, I was quite concerned this situation was going to go bad in a hurry.
Fortunately his friends reigned him in and they went stumbling down the street.
For the record, I have never claimed to be tough and being tall is not under my control, but it was just another example of the kind of idiots convenience store, and gas bar workers have to deal with.
But I was never robbed and I am thankful for it.
I know someone who was robbed recently. A man rushed into his store holding what turned out to be an electric shaver.
Not the most lethal of the personal grooming instruments, but the cashier did what he was supposed to do and handed over the money before calling the cops.
“I knew it was an electric shaver and it couldn't hurt me,” he told me. “But I also knew he had fists and those could hurt me.”
Smart man. The bad guy fled the premises and the cashier was left shaken by the ordeal.
And rightfully so. The robber physically pushed him out of the little gas bar and told him to walk away in one direction, while the bad guy ran in the other direction.
When I first started at the convenience store, they had a little orientation session where they told us if we are ever held up, don't resist.
Well no kidding. I knew that before the session. If I was robbed, I would be the most compliant clerk on the planet.
“Here, take the money – all of it. How about some smokes? Do you want some smokes? Let me throw some in a bag for you. Here take 'em.”
There is no way I was going to resist a robber just to try and save a massive corporate a few bucks. Sure, they were paying me a whopping $4.50 an hour, but still it was not enough to put my personal safety on the line.
The guy I know who was robbed is back on the job, but admits he is a little more nervous every time a sketchy looking character walks in.
Who can blame him.

Copywrite 2014 Darren Handschuh

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