Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Armed Robbery: Amateur Night

Dear John,
I had another good day. I learned how to do loan payments, cashier's checks and money orders, Christmas Club deposits, savings account deposits and withdrawals, and I'm not sure what all else.
I'm finding that I learned a lot from you about cash issues when you managed restaurants, and I appreciate the education. I also learned a lot from you about armed robbery. Not that you taught me how to do it - you taught me a how to handle it when it happens. You got good training, and you got first-hand experience four times.
You always preferred to be robbed by professionals, since they were less likely to get nervous and hurt somebody. But I remember Amateur Night. Remember? It was the two men at the last table of the night - not unusual. They were very calm and collected, which was good. There was just you and the closing waitress in the building.  She was chatting with them while they were waiting for the timed lock on the safe to open. There was a contest where you could fill out a card with your name, address, and phone number, and there was a drawing every week for a free pizza. She told them about it and got them to sign up. So after they left and the police got there, she showed them which cards the robbers had filled out. When a squad car arrived at the address, there they were with all the money, complete with the bank wrappers on the bills, piled up in the middle of the bed while they divvied it up.
That was years ago and I'm still laughing about it. But I was so proud of you. During every robbery you kept yourself and your staff safe, made the robbers happy, and got them safely out of the building. They were caught every time, too, often because you noticed the little things. You not only followed policies and procedures. You handled a highly-charged emotional situation in a way that kept everybody calm. You never got excited over having a gun held on you. And the first thing you always did was call me and let me know that you were alright, just in case the media found out. One time you called me to say that, if I heard that there was a murder at your restaurant, it wasn't you. I always appreciated that - I'd have been terrified to hear about a robbery (or murder) on the news.
I'm so proud of you. I'm proud of a lot of things you did, but tonight I'm especially proud of the way you handled armed robbers. You were good at it. You don't need that skill anymore, but I'm glad you had it when you did. And I'm glad you taught me.
Hoping I never need to know,

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