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Friday, November 6, 2009


It's been a few years since I was held up. It was QUITE an experience....

I was working a normal day as an insurance agent and had to make a stop at a client’s house. She wanted to make some changes in her coverage so I only needed to take a couple forms into her home. She lived in a garden apartment complex that was right next to a police station. Although in the past there have been crowds of people, I have always felt safe.

Being in the business for over ten years has taught me to be cautious despite being mistaken for a P/O or detective many times. The neighborhoods I worked were the worst in the city so there was always risk.

On this particular day, I had to go in and out a few times for the correct forms. No one was around so I didn't think anything as I left the last time.

As I was coming down the stairs, something that felt like fingers pressed in the middle of my back. I was about to turn around and tell whomever it was they had to do better to make it feel like the real thing. The first thing I saw was the barrel of a very long gun.

You hear stories all the time of the crazy things people think about in times of stress. I'm no different. The very first thought I had was clear as day - this gun pointed at my head was not a .44 but larger than a .38 so it must be a .357. 9 inch barrel.... chrome plated weapon... held be a masked, skinny, excited boy. Holy holdups Batman!

I didn't recognize this kid but he knew who I was. He screamed at me to give him my money, as I usually had some cash to be able to make change for my customers. This was not his day.

I had many thoughts running through my head now... If he pulls the trigger, is the gun loaded? Would I feel anything since it was pointed at my head? How would Mom handle it if the worst occurred?

Sadly, the predominant thought was I actually hoped he would just shoot. I didn't have a desire to rush off to whatever comes next in life, but I also wasn't caring too much if it came sooner or later.

For sure, this was during the start of my dark days. My career with the company I had spent the previous decade working my way up the ladder was coming to an obvious end and my personal life was nothing to talk about, and nothing was going to change....

It was that thought of Mom that kept me from beating this kid's head in with his own weapon. I was so angry that someone would do this to me that I wanted to act out. I didn't care what really happened to me, but it was a major disappointment that a human being could act like that.

I went quickly from anger to wonder as I thought why would this punk be in this line of work when he was obviously not good at it. I thought of asking if he realized he was on a one way street to nowhere. Didn't he know the retirement plan sucked???

One look in his eyes told me all I need to know. Dazed and confused. He wouldn't understand the questions. Bummer.

Now he was really starting to get upset. I didn't have any money and he didn't know what to do. It probably didn't help that I was acting a bit annoyed at the whole process. I asked him "Now what?" when he was sure I had nothing on me. He didn't know...

All he could really do was walk away. I wanted to jump on him and break him in two but Mom prevailed. I let him go. The surprising thing is I'm not a violent guy. I'm as laid back as someone can be and still have a pulse, but this ignited my rage. Goes to show you, in times of stress, anyone can act outside their normal bounds.

In reflection, what can I take from all this? If it happened today, I would probably act the same. I still am who I am. I don't get rattled easily and I'm not fearful of something happening. Mom is still at the front of my mind in that I don't want her to have to deal with anything awful. I would still be disappointed in humanity. I would still have a thousand thoughts run through my head, hopefully not as many morbid ones.

And finally, I would still continue to finish the rest of the workday, shaking my head, and laughing at how life sure is interesting....

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