Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Right Combination

Years ago when I had a real job—managing a fast food restaurant—okay, that might be an inaccurate characterization of a real job. Let me start over.

Years ago when I was managing a fast food restaurant, we went through about a three month period of changing the combination to the safe quite frequently—every few days it seemed. Actually, I think it averaged about once week.

This was due mainly to managers quitting, or getting fired as the case may be. Anytime someone stopped working there, who’d had the combination, we changed it. Normally, this was only an occasional occurrence but for some reason, we went through a lot of swing managers that summer.

As you can imagine, having to memorize a new combination so often was a little frustrating for some of the managers. According to the rules, no one was allowed to carry the combination on them and we did not post it anywhere in the store—for obvious reasons. So, it had to be memorized.

One morning, at about five o’clock, on my day off, I got a phone call. It seemed the swing manager who was opening the store, had forgotten the combination. It was almost time to open, people were waiting in the parking lot, and all of the tills were in the safe. I could have given her the combination over the phone but, that too, is against the rules—you never know who may be listening.

So, I got up, got dressed, and drove the five miles to town. By the time I arrived, I was all prepared to give the manager a lecture about how important it is to pay attention to these kinds of thing, and maybe offer a mnemonic device of some sort to help her remember in the future. But when I walked in the office, I immediately forgot about all of that.

Why? Well, because I noticed the safe was open. The door was closed but the lever was in the open position. All that needed to be done was to pull—the door would swing right open.

When I pointed this out, the manager was of course very embarrassed and apologized profusely for making me get out of bed and come in on my day off. But I wasn’t concerned with any of that. First, she would have needed the combination anyway, to run the shift, but more importantly, the safe had been left unlocked—all night.

A check of the schedule quickly determined which manager had closed the night before. (No, it wasn’t I, if that's what anyone is thinking)! Later that day, I had a little chat with that manager. My goal was simply to remind him to double check everything before leaving the store, particularly the locks on the doors and maybe, just maybe, the safe. That would have been the end of it because (contrary to some people’s opinion) I’m really a nice and understanding guy. People make mistakes. As long it doesn’t become a pattern, I can deal with it.

But then, this not-so-bright manager spoke up. “I didn’t forget to lock the safe. I couldn’t remember the combination so I just left it unlocked for my shift. And then I left it that way for the opening manager in case she couldn’t remember the combination either.” Then the kicker: “But I pushed the door shut so nobody could tell if they broke in.”

My response? Well, let’s just say the safe combination had to be changed again. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at Amazon Profile - Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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