Speaking of that armored truck experience….
I have another fond memory of working there. It involves a joker whose name was Mike. You’ve heard the term “putting someone down”? He had quite the knack for putting someone down without actually putting someone down. Hmmm….follow that? I hope so. Between that and being a practical joker, he had quite the reputation around our branch. You could depend on him, though, when the job got stressful, so overall he was a good guy to have around.
Needless to say, though, when I saw an opportunity to take advantage of–I took it. Such as the following (this process at this armored truck branch is no longer done this way since this happened, so I’m not breaching a security measure by sharing this with you):
At one time, our weapons (which were semi-automatics) were kept locked up in the break room. They were in lockboxes on a hand cart. Next to the gun rack was a clearing barrel. It was a large square tube of thick metal, about waist-high, with a wide heavy base that had sand in it on one end of the square tube and thick rubber on the other end. The rubber was cut criss-cross so that you could put the barrel of your gun into it while you loaded or unloaded the weapon (this would protect you and those around you if your gun accidentally discharged while you were loading or unloading it). The square tube was mounted on the base at an angle towards the user so that all you had to do was lean forward a little and the end of your gun barrel was through the rubber and inside the tube. We each had a key to our own gun lockbox, so once we had our duty belts on, we would get our gun, put the barrel of it into the clearing barrel, put the magazine in (this is what holds the rounds) and rack a round into the chamber. Once that was done, we holstered the weapon.
Some of us had containers and big heavy-duty bags that we used for carrying…stuff….and Mike was one who kept those things along the wall of the break room where the gun rack was kept. He usually kept his stuff against the wall between the gun rack and the clearing barrel. Well, I walked into the break room one morning just as he was holstering his weapon. I was heading for the gun rack for my own gun as he walked away from that area of the room. It was then that I realized he would be going for his stuff against the wall at any time. If I timed things right, I would find myself very amused. So as I got my gun from the gun rack and stood in front of the clearing barrel getting ready to load my gun, I was watching him out of the corner of my eye. He was now approaching his stuff against the wall, which happened to be immediately to my left. As he bent down for his things that were against the wall, I had the barrel of my gun in the clearing barrel and had just finished nonchalantly inserting the magazine. The angle of him bending down resulted in his head being about even with the clearing barrel. So it was then that I chambered a round.
Nothing makes you freeze in your tracks faster than hearing the “CHA–chink!” of a cartridge entering the barrel of a gun that’s a foot away from your ear. Mike froze. Didn’t move a muscle. For a couple of seconds that hung suspended in time, he slowly moved his eyes to his right. When he saw what was happening and that there wasn’t actually a gun pointed at his head, I saw him visibly relax. It was then that he began to see the humor in what had just happened. I, on the other hand, saw it the whole time. If you ask me, his reaction was the sign of a guilty conscience. Regardless, it sure made for a lasting memory! At least with me….