Outsource This!

num drop?

Sunday morning, July 14th, 3:17 am. Six foot five inches tall, by the measure at the front door. Two hundred forty pounds, in my estimation. Blue jeans, a red Cardinals baseball cap, no facial hair, but needed a shave.

Three hours of training to be assistant night manager at 7-11 paid off. No clue, though, to the brand of big gun he pointed at me.

“Hand me the till, moron.”

“Yes sir.”

I hit the zero sale key. Nothing happened.

“What’s taking so long?”

“Uh, it’s not letting me get into the drawer.”

“C’mon, get it out! Now!”

“I’m trying, I’m trying.”

“You’re lying.”

“No, believe me, it’s not my money.  I’m happy to hand it over. I just can’t open the drawer.”

“You got a hammer? I’ll bust that sucker open.”

“I don’t.”

The holdup man shook his head.


He looked more closely at the till.

“What’s that label on the side there?”

“That’s the number for the help desk.”

“Well, hell. Dial ‘em up.”

I dialed the 800 number, hoping no one else would enter the store.

“Here, let me talk to them,” the gunman ordered.

I gave him the phone.


“Hello,” he repeated, louder.

“The what?” he asked. “I can’t understand you. Serve Pests?”

“Service desk ,” I offered.

“Oh, service desk.” He calmed down a little.

“You want me to tell you what?” he asked.

“He wants the store number. It’s 8567,” I said.

“Store 8567. Where you at? Philippines? Are you kidding me?”

“We can’t get the cash register door open.”

The holdup man rolled his eyes.

“We…can’t…open…the friggin …door of the cash register,” he shouted.

“Press the what?” he asked, looking over at me.

“Press the lum drop button? What is the lum drop button?”

“Num drop…num drock…oh, you mean the num lock key. Geez, who taught you English? This is going to take all night, isn’t it,” said the hold up man. “All night, comprehenday? Listen to this, bud. You need to get yourself an English Rosetta Stone. They’ve gotta be selling it over there.”

The big man with the gun hung up the phone.

” What if all I wanted was a pecan roll. We’d still have this problem.”

I agreed with the man with the gun.

“Thanks, bud. I’m outta here. Get a different job.”


“How tall was the holdup man?” asked the officer.

“He was about  5′ 9, ” I said.

“Ethnic group?”

I hesitated.



“Nothing I recognized from training.”


Previously published in Hobo Pancakes

#danezeller #outsource #holdup





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