Monday, March 5, 2012

Executive skills...

     I read an interesting blog this morning from Ms. Pearl.  She reminded me of a time in California when I was Office Manager for a land developer.  It was back in the day when the economy was good, money was flowing, and people could afford to buy or build in California.  No... not 200 years ago, but close enough... it was in the late 80's.

     My boss, "DT," was always impatient for money to come in so that he could build.  He was really a builder at heart, and the financial aspect of getting loans, financing houses and all that other "money" stuff got on his nerves most of the time.  He had a banker who helped him with most of it, but was still pretty impatient.

     DT would fly to Vegas frequently (he had his own small 6-seater), and stay at Harrah's Casino and Hotel in a comp'd room because when he gambled, he usually put down $10,000.00 at a time on the blackjack or poker tables.  He'd make his money back and then some and would use it to finance the next house or shopping strip mall he was building.

     Yeah, like I said, the economy was good back then.

     Over time he met a few "unsavory" characters who would meet up with him in Vegas to leach off his winnings.  He knew what they were, but trusted them to some extent.  One of them eventually introduced him to a "friend" (I'll call him G) who knew how to play the money game of buying Japanese Yen low on a Friday, then selling it back high on a Monday for a quick profit.  He'd buy ¥50,000, then turn it into $90,000 in just a few days.

     DT fell for it hook, line, and sinker.  On a Friday he convinced his banker friend to give him an unsecured loan for $80,000 that he promised he would have back in full by Monday.  He then turned around and gave it to G in Vegas who was supposed to give it back to him plus $40,000 on Monday.


     Without boring you with the details that occurred over the next year, let's just jump to the end.  Banker lost his job.  DT lost everything. G was eventually arrested and I had to testify in Federal court about what I knew.

     Back to job skills. 

     I have an ear for voices.  I recognize them faster than faces and remember them longer than names.  When DT found out a week later that G had lost all the money on blackjack the same day he got it, he started making threats, trying to get his money back.  G would frequently call the office trying to find out where DT was... was he in Vegas, Reno, Los Angeles, or there in the Palmdale office.  He would never give his name, but that was okay because I already knew his voice.  I would make a little note in my call log with the date and time.  I would write down anything G said (because sometimes the threats came from him) and when DT came into the office, I would fill him in on the latest.

     There are moments in time when you really wish what mom said was true and the expression on someones face could be frozen there.

     Taking the witness stand in Federal Court that day, with my stack of phone logs in hand, the look on G's face was priceless when I started to give dates and times of his calls to the office ~ all of which had been confirmed by phone records obtained by the feds.  He was convicted in the California courts on racketeering charges, and when his sentence was over, he would be extradited to Nevada where he would face charges and a sentence there.  I bet he wishes now he had hired a lawyer instead of defending himself.

     The moral of the story is this... there is no such thing as "free" or "easy money."  Everything comes at a price.  Are you willing to pay?

1 comment:

  1. You and Pearl were both exceptional employees. And, like you, I remember voices. Much better than I remember names.


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