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Just Another Day On The Job.


Arizona State Flag via

Doing the right thing isn’t always a celebration, not when it makes someone else wrong, and not when it comes with a cartel warning.

Cartel? Someone say cartel? Drug cartel?

Early one evening an Arizona property manager picked up the phone.

“You’ve got to come down here. The SWAT team is getting ready to break down doors.”

The manager couldn’t get in through the normal streets so he took the back way.

Once on site he was greeted by an officer in full battle gear with his weapon leveled.

“I’m the property manager,” he said. “I’ve got keys to anyplace you need to get into. You don’t have to break my doors down.”

The weapon stayed level.

The First Rule: Be Helpful

“That’s my office. My keys are inside. Let me help you.”

The police had just raided a shop across the street. Now they were on to the second lead, a car inside an industrial part garage.

“I’ve got the key for that.”

They got the car and towed it away. They also picked up the man leasing the space.

Early the next morning the man was sweeping up outside his garage door.

The manager saw him and asked, “What are you doing? How did you get away?”

“Get away? I didn’t get away. Just a misunderstanding. Now we all understand and here I am.”

“The police said the car in your shop was a drug car ready to deliver.”

“I don’t know anything about that. Not my car.”

“Whose car is it?”

“It’s the police’s car now. That’s all that matters.”

A New Wrinkle.

Later that day the same man came to the office and asked the manager to talk to a woman he didn’t want to see. She was in his business space.

“You talk to her.”

“She won’t listen. Just tell her to leave. She’ll leave if you tell her.”

“Who is she?”

“I don’t know, but she won’t go. I’ve got work to do.”

The manager knocked on the man-door. A woman without pants opened it.

“I’m ready,” she said.

“Ready to get dressed? Put your clothes on. You have to go.”

“But I haven’t done anything.”

“Whatever you do, don’t do it here. Let’s go.”

Taking Time Off

Not long after, the man who leased the work space took a vacation. Was he dead? In jail?

His absence became more pointed when the rent came due. Was he coming back?

Inside his space the manager found a box of cell phones. Other people started showing up asking for the phones, but they didn’t get them unless they could make a positive identification.

These men were either sent by others to collect the phones with numbers the police wanted, or numbers that would get them hurt.

One of the phone guys came to the office door. A big guy, big enough to fill the frame, and he didn’t look happy after he learned he needed to prove ownership.

The manager held firm.

“Show me it’s your phone and you can have it.”

He explained to visitors inside the office that the car and the SWAT team and the phones are all probably connected.

Cartel connected? Probably. Had he heard from anyone?

“One of the guys said I have a contract on me.”

“Are you nervous?”

“No, I’m angry. I’m doing the right thing and I’m in trouble? I don’t think so.”

What about back up?

Tools Of The Trade

“I’m backed up all the way, from small caliber to big. Inside here I’m two steps from my hands on an equalizer. I’ll stand up if ┬áit comes down to it.”

Is this normal stuff?

“Comes with the territory. It’s not for everyone.”

Was that guy an enforcer?


What do you do?

“Work with the situation. It’s part of the territory.”




About David Gillaspie
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