I had begun planning for that day since I began working for the local police department at the ripe old age of twenty one. It was ten days after my forty-first birthday when I hit my twentieth anniversary with the small town police department. I hoped no one made a big deal of the retirement. It was my plan to leave that Wednesday afternoon just like any other day and just not return.
"Mike, you leaving town?" the new chief asked.
"It's Michael Chief, and do I need to leave town?" I asked.
"Sorry Michael I had forgotten. You certainly do not need to leave town. I just thought you might want to leave. Most of the work has been moved to Sulfur Springs. By the end of the year there won't even be a police presence in this town anymore. Everything will be handled by phone."
"I haven't decided what I'll do, but it won't include the National Constabulary," I said. The country was changing and not for the better, I had decided.
"You do know that I am to be a sergeant on the rural constabulary," he said.
"That was the word that was spread around when the reorganization was first announced. Tell me, were you hired as chief here with the promise of the constabulary job?" I asked.
"There was no mention of it at the time," he said.
I nodded my head. I also remembered the roll out of the National Constabulary beginning ten years previously with the take over of several larger police departments by the Department of Justice. The DOJ invoked the need to take over the management in the case of emergencies. The emergencies were caused by racial unrest. The real cause of the unrest later came into question by the conservative media. Nonetheless the take over was approved by the liberal courts.
As I said before I had always planned to do my twenty and then retire, that decision was reinforced by the take over of all local police functions. The writing was scribbled on the wall with those early actions. All the actions and takeovers which followed, just reaffirmed what I thought from the first federal take over.
For the last six months the rural constabulary had been policing the county outside the town limits. We came into contact with them often enough. Those contacts were not always pleasant. Everything since the Sheriff's offices began shutting down was a pain in the ass. We had to call the rural cops for backup. They came when they felt like it, but were often unavailable. It make our work more dangerous which encouraged the towns to decide to close their own police departments at the end of the year. Since I knew that by then I would have been gone six months I didn't give rat's ass.
When the sun came up on my first day of freedom, I slept till 8AM. It was a good feeling. I should have been up with the sun, but the packing could wait. What did I care that I had promised to be out by Saturday morning. The house buyer had jerked me around about the closing, so I didn't feel I owed him shit.
Since I had the last of the estate sales the week before, I was down to dividing the leftovers into piles. One for Goodwill, one for the rural trash collection point, and one pile to move with me. That one would be quick and easy I expected.
I had already gotten through my normal breakfast of cereal, coffee and fruit. That morning I ate on the front deck. "How you doing Mr. Cain?" my neighbor asked from his car as he drove up.
"I'm moving right along John, how are you and your wife doing," I asked.
"Nothing much changes with us Michael. Louise tell me you are moving this weekend. I had no idea it was so soon," he commented.
"John, your wife only knows because she came to the estate sale. But yeah I'm moving on," I said.
"Did this National Police thing cause you to leave before you were ready?" John asked.
I knew it was none of his business but I answered anyway. "No John I always planned to leave after I completed my twenty. I finished twenty yesterday."
"So where you going," John asked.
"To be honest John, I don't have a clue where I might lite. First I'm going to visit the Pine Mountain Reservation. Then I'll just pick a place from a map, I guess," I replied.
"What about your family?" John asked.
"I got no family John," I said giving him a dangerous look.
"Yeah, I guess that's right. Well I better get on back to the house. Let me know if you need any help moving," he suggested.
While I washed my breakfast dishes I thought of Vicky and Sandra for the first time that day. I usually thought of them at least once everyday. Maybe getting it over early would be good for me, I thought. I knew he could always find Vicky and Sandra would be even easier to find.
Vicky had moved on and remarried, Her new husband was a bank executive. He could be easily traced Michael was sure, that is if he ever wanted to do so. Sandra he knew exactly where to find. She was doing a dime at the North Carolina Correction facility just outside Pilot Mountain. She had eight years to go. She was in for possession of illegal drugs with the intent to distribute. Also she had been charge with felony gun possession and assault.
"What are you going to do about it," Vicky had asked when she called to inform him.
"There is nothing I can do. Have your new husband, and her new father, hire a good lawyer," I had said.
"You always were a useless dickhead," Vicky said before she slammed the phone down.
Sandra took an abrupt left turn one year after Vicky left me for the banker. We had never been close at all after the left turn. She just refused to visit, or to see me when I drove to she her.
The truth is I got a friendly lawyer to look at her case. She told me that there was nothing I could do other than what I had told Vicky to do. So both the ladies in my life went back to ignoring me.
By the end of Thursday the house was an empty cavern. Well it wasn't all that large of a house but it was empty. Vicky and I and had no more financial dealing with each other, so I was free. The house had been sold and I had no debt at all. I did have a six year old small Ford truck, and a tiny pop up camper both of which were paid for.
On the downside my pension was small and my saving account was under five grand. I was going to have to add to the pension somehow, but not until the money from the house ran out. After paying off the loan I took out to settle with Vicky, and after paying off my other debts there was just fifteen thousand dollar in the sales account. Lumped together I didn't have enough money to pay for a house or even a piece of land to park the camper.
I really needed the job for which I was going to apply the following Monday. It was a job with the management team of The Pine Mountain Golfing Resort and Casino. I was applying for a job on the management staff of their security force. For the most part, the salary wasn't good in private security jobs. Even though I didn't have any idea what the actual pay was, I did expect that I could fold into my pension creating enough of an income to live. The work and responsibility should be fairly simple, so it would be a wash I hoped. The Pine Mountain Resort was about an hours drive from the Pilot Mountain corrections facility, which was also a plus for the job. All things together I hoped they offered it to me.
I was ready to leave the house on Friday morning, so I just drove to the Quickie Burger for a breakfast taco. I parked the truck and trailer in their lot then went inside to eat. I found the food acceptable, as I knew I would. I had eaten there at least once a week since Vicky left me.
The drive from the Quickie Burger to Granny's campground was four hours. It was a long highway drive for me, since I almost never went anywhere. I was definitely a homebody in those days. I stopped at Granny's snack bar before checking into the small camp ground. I had a burger and fries with a Coke at the counter of the snack bar. I actually had to stand up to eat which was not something I enjoyed.
The place was pretty busy even though it was still a weekday. Since it was the cheapest campground in the area, it had the least number of amenities. It also had the smallest spaces of any campground in the area that advertized on the internet. I had made the reservation, even though I didn't really believe I would need it. Standing in the over crowded snack bar, I was glad that I had done so.
Since I had prepaid with my debit card, and had the number of my space, I went right to it. I found it empty, however the trash can hadn't been emptied from the previous camper. Parking the light weight camper and hooking it to the electric power was a very short chore. It was one of those pop up things with canvas side walls. The fold out ends were both beds. In those days I slept on one and used the other to store things like clothes. I didn't expect to need any of the space, other than one bed, during the two day stay.
After getting everything stabilized, I drove to the bath house and filled my drinking water tank. I found Granny's had a shower house as well as toilets with running water. For my twenty dollars a day it was the least they could offer, I felt.
It was late Friday so I slept in the camper that night without air conditioning. The small unit had broken several years before. It had been for the ladies when we went to the beach. I didn't usually need it for the places I went. The air in the camper smelled of stale canvas but it was cool. The vents in the canvas allowing the box fan to circulate the air making it almost pleasant after dark.
When I saw the older car with a paste on security sign drive by, I had been trying to pirate a WIFI signal for almost an hour. A man about seventy was in the driver's seat. "Hey," I said to flag him down.
"Yes sir," he said.
"Do you work for Granny or the resort?" I asked.
"Well I am Granny," he said. "What can I do for you?"
"I need to find a WIFI signal. One I can piggy back onto. Is there a restaurant or somewhere I can go so that I can use my computer?" I asked.
"You can use the WIFI named Jackknife and the password write22," he said with a smile.
"I do appreciate it. At least I can check my email now," I didn't mention the other things I could do with the connection. For instance I could watch the TV shows from the previous day from all over the world. Sure I could also watch the worlds best porn, if there was such a thing. I chose a cop show from Sweden before I found one from New York City. I fell asleep after that 1 am.
Saturday after breakfast I stopped by the resort's realty office. The official one according to the sign on the door. I picked up a self guided tourist path brochure. After which I drove to the Casino. The Casino was sponsored by the new One World Charity. I didn't get out of the truck but I noted the entrances to the parking lot.
From there I went to the Golfing Resort with it's ten more hotels. From the golf club I went to the amusement park. Of course there was a shopping area between each of the different resorts. Finally I drove to the entrance of the private gated community of homes.
There must have been five hundred acres in all. I drove almost a fifty miles on my self guided tour, which didn't cover everything. I drew a few conclusions during the drive. One was that every building had been built in the last ten years. The golf course had been aged by the builders to look older and more established. The resort had been developed all at once. They must have just swept the locals away when they took over.
After dinner I waited until dark to take most of the drive again. I couldn't get on the grounds of the Casino since I was neither a player nor a guest at the hotel. I also wasn't dressed for the place. The golf club was the same but I did get a few of the streets between the two venues. I even got out of the truck and walked along the bustling street. I was approached by a couple of less than high classed hookers and one guy selling chemicals. There was not so many of them, but there were a few of each. I imagined that a few miles away from the boundaries to the multilevel resort there were even more shady characters.
I drove back to the campground and fell asleep immediately. I didn't dream about the place, because I never dreamed forward only backward. I dreamed of the last time Sandra spoke to me.
It had been several years. "Daddy why don't you just go to hell," she had said.
"I know you think I'm not with it Sandra but these people only want to use you," I said.
"Maybe your problem is you want to use me, but know you can't," she suggested.
"Not even in your dreams. You need to get yourself clean and I'll try to help you. You are sixteen not twenty one. You have no idea what life is really like. You are about to piss your life away, with even knowing what you will miss," I said.
"Fuck you old man. You know nothing about my life," She said and walk out with her cell phone. She called someone for a ride to get away from me.
That was our last face to face conversation. I was considering an approach to her at the prison. It was possible that I could get her to enter into rehab when she came out in a few years. Then again she could be so hard that nothing would reach her now.
Sunday was a lazy day for me after I returned from my early morning trip to the bathroom. The room was cool so I spent some time in there both using the toilet and then the shower. When I returned to the camper I was wearing clean underwear but the same pants as the day before. For a shirt I had a navy blue tee with the words Save the World on the back and One Person at a time on the front. It had been a gift from a church where I coach midget league basketball. It was such a country church I had to buy the basketballs. Probably the only reason I got to be the coach.
Breakfast was at a chrome and glass restaurant which tried to look like a diner. It was in the shopping strip outside the Casino. Yes it was the same area where I had been approached by a working girl and a drug salesman the night before.
"My name is Emerald. I will be your server," the black waitress suggested. "What would you like sir?"
"French toast and link sausage with coffee," I replied.
"Very good," she said smiling.
The food was good and she was a good waitress so the tip was 25% of the $10 and change tab. When I left the restaurant I was headed for a look around the area near the resort but outside it. I found a small shopping center in the old style a few miles from the resort. Just before I pulled into the center I saw the sign. It read Milton N.C. and gave the zip code.
There was a large chain grocery store which was the anchor of the shopping center. There were also several small stores and restaurants of the eat in or take out variety. There was even a pawn shop. I was surprised to see a bus stop in such a small place.
"What bus stops here?" I asked a young black man.
"Fuckin' casino bus," he said and walked away.
So the resort ran a bus service for the employees. It made sense for them. The waitresses like the one who served me were less likely to have an auto then a higher paid employee. There had to be many waitresses, and kitchen help at the many hotels in the resort. There were maintenance staff at the golf course and maids for the fancy houses. The buses might run all day for all I knew. There could easily be enough demand for it.
I spent most of the afternoon looking at several other shopping areas spread through the valley. Some old, some fairly new, all of them looked kind of flimsy. I also looked at some apartments from the outside and some small houses.
Finally at dinner I sat in a local pizza restaurant and looked at a Sunday morning paper, which I had bought from a machine outside. To be honest the paper chose the restaurant for me. I found the real estate rental prices were about average a couple of miles from the resort. They were doable for me if I got even a living wage at the resort.
I drove from the pizza restaurant to Granny's in time to get into the parking space before dark. I didn't miss the checkout notice. It stated that checkout was noon anything longer would cost $25.00 per day. I didn't expect my space was needed but I did go to the website to see. There was enough demand for a space to have me send a bank draft for another day.
Monday morning moved on too fast for me. I managed to get breakfast before my 10AM appointment at the resort. The appointment was with the head of the human resources department. Her name was Jennifer Wilson, and she was a very attractive woman about ten years older than myself. I discovered that when my guide dropped me at her office on the third floor of the casino and hotel.
"Mr Cain?" she asked.
"Yes Ma'am that's me. I usually go by Michael though," I said.
"Well Michael, I usually go by Ms Wilson," she said.
"That's fine Ms Wilson, it nice to meet you," I said.
"So Mr Cain, you are retired from a small town police department. It comes at a good time if you don't like change," she observed.
"Well I'm not sure if it was the future change or the changes are in place already which made me decide to retire. Either way I had the time in, so I decided to move out of public law enforcement. I decided to look around at my alternatives," I explained.
From that point the interview seemed to become about nothing important. The main things she wanted me to know was that I would be on a six months probation even though I had twenty years experience. She also wanted me to understand the starting pay would be the base security officer pay. I could be promoted with a raise after the six months, but not till then.
We left it that she would look at my application and give me a call that same afternoon. As I knew there were two opening the resort, I hoped she wanted to fill then that day.
"That's fine I will hanging around the resort tonight. I will continue to check out the market. If you have an offer I will make a decision and I promise I will live with it," I said it as I shook her hand on the way out of the door.
I drove back to Granny's to wait for her reply, or to begin packing my things. It was my decision that if I didn't hear from her by the end of the evening, I would head out for my second choice. It was a family style retirement village in need of a security supervisor. It might start out at a high salary but I feared it would be a frozen position. There were three supervisors, but only one director of security. All the supervisors had the same experience as me, so the playing field was pretty level.
The resort on the other hand had all kinds of position open in the security department. Most of them I didn't even know about, I expected. That is why the resort was my first choice. It also didn't hurt that it was closer to Sandra's facility. I could at least try to visit her. That was my hope anyway.
I was in the local Quickie Burger having dinner when the cell phone rang. "Hello," I said into it.
"Mr. Cain this is Ms Wilson. I wanted to offer you a job. As I explained it is a trainee job, but the assignment after could be in any of several area different areas," she explained.
"Yes Ma'am frankly the diversity of your operation is what interests me most. So I am thrilled to accept your offer. Will the starting pay be $35,000 as we discussed?" I asked just to be sure of my salary.
"That's correct Michael. When can you start?" she asked.
"I'm in a camp ground with a truck full of my possession, so just as soon as you want me. I can settle in while I'm working," I explained.
"That's good our other trainee will begin on Monday of next week. You can stop by one day this week and do your processing for employment. We can go ahead and assign you to a trainer. How about you take a day to find a more permanent residence and come in on Wednesday?" she suggested.
"Sounds fine, do you have any suggestions for a more stable place to settle," I asked.
"You might try the Willard Manor down in Avery. It's a residential Motel. They are several low rental places for temporary use, but it seems to be the best," she suggested.
"Thanks and I'll see you on Wednesday. What time?" I asked.
"Make it 10AM. I need time to get organized before I introduce you around," she said. I had my doubts about how much introducing she would do personally. I just couldn't see her in that role.
Tuesday morning I checked out of the campground hauling the trailer behind me. It if had been a more self contained trailer, I might have looked for a better campground. It was fine for a week but more than that would be bad on my body. Even worse on my impression for the new job on a day to day basis. I just hoped the Willard Manor was b tter.
I skipped breakfast to arrive at the Willard manor by 9am. The seventy year old man behind the counter asked, "Can I help you?"
"I hope so. I'm looking for an efficiency apartment style room," I said.
"I bet you want to take a look at the efficiencies before you decide," he stated almost argumentative.
"Maybe not all of them just the one you have to rent, if it's affordable," I stated
"One ninety five a week, it's due the day you check in and runs seven days," he said.
"Does it make any difference that I'll be working at the resort as a trainee?" I asked.
"That's interesting but no don't make no difference to me," he said.
"I wonder why Jennifer Wilson recommended you to me," I said.
"You that Cain guy?" he asked.
"Yeah that's me," I said.
"I was expecting a gym rat or something. She wanted me to rent to you, if you came by. Said you would be willing to help out with any problem guests," he said.
"She never mentioned that to me, but if I'm here I would be glad to lend a hand," I said.
"Then I can make it one fifty a week, but you can't tell any of the other guest. I can also give you free coffee in the lounge. The downside is you can't drink alcohol in the lounge," the old man said.
"Okay, I don't drink that much any more anyway," I replied.
"Take a look at room 200," he said swapping the key he had in his hand for one on the peg board.
The room wasn't anything fancy. It was big enough for a king sized bed, it but had only one single bed. There was a small compact kitchen outside the bathroom door. It also had a plain sofa and chair along with a cheap particle board dresser and chest of drawers. It was all I needed to start life at the resort.
"Okay I'll take it. Can I pay by electronic draft?" I asked.
"Hell no, credit card is as close as I come to electronic banking," he answered belligerently. It was obvious he would have preferred cash.
"So what's your relationship with the resort?" I asked.
"I ain't got none. Jennifer is my brother's kid. We kind of look out for each other. She called me last night and talked about you. You got a spotless twenty year record as a small town copper." he said.
"No transgressions, and no medals, it was a bland record," I said.
He just shook his head. "I don't need no heroes. Just need someone to tell the bad guys to move on."
"Can I store my camper behind the place?" I asked. "Don't want to take up a parking space."
"Yeah you can do that put it on the concrete pad beside the fenced in compressors."
"Since I might have to give your name to a paramedic, what do I call you?" I asked.
"Tom Bennett," he replied simply. "Go down to the lounge and explain to the manager who you are."
The lounge had a highway sign with the name, The Lounge on it. Seemed that Bennett was a simple man after all. I opened the door and stepped inside. It was much darker inside.
"We ain't open yet," the woman with the processed red hair said. She looked to be in her twenties and into that rebellious stage of life. Lots of metal in her face. I couldn't see Bennett hiring her.
"I'm not a customer, at least not a paying customer. Tom promised me free coffee in exchange for giving you a hand around here with customer satisfaction. I think he is trying to get you some protection," I explained.
"That is so like him. I'm Trisha, who are you?" she asked holding out her hand.
"I'm Michael Cain," I said taking her hand. "I moved into one of the efficiencies."
"Well then we are neighbors," she said. "You know Uncle Tom is going to expect you to spy on me."
"Uncle Tom?" I asked.
"He's my great uncle," she explained. "Sort of."
In a split second I understood it all. I was going to be working for the Wilson-Bennett clan. Since I hadn't been told before I agreed to it all, I didn't much like it.
"Surely you do more than spy on me," she said.
"I'm starting tomorrow at the resort up on the mountain," I admitted.
"Oh you going to be a dealer or something?" she asked.
"No I'm going to work in protective security," I admitted.
"Son of a bitch," she shouted. "That's my controlling bitch of a mother for you."
"I have no idea what you are talking about. I don't know who the fuck you are," I said.
"Maybe not but my mother set us both up. You are supposed to be my guardian angel," she stated emphatically.
"If it bothers you, call her up and tell her to fire me," I said. I meant from the part time gig at the motel.
"I don't want to cost you your job," she said. "But I also do not want you getting involved in my private life."
"Lady, I don't know what your relationship with your mom is and I don't care. I just promised an old man I'd look out for you and him when I could. So if you will give me that coffee in a to go cup, I'll be on my way."
"Sure, and I'll think about mom and Uncle Tom. Maybe we can work something out so you keep your job at the casino," she said.
"That would be nice, since I'm sure I could just move and keep the job and we would all be happy," I said.
"Would you like to bet on that," Trisha asked.
I suddenly remembered Ms Wilson. "Okay you think it over tonight and meanwhile I will give it some thought as well."
"Good idea," she said.
I went back to room 200 and began moving my belongings into the room with lots more storage than I had in the camper. I turned on the TV and found that it had 100+ channels. I hoped that I would be able to find something there to pass the time. I checked the WIFI connection on my laptop and found it the only one active WIFI. The name on the connection was Willard Manor. I tried a couple of different passwords before I found tbennet all lower case. The connection opened so I pressed save as primary connection.
I managed to fall asleep at 11PM. I slept like a log until 3AM when there came a knock on the door. I picked up my stun gun rather than my real .380 Smith and Wesson automatic. The .380 had very little hitting power, but it would ruin your day, if you took a hit in a vital spot.
"Peace?" Trisha stood on the porch outside my room offering me a beer. I have no idea what she had in mind. I was sure of only one thing. I had sleep in mind.
"There is peace between us as far as I'm concerned. You are just a bar manager that gives me coffee. So save the beer for your boyfriend," I said it closing the door. I walked directly back to bed and fell into it. It took me two breaths to fall back asleep. I was asleep again before I even knew I had been awake. I didn't dream of the younger woman, who would set off a metal detector even naked.
I was awake and in the shower before I questioned her metal placement, or her tattoos. Trisha looked a lot like a drug user, active or reformed I couldn't be sure. I would like to be her friend. I thought maybe she might teach me something about Sandra and how to talk to her.
I stopped for bacon and Eggs before heading into the Casino. I have no interest in working inside the Casino, I thought. I needed to be outside moving around like I had always been. I might have to do a rotation in the casino, but it couldn't be short enough, I thought.
As I had expected Ms Wilson came out of her office to meet me in the hallway. She escorted me to the office of the head of physical security. "Michael, this is Ed Samuels, from now on he will be your real boss," Ms Wilson said.
I shook his hand. Nice to meet you Ed," I said and meant it. I couldn't wait to get away from Ms Wilson.
Ed was a tall thin man. He was taller and thinner than me even. "So chief what's on the agenda?" I asked.
"We have to get you outfitted, then show you around. You probably won't remember all the names, but that is okay. Me and Maggie are the only ones you need to know right now," he said.
"So who is Maggie?" I asked.
"She will be your supervisor for your six months probationary period," he explained as we walked to a larger office with several desks.
"So this is the equivalent of a squad room I would guess," I said.
"Yes, I'm gonna let Maggie take over. I have a meeting off campus this morning." With that he waved Maggie over then quickly left.
"You must be Cain," she guessed since Ed was already headed for the door.
"Yes ma'am and you are Maggie?" I asked. Maggie was a woman about my age. She was however a much sharper dresser. Her uniform was sharp and well maintained
"Yes I'm either Maggie or Sergeant Evens. I do prefer Maggie. It is usually Sergeant Evan when some shit is about to come down, or already has." she informed me.
"Do the shifts rotate?" I asked remembering how the coppers work?.
"No you and the other trainee will rotate but not weekly. You will spend two months on each shift. First it will be days with me. Today you are going to travel to the tailor shop and the armory in town. When you get back, we will begin familiarizing you with the layout of the Casino. You will be working the Casino for the first two months, then you will work the outside," she explained.
"I can do that," I said but thought barely.
Maggie gave me the keys to a new Ford Electric Hummer. It wasn't the monster truck, it was nicknamed hummer for the noise the engine and chain drive made when it ran.
I easily found the small tailor shop in town. It seemed that most of their business was in wedding dresses and casino uniform pieces. I was given three pairs of khaki slacks and five blue shirts. I also got three black clip on ties.
"You wear them like this," the black clerk said handing me a drawing. The drawing had a note that on the bottom. Only black shoes and socks are acceptable. I was fortunate to still have my black uniform shoes. At least I wouldn't have to break in new shoes.
The local gun store was in the same shopping center. I gave the authorization to the clerk there. She was a middle aged dowdy woman. She have me a preloaded box.
"Check the contents against the list on your authorization," she demanded.
I got zip tie handcuffs, pepper spray, a folding baton, small pair of scissors to remove the cuffs, and a booklet discussing the use of the pepper spray and the rules concerning detaining of a person. It was probably a standard unarmed guard's outfit.
I said, "Thank you," then returned to the casino. It was time for lunch so I checked in with Maggie to determine her plans for me.
"So put on your uniform and wear this around your neck." She handed me the ID card on a chain. "Then go down to the kitchen and they will take your picture then feed you. One Dollar will be deducted from your pay per meal," she said. "You have to be legitimately signed on duty to get the dollar meal." She quickly shooed me away with a hand gesture, so I left.
After the rather uninspired salad, and the very adequate burger, I spent the rest of the forty five minute break looking at the map of the casino.
Maggie assigned me to work along side a guard named Doc Martin. "Before you asked I was trained as a EMS employee, but I didn't get the full load. Even if I had I would still make more money here. The downside is I have to walk around for eight hours."
"So, the being on your feet is not easy." I asked.
"Yeah, it gets to you after an hour. Fortunately we get a break every two hour and we can find things to do sitting down. The trick is to look busy," Doc said.
Even though Doc was about twenty years younger than me, I was able to keep up with him because he moved slowly. The idea seemed to be to just move around the casino floor being seen. Our job appeared to be to keep an eye out for altercations between the guests and employees, or even two or more guests with each other. We were not tasked with catching cheaters. That was done by the 'eye in the sky' CCTV system. It covered every inch of the casino floor and all the other places in the building but to a lesser degree.
I follow Doc around until 3PM on the first day. It was a short version of a normal day. It would be a boring job, if that was to be my lot in life. I had to put my six months in at least, before I could move on or move up.
I was happy when 3PM came even though I wasn't tired. I went to the office and studied the job description and the lay of the land until five. Then I drove my truck back to the Motel. When I got back home, I checked into the lounge to make sure Trisha was not too upset with me.
"Hello there," I said. "Got any coffee?"
"Sure, it's old but hot," she said.
"Just the way I like it. So how was your day?" I asked.
"I survived even without you," she informed me.
"I expected nothing less. You just remind me too much of my daughter Sandra," I explained sadly.
"So where is she?" Trisha asked.
"Pilot Mountain Correction facility," I said. "She has at least a couple of years to do on a five to ten year bit."
"I'm sorry, so when are you going to see her." she asked not dropping it as most people did.
"She has to get me added to her approved visitors list before I can see her. I have sent emails asking the administrator to discus it with her. I'll hear back sometime soon, I hope."
"It's pretty dead in here tonight, so you want to entertain me with cop stories?" she asked.
Nothing entertaining about small town cop stories. Probably the stories from a redneck bar are more fun," I suggested. "Have you had dinner yet?"
"I brought my own," she said. Her voice had a slight edge.
"Well I haven't had anything so I'm going to Quickie Burger. I have to find somewhere else to get fast food," I suggested hoping she would volunteer the name of somewhere else.
"Try the catfish shack in the strip mall about a mile away. They make a hell of a catfish filet sandwich," she suggested. Then she gave me directions to the place. It was a store front in a strip mall according to Trisha.
The place was clean and bright. The fish was more than adequate, so I returned to the lounge to thank her. Since I had replaced the Casino shirt to save it for work, I looked like any other redneck in the lounge. I took a look over the place before I asked,"Everything okay?"
"Just peachy," Trisha replied.
On that note I went by the office and spoke to Tom Bennett Ms Wilson's uncle. He also suggested that everything was in order, so I went to my room to watch TV and research the web.
During the rest of my first week I walked around all day looking for something to do. The only breaks from the routine was a ten minute break every two hours. During two of those breaks, we waited for the cash pickup. We escorted two armed guards from the rear door of the casino up to the cashier's office. There they collected bank deposit, I presumed. I had no idea where they took the money after it was loaded safely into the armored van. I didn't know and I didn't care about it's final destination.
Doc's days off came after I worked three days with him. When I asked Maggie she told me to Come in at seven as usual and she would find me someone to walk with.
"What happened to the other new hire," I asked before leaving he office.
"She started on midnight shift. She made it three days. I hope you aren't going to blow out like her."
"Probably not, I have already made it four days," I said.
"You know four days is not a record," she said it then laughed. "On second thought take off till the Doc comes back."
"Okay," I said not caring that my check would be a couple of days short. I didn't understand how the Casino's work schedules were made. I just knew they weren't as bad as the patrol schedules of the cops.
After two weeks with Doc Martin, Maggie moved me to the afternoon shift with a woman almost ten years older than me. "Lois has no testosterone. She is much better for handling the afternoon crowds. You will like her everybody loves her," Maggie said.
Lois had a very calming voice and also moved very deliberately. She was in no rush to get anywhere. The slow pace of walking seemed to be universal with the security staff. She even escorted the cash pickup in a slower more deliberate manner. Still she moved the two armed guards along in a manner which took no more than a couple of minutes longer than Doc's procession.
"You head on back toward the truck, Michael." she said at the cash room door. "Make sure the path stays clear,"
I followed her directions and the movement of the cash out of the building went more quickly. The days with the resort were very routine after the first week. The only thing that changed were the faces. I didn't socialize with the other employees, since there was too much danger in it. Almost all thefts from casinos were inside jobs. I had a feeling the casino management might go a little farther than to simply fire an employee found guilty of scamming the casino. There was the feel of imminent violence in the executive staff. It looked as though they were operating with legitimate people for the day to day work, but I had a feeling they were capable of more severe tactic if needed.
From that day with Lois we made the money pickup chore the same. I went with them to the door of the cash room. I waited till it was opened then walked down stair and through the basement to be sure there were no traps. I was concerned since it was the time and place an ambush would be laid. Fortunately nothing ever happened.