Yesterday, I decided to stop off at work and drop off a few leftover items from the formal fundraiser we hosted the evening before. I’d never been to the office on the weekend, and thought nothing of entering through the side door closest to my desk. I was more concerned about getting a cash box full of money out of my car and into a locked cabinet.
As I unloaded boxes from my car to my desk, I thought I heard the faint sound "beep, beep, beep," but shrugged it off as nothing important.
About 10 minutes later, I heard a screeching sound and looked out the window to see two police cars skidding to a stop behind my car. The officers ran to the door and peered in. I smiled and opened the door like they were coming to my house for tea. They abruptly announced, "The burglar alarm is going off!"
Surprised, I replied, "We have a burglar alarm?"
The police officer stared hard at me and said, "Well, you don’t look like a burglar."
Not sure how to respond to that kind of comment, I nervously said, "Thank you," as I felt a drip of sweat rolling down what would normally be a cleavage in someone else – to me, it was the valley between two anthills.
I continued rambling, "I’ve been working here 18 months and never knew we even had a burglar alarm!"
This statement immediately aroused suspicion in the officers as they briskly asked me for my identification. Suddenly, I saw the cash box sitting on my desk and knew why they suddenly thought that maybe, just maybe, I did resemble a burglar after all.
In an absurd twist of fate, I had brought the cash box back to work where I thought it would be safe from theft, and now, I was the one being questioned like a criminal!
I blurted out, "I danced with the mayor last night," as I backed up to my desk, casually attempting to cover the cash box with my body.
The police officer continued, "We called your boss. He’s on his way to turn off the alarm."
"Is this you?" the officer asked as he picked up my identification badge with a photo that ironically looked like a mug shot.
"That was a bad hair day," I tried to joke, "And the guy took the photo without counting 1-2-3!"
Just then, another car screeched behind the two police cars. My boss had arrived to save the day. He walked in and shook his head at me as he turned off the alarm. After he vouched that I was an employee, not a burglar, the police officers left.
As I slunk into my car and drove away, I breathed a sigh of relief. Now, I knew the cash box would indeed be safer on my desk than anywhere in my house.
After I arrived home and told my children the story of my encounter with law enforcement, my son asked, "Are you going to be on America’s Most Wanted?"
"Not for this," I answered.
It turned out to be just another day when I’m glad I don’t look like a burglar.