Friday, September 4, 2009

Professional Pride

Robbie was a very handsome man. He was tall, elegant, and well-spoken. His dark, curly hair was well cut. His brown eyes never leave mine and he maked me feel as if everything I said is new.

"I'm a burglar," he said, "and a very good one. My last job, the one before this got me $150,000. This one was was small and I won't get much time. I used to be a drug dealer but I decided that it was too much risk. When I considered new career choices, I decided to go to school to become a burglar. I knew that I would need the skills of a locksmith, a welder, and an electrician to be good at my new profession. Since I was upstate in prison doing 2 to 4 on a drug charge, I figured that I would use my time wisely and go to school to learn locksmith, welding, and electrical work. No only did my dedication impress the parole board, it developed the necessary skills to become a burglar. It was become a very successful choice. I will go upstate again for this arrest. Maybe it will be time to think about other possibilities. I won't know until I find out what opportunities are being offered. Prison is a good place to learn about future opportunities and to become prepared. You never know who you will meet upstate, especially now. Maybe I will make a new choice for my future career."

One night I was coming home from the theater about 11 o'clock. I was alone. My neighborhood is quiet and usually safe. However, shortly after I got out of the subway and was about two blocks from my apartment, I found myself closely followed by a small group of young men. One of the men asked me for a dollar. The translation is "give me your money". I told him that I wouldn't give him any money. As I found myself surrounded, I turned to the young man nearest to me and said, "Back off. I work on Rikers Island and I deal with men like you every day. If you bother me, I promise you that I will get you arrested and when I find out where you are housed you will do very hard time." He knew that I wasn't playing and he backed off because he knew that I could do what I said I could. It all about having friends in low places.

My fantasy has always been that if I were mugged, the intended mugger would recognize me and say, "Gee, Dr. Posner, I'm sorry. I didn't know it was you." That is my fantasy. The other night was a reality but I wasn't frightened. I knew exactly what to do and felt confident that I could handle it. It is all in having an attitude. Again, thank you, my good friends.

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