Being Unaware and Clueless is Not a Good Thing

We own a couple of businesses. One is a cash-only business, and the benefits of that are too many to list here. Of course, there are downsides as well. One of the biggest downsides is having to leave a rough area of town with a wad of dough. (Well, it’s a lot of money to me, but I imagine there are drug dealers in the neighborhood who think our daily take is chicken scratch.)

I have one thing going for me when it comes to leaving the business with a lot of money: I’m not the kind of person who looks  like I have a lot of money. I don’t wear designer clothing and rarely do up my hair and wear make up. Being low key can be very annoying when shopping for high end items like cars, furniture and video equipment. Most sales people in those arenas tend to view me like a bum, so I get treated like one. However, if your business is located in the ‘hood of a major Rust Belt City, this is viewed as a plus. Since right now my car’s front bumper has been dinged a couple of times, and I haven’t washed it in a year, I’m really looking the part. I have coats with inside pockets, so I put the money in an envelope and put it into my ratty coat. No one knows the difference.

The business is open seven days a week. This means on weekends we must keep the money somewhere before the bank opens on Monday. Usually, it’s on my kitchen counter. We’ve done this forever. Perhaps acting in this way makes us unaware and clueless. We assume people will not break into our house and steal from us, and were amazed and dismayed when our next door neighbor came by to tell us they were burglarized. Our house keys are in the hands of several people, including a friend who cleans for us and the exterminator. In our other business, during the summer months, my husband could possibly bring home many thousands of dollars in a night. Our kids have lived with this, and they know how to hit us up for cash for their own personal use, so it’s never been an issue.

Today, Mr. Demonic was counting up the cash, and found that the Friday envelope was $60 short and the Saturday envelope was about $75 short. This is bad. For one thing, I brought both of them into the house. Not only did I count both twice before I left, one of the girls at the business counted both twice with me. This way we double check for errors, and there has never been any. In fact, on Friday, we were $10 over from the paperwork, and Sunday (Mr. Demonic’s day) we were $20 over.

Since my house has lately become the scene of much teenage drama, my daughter is now surrounded by her friends. The list of suspects includes them. I don’t like suspecting my daughter’s friends of stealing cash. Is it the really nice one who is going to California with us next month? Is it her other friend who is saving up money for a cruise?

I have a feeling we won’t be keeping the daily take on the kitchen counter anymore.