I spent six years of my life working security for some of the wealthiest and most powerful families on the planet. What was it like? Traumatic would be a gross understatement. I had to move mountains for these people without any acknowledgement or praise. I had to look the other way as they acted irresponsibly. I had to stand in a hallway for twenty-one hours a day, for four days straight, with no chair, no food nor bathroom breaks. While all this is going on, my colleagues plotted to backstab me and take my job.
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Even when everything was going right, it was just a matter of time before the next crisis would emerge. For instance, I get a phone call, "Customs confiscated three million dollars from the princess." Why? Because the princesses' assistants failed to declare the money when they entered the United States. All the royals routinely travelled with millions of dollars in cash. The law is anytime you enter the United States with over ten thousand dollars cash you must declare it. The result? Customs found the money and confiscated it. So your boss from Brunei tells you, "Go get the money. The princess needs it. Oh and by the way don't ask the Bruneian Embassy for help. Don't tell anyone. Make sure you get the money back without any official government help." Why? "We can't let the prince know that my assistant made a mistake." Why? Because the Asian mind says, "If your assistant is incompetent, then the person who hired him must be incompetent too." By the way I was also hired by the same guy, which means if the prince found out, I would be viewed as incompetent also. Everyone in the line of the incompetent boss is incompetent. So everyone hides what happened lest the prince find out. Solving this problem is easy, you hop on a plane, call the Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve of the United States, (yes you read that right), meet with officials, negotiate, sweat bullets and hot chili peppers for hours on end, and fix the problem. You get the money back.
One problem solved, but the next is just around the corner.
Get us rooms at the Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Glancing at your watch you see it is noon. Two days before New Years Eve! Is there any consideration that it cannot be done? No! But lucky you. You have a friend who works in rooming at Caesar's Palace. God only knows how, but she gets a presidential suite, two two-bedroom suites and ten regular rooms for New Year's Eve. Deal done right? It is nothing short of a miracle that she pulled if off. Then...another assistant, who is jealous of you, tells you he is getting better rooms, and to cancel the ones you arranged. You can't believe this is happening. You complain to the princes' assistant, but he tells you if the other assistant can get better rooms, cancel yours. So you cancel the rooms. Now you've trampled on a friendship twice. Guess what, both assistants call you at midnight in a panic, "We can't get any rooms. Get the rooms you cancelled back." Of course it's too late. Those rooms are gone. But you do it again. A second time. You get more rooms. The prince never knows what you did because then his assistant would look incompetent. So no one acknowledges that you pulled off two miracles in twenty-four hours. Never a thanks or a glance your way.
The job was more stress than I ever could have imagined. Few people in this world could handle that kind of pressure. In fact, it nearly killed me. After six years, it became too much. I headed home and left the wild world of royalty behind forever.
Robert Rangel is a native of Los Angeles. He had his own business at eighteen. Seeking adventure, and a strong desire to help his fellowman, he sold his business at 25 and joined the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. Thirteen years later, after numerous on duty injuries, (mostly bullets), he medically retired as a detective. He then traveled the world protecting princes and princesses originating from three different countries. The royals stopped traveling and Rangel found himself in a new career outside of banks with the sole purpose of stopping armed bank robberies, (more bullets). He is currently a civilian investigator for a major police department conducting pre-hire peace officer background investigations, (not so many bullets).
- A riveting tale of ambition, trickery and greed, The Organ Grinder's Monkey by Robert Rangel follows the epic saga of Steve Hui who was the Director of Security for the Royal Family of Brunei. However, just when he thinks everything is going to be easy, the cold hard realization of the dangers his job entails entangles him. Events go drastically wrong, and his life is turned upside down when he realizes the trust placed on him by the family is actually a golden noose that has ruined others, and threatens to ruin his life. Those he thought would protect him prove too cowardly, incapable, or unconfident to do so and he finally admits that the only person he can count on is himself.