Most of us, if we’re lucky, won’t have a reason to call the police while we’re in the workplace.
But most people aren’t owners of a pawn shop in a rough part of Detroit.
For Les Gold, the star of truTV’s insanely popular show, Hardcore Pawn, his daily routine is dangerous. He, along with his children — coworkers/costars Seth Gold and Ashley Broad — come almost under constant attack at the sprawling family store, American Jewelry & Loan.
Customers are usually angry because they feel they’re not getting enough money for their treasured possessions, which have included anything from TVs, rings and watches to stripper poles, mannequins — even a petrified foot.
The third-generation pawnbroker admits truTV producers do track down strange items on Craigs List and elsewhere, just so viewers don’t get bored.
“You wouldn’t want to see the same thing come in every day,” says Gold, who adds the program isn’t scripted even though the most heated customers wear microphones.
“Listen, everyone wants their five minutes of fame,’’ he adds. “Once they see the cameras, it’s going to hype them up.”
As part of his deal, Gold says, he and the staff have no idea who or what is coming through the door.
“I don’t want to know. If I did, my reaction wouldn’t be real. The impact of my actions and reactions are the selling point.”
It’s rare to see Gold get upset or violent, but it has happened, usually if his life has been threatened.
“Customers get a little upset, to say the least. On a regular basis you have to be on your guard, there’s no question. Push could come to shove in a split second. You and your security staff always have to be aware. We watch each other’s back.”
In the upcoming season six (premiering at 9 p.m. Tuesday), things at the store get even more out of control, Gold says. There will be even more bickering between Seth and Ashley as well.
Is that sibling rivalry real? Gold says yes.
“These two have been going at it since they were kids. There have been incidents when they didn’t speak for months,” says the grandfather of four. “But normally, we kiss each other in the morning hello and kiss each other goodbye at night. In between, there’s a lotta conflict.”
Wisely, Les’ wife, Lily, has stayed out of the fray.
“What happened was in the first few shows the crew asked her, ‘Who do you think is right, Seth or Ashley?’ My wife says, ‘That’s it. That’s the last day I’m working.”