Lights Out at the Bank

So you’re at the bank making a deposit or withdrawing a little bit of “fun money” for the weekend and then suddenly the power goes out. Everything gets dark and you’re probably thinking “this place is about to get robbed.” Well, that’s what happened to me today. I was working my Saturday shift at the bank, and all was going pretty smoothly and time was going by at a nice, quick pace, then about three quarters of the way through my four hour day, the lights went out. Robbery was the first thought that popped into my head and apparently I wasn’t alone because some of the other workers started nervously looking around and wondering aloud where the security guard was, our thinking being that criminals cut the power to disable the security cameras. The search commenced for the security guard as the seconds ticked by. He wasn’t in the building and a quick look outside confirmed that he was not on the premises. The security guard employed by the bank couldn’t even stay on the property for the four hours that we were opened today. He should probably be fired.

Luckily, the power outage had nothing to do with criminals attempting to rob the bank, but rather was caused by the stormy weather in our area this morning. Once we realized that we were safe, I began to enjoy the power outage, a nice break from work after a busy morning of nonstop transactions, but that pleasure vanished quickly as I realized that no electricity meant no air conditioning, and I began to sweat. I sat in the darkness longing for the lights to come back on so I could turn the fan on that was positioned directly at my face for the remaining hour of work, and luck was on my side because after about fifteen minutes light returned to the bank and I started to cool down. I was amazed at how many people waited patiently outside for the lights to come back on, because on the rare occasions when I actually go to a bank to get money or make a deposit, I get impatient waiting behind a single car in the line for the drive up ATM. Maybe these people have more important banking needs than I do.

When we finally reopened the doors the line was pretty long and for the remainder of the shift there was a nonstop stream of customers pouring in. I’ve often thought about what I would do in the event of a robbery, common thinking I assume from people who have jobs where large amounts of money are involved. The bank has a protocol for how to handle such situations and is gone over extensively in training, but in the bank of my mind I think that if I see someone come in wearing a mask or brandishing a gun, that I would immediately drop to the floor and crawl unseen to a closet to wait out the madness. But that’s just me. I don’t want to be a hero; I just want to live to blog another day.

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