August 2011

Days passed by. Felt like I was in a fog. People kept coming in talking about the robbery. When they found out it was me personally, everyone wanted to ask me questions. I was jittery, jumpy, moody, cried all the time. Made a lot of transactional errors. Not doing well at all. Overly sensitive and emotional. Kept seeing people who looked like the robber. (They still haven’t caught him.)

I hated to admit it, but I was fearful. My mind felt cracked. Hard to explain. It was suggested that I transfer to another branch. I said, out loud, “I’ve got a lot less chance of getting robbed twice in the same bank.”

I asked for counseling as it had been suggested before. Found out I qualified through the company’s Employee Assistance Program. I called the number of the referred counselor but she didn’t answer. Being late on a Friday afternoon, she had probably already left for the day, so I left her a detailed message and my phone number.

The next day, I was working the drive thru. I’d been stationed there lately as it made me feel a bit more comfortable than out in the open.

A very tall, heavy-set black woman in a long, bulky, fuzzy, leopard print coat came in with her hood up, and it was one of the only other hot days that summer. This time the lobby was nearly empty and she stood out like a sore thumb. My heart was racing.

She seemed suspicious just from the look of her. I tried hard not to assume anything. She spent quite a while with a banker at a desk across from where I stood. Then she went to sit in the lobby area.

While working on a transaction that had just whooshed down from a tube, I heard an angry voice. This woman had come up to the counter and started badgering one of the tellers. She was obviously really upset; spouting off about her sister owing her money. $9000, to be exact. I was only hearing snippets as there’s a large window between the drive thru area and the rest of the bank. Her anger escalated til she lost it. She started screaming at the top of her lungs, “Give me my money! Give me my money now!” Over and over.

At first I thought the teller wasn’t moving fast enough for this woman. I caught her eye – she looked frustrated but not afraid. She was slowly gathering up a large amount of bundled bills and I noticed a couple other employees by the windows facing the main street. I called 911, realizing she was really trying to rob us! But then I hung up, I don’t know why, and walked towards the teller and was trying to coax her towards me. I was scared for her. All of a sudden the woman lunged over the counter at us, grabbing for the money! I staggered back and just then two police officers ran in and seized her by the shoulders and handcuffed her.

It was August 20th, 2011 exactly one month after the last robbery, and now an attempted robbery! It was too much for my weakened mind. I slunk down to the floor, backed into a corner and freaked out! It was like an out-of-body experience. Unfocused faces swam in front of me. Voices telling me I did great, it was over, everyone was ok.

I got out of there despite being told I had to stay til police took my statement. I didn’t care. I ran to my car and called my husband.

(To be continued…)