Writer: Adlin Z Omar
Published: Fri, 28 Oct 2011
Morag found herself staring down the barrel of a gun. This should be expected, right? After all, she worked in a bank. Banks got robbed.
“Okay. This is not how I expected my day to start,” Morag said, and someone grumbled an agreement.
“Shut up,” Jason scolded, glaring at the grumbler.
“Be serious. Come on,” David urged, holding his hands up. His curly hair looked a bit out of sorts this morning. Perfect for the situation they were in, Morag mused to herself.
“You know, I’ve had a rethink, and I don’t know if I can work in a high-risk environment,” Morag said, looking up at Jason, who was holding the gun. “I have kids who depend on me.” She lifted her shoulders when she saw him frown through the stockings over his head.
Jason sighed and lowered the gun. He rubbed his dark hair with his palm.
This is not working, Jason thought to himself miserably. “We have to go through this drill. If we’re faced with this sort of situation, we’d know what to do. Or, at least we won’t panic that we freeze when faced with a gun.”
Jason pulled the stockings off his head impatiently and announced, “All right. Let’s take a break. We’ll go one more round before the bank opens.” His preppy-boy smart looks were clouded by frustration and annoyance at the defiance of the minions working for him.
“Do we have to?” Missy complained, worried that with the drill taking up her time to set up before the bank opened, she wouldn’t have time to do her breast pump. Milk would stain her shirt, and she would have to end up wearing a shawl the rest of the day.
“It’s going to happen, isn’t it? We might as well just die!” moaned Steve the security guard, a pessimistic, anxiety-ridden ex-prison warden who had quit his job at the prison because he had been under stress. No one understood why he kept on winding up in jobs that required guns.
“We can reduce the possibilities of death in these scenarios if only…” Jason was saying, and then stopped when he realised nobody was listening to him. “Why do I even bother?” he muttered to himself, and headed for his office in the back room.
Morag followed him back to the office. “Do we have to do this stupid drill?”
Jason took a deep breath and released it slowly as he sat down in his high-backed chair. “We are not going to do any more drills today. We’ll try again tomorrow.”
“I had better not be your teller in distress, Jason,” Morag warned him before she turned on her heels.
Behind her, David was standing in the doorway with a gun aimed to her chest. “This is a robbery. I want you to go to your till and put money in this bag.”
Morag snorted and narrowed her eyes. “Out of my way.” She stomped over to her counter.
David threw the bag past her shoulder and snarled, “I’m not asking again. Do it.”
“Oh, you boys just want to play with your guns!”
Missy breathed, “Boys always want to play with their guns” to no one in particular, but Mrs Jenis, the cleaning lady, chuckled appreciatively at the double entendre.
David produced another bag and threw it to Missy. “You too, Missy. Fill this bag.”
Jason stood in the doorway, crossing his arms. “Oh, now you girls want to play.”
Morag and Missy were filling the bags David threw at them, Morag fuming and Missy looking impatient.
David turned and aimed the gun to Jason. “You. Move up front where I can see you. Over there.” He gestured with the gun towards the lobby in front of the teller, and Jason complied, arms half up.
“Someone’s supposed to press the button,” Jason drawled, lifting an eyebrow at Morag.
She obliged, but refused to look at him.
“Now, zip it up,” David instructed. The two women complied, looking bored. “Slide it over.”
“I hate these drills. Look, I’m going start leaking milk here if I don’t get to my pump soon,” Missy complained, making Jason grimace in disgust.
“I don’t need to see that,” Jason said firmly.
“Can I go, Mr Robber, sir?” Missy asked David, who was slowly picking up the bags even as he kept the guns trained on them.
Steve had his hands on his hips, saying superior-like, “This is not right. Has anyone pressed the button?” Always. A train too late.
“All right. Everyone stay where you are and nobody gets hurt.” David walked backwards towards the back door, unlocking the doors with his own key. He made it out the door and they saw him jump into his sedan, whooping with joy and laughing.
All eyes fell on Jason. Something was not right here.
Morag was the first to ask: “Was that part of the drill?”
“No! That was no drill!” Jason shouted, now making a run towards his office. “Mo, you pressed the button, right?”’
“Yeah, but isn’t the system offline for this exercise?” Morag asked, unsure.
Jason stopped at the door to his office, head hung low. “Yes! Damn it! Steve! Call the police! We have a robbery.”
“What? A robbery! Oh my God! We’re going to die!” Steve cried, his hand going to the wrong side of his gun belt.
Morag closed her eyes and really wanted to cry herself.
“You guys don’t pay me enough for this.”