Wednesday is one of those days that can go either way. People think that Monday is going to be bad, but generally, Wednesdays are the culprit for a bad week. Because it is the middle of the week, you're less likely to expect things to go wrong. When they do go wrong, however, it's worse than you could ever imagine.
One particular Wednesday I found myself at work with just one other colleague, Terry. The day had started well enough, but as the day wore on, we got busy. We worked for a not very popular building society. Customers were few and far between normally, but today we were rushed off our feet. Mostly we had our regular customer come in and withdraw all their wages for the week. Others were new customers interested in our savings bonds.
Terry was in the side office with one of the new customers when a man I'd never seen before come in. He presented me with a savings book and asked that I close his account. Our procedures stated that if there had been no withdrawals for six months, the customer had to provide identification. So I asked him.
At this request he became agitated and somewhat angry. He accused me of withholding his money because of the colour of his skin. I assured him this wasn't the case and that I was just following procedure. Obviously he didn't much care for our procedures, and let me know this with some rather unsavoury language.
By this point, some of our regular customers entered the branch, with their children. It was at this point I asked the man to not swear as there were children present. He didn't care and became even more agitated.
The next thing I know there is a gun pointed at me. Luckily the glass between us was bulletproof, which I informed him of. This was a mistake on my part as he then took the opportunity to grab one of the children and hold the gun to her head.
The fear in the child's eyes stays with me, even to this day. The abject horror on the faces of her siblings and parents was a haunting image. The man again demanded his money. I began filling bags from the safe and held it up to the glass.
I asked him to let the girl go, then I would gladly give him the money. The ruckus had disturbed Terry in the side office, to the point he came out to see what was going on. The man looked up, lifted the gun and shot. Terry fell to the floor clutching his gut. The carpet becoming saturated with blood.
Instinctively, just before the shot was fired, I had pressed the panic button under the counter. I passed the bags of money through the counter and the man picked them up and ran out the door.
The children were crying, Terry was losing consciousness, there was no money left.
I hate Wednesdays.