Sunday, January 23, 2022

Stand Up Slowly


  In January of 1995, I began working in a bank and I was excited to have my first job as an adult at a local financial institution. Two weeks after I started I was asked to work a long 12 hour split shift to help cover the numerous absences of my co-workers. My co-workers were attending a funeral of an employee from another branch. I commented that they must have known everyone because it sounded like so many people were attending the funeral. I was told they had been with the bank for about 8 years. I asked how the man had passed. I stood mouth agape listening to what happened. 

  The man was working in the vault room with a teller. Both the small upper and large lower vaults were open. Preparing to load the filled coin bags into the lower vault, as the teller counted the cash from the upper vault, the man leaned over and hoisted the heavy bag into the vault. As he stood up, he cracked the back of his head on the upper thick and heavy vault door. He didn't split his head open, but was in a lot of pain and immediately got an ice pack and sat down. His wife was called to come and get him and bring him home as the pain was excessive. Two days later, the man died from a massive brain bleed. It was horrible. From that day forward, every branch instituted a new rule. One vault open at a time and the 2nd person present had to keep their hand on the open top vault door at all times and the other person would be the counter and note taker. 

  My entire adult life I have been wary about hitting the back of the head. It instilled an unnatural fear in me. I never stand up under a shelf. I get into cars differently than I used to. I scope out my surroundings before standing up when I am seated on the floor. Every physical movement has become calculated and planned because of the death of a man I never met. 

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