Bank Jobs

Bank Jobs

Montana weather usually can mean a work shut down in winter months.  Generally we planned for it by stocking up on basic necessities and food, as well as paying ahead on loans.

The 1st National Bank was a plus for us all.  The boss told us that he had bid the job at bare cost just to keep us working.  We really appreciated that, and we were determined to make it come out ahead.  We were going to work extra hard.

When the light fixtures came in, which he had ordered, he assisted us in stacking them in an empty room.  When he looked at the invoice that had come with the fixtures he said; “Oh!  This is great!  They threw the light bulbs in free.  That gives us about $400.00 profit on the job.”

When we finished and all the numbers had been run, he told us he had come out with about a 10% profit.  Everyone felt good about that.   I don’t know how the other contractors did, but I do know there were some surprises on the job.

In the banks I have worked on there are two vaults.  One is a cash vault and one is a paper vault.  Each vault has about 18” thick concrete walls enclosing them.  They are outfitted with breathing tubes so that if someone gets accidently locked in the vault they won’t suffocate.  These tubes are placed on an upward angle out of the vault so that someone inside cannot toss items out the tube to someone else outside.

In this bank the two vaults had been placed side by side for many years.  There was a partition wall between the two vaults, and the store located in the same building.  The store had moved and the bank was taking over its space.  The decision to expand the bank also included a renovation on the vaults.  The two existing vaults were to be combined into one, and a new vault installed a distance away in the new portion of the bank.

The plan was to pour concrete to fill in the existing vault doors and cut a new door on the side of the vault that had abutted the partition wall.  Two men were going to jack hammer the opening in the vault for the new door.  The job was going to take two men and a rope suspension for the jack hammer to get the new opening in the vault wall.  It was, after all, an 18” thick wall, the jack hammer was heavy, and the door was going to exceed six feet in height.

When the two men started the jack hammer it practically fell through the wall.  When they showed the bank president, he got as pale as a sheet.  The wall had been constructed out of clay tile, not 18” thick concrete.  It had been that way since the bank had been built.  Anyone could have hid in the adjoining store over night and broke into the vault with an ordinary home owner’s claw hammer.

Making the door and taking out the partition was not a big problem.  However a whole new 18” thick concrete wall had to be built.

If you attempt to break into a bank vault, make sure it is very, very old and has been built by a contractor that cuts corners.

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