The Keys to the Bank

One of the banks I worked on in the Spokane area was installing outlets for the B.O.L. system.  (Banking On-Line)  At the time, this was a new and innovative idea.  For instance, a person could work in Seattle, get paid, deposit their check at a bank in Seattle, and their spouse could go to the branch in Spokane and withdraw the money from the account.  Today that sounds pretty common place, but back then it was a new feature.

The installation process required that I have access to all areas of the bank.  That in turn required that I have a set of keys to every room in the bank.  I was given a large ring with numerous keys on it.  It made me very nervous.  I would take those keys home with me and never let them out of my sight.  If money turned up missing from the bank, as a key holder I could be under suspicion.  I did not like being in that position at all.

There was only one room to which I did not have a key.  It was the check counting room.  To enter that room I had to knock on a little window about 18 inches square.  The lady would look over, and if she recognized the individual, she would let them in.  The custodian told me that the glass in the square window could not be broken with a sledge hammer.

I needed to drill holes in various rooms, through concrete walls and in concrete floors, to install the outlets in the needed locations.  The custodian informed me that there were vibration sensors in all the floors and walls.  Therefore, before I started to drill a hole I would inform the custodian and he would turn off the sensors.  When I was done I would once again inform the custodian and he would turn the sensors back on.

Besides the vibration sensors, one room also had very sensitive equipment that could not have dust in the room.  I laid a large sheet of visqueen over the floor where I had to drill.  Then I got under the sheet with the drill in my hand and the visqueen draped over my back.  I crawled under the plastic to the location on the floor where I needed to drill the holes. I got the holes drilled in the floor…and nearly choked to death from the dust before I crawled out from under the visqueen.  Those kinds of tasks have taken a pretty heavy toll on my lungs.

I always tried to ignore what was going on around me as I worked.  I didn’t want to learn what was none of my business.  However, I couldn’t help but notice one often repeated phone conversation as I was crawling around the floor of one particular room.  It went something like this –

“Is this the accountant for (business X)?”

“What does your deposit of (a specific) date show to be the amount?”


There were three people at three desks making these calls.  Apparently, from what I gathered the bank was trying to locate a couple hundred thousand dollars.
I was very careful not to stand up when I finished an outlet and say; “Aye Gollies, I did it.”


I never did find out if they found their money – nor did I want to know.


More later.