Long ago, in one of the very few times in my life when my bank account was short (strange how customer accounts are so rarely in excess) my complaint at the teller's counter was referred to the bank president of that old bank downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. The odd way in which the counter ladies and their supervisor told me that I would have to speak to the bank president, stiffly with raised eyebrows and darting eyes, put me on edge. But since they insisted that no one else could deal with the problem of my shorted account, I went up alone in the old, narrow elevator to the quiet administrative floor on the top level. The offices on the top level were all closed and dark except for one at the end of the hall that was dusty and dimly lit. The unpleasant looking Bank President leaned out of his office door, then motioned for me to come in and have a seat in front of his desk. I was nineteen and this was my first experience with banks, bank accounts, and bank presidents. I knew things were not right when he seemed to lock his office door before resuming his seat behind his large, grubby desk, I just did not know why. I had had no experience with men at that time in my life. I tried to explain the situation to him, to show him my account bank statements and my personal check register, but he just stared at me menacingly. He ignored what I was saying and instead began repeating some nonsensical question at me. His temper was up. I was already frightening and this resolved me to leave the bank immediately. I sprang up and ran to the door where I found that it was indeed locked. I demanded that he open the door. I was determined to fight my way out of that office if necessary. He eyed me to assess whether or not to let me go. Then with an odd, shaky distain he unlocked the door and I ran out and down the dirty, box riddled staircase and out of the bank.
I think that I abandoned what was left of my account for I have no recollection of returning to that bank. The idea still gives me chills.
I recalled this nasty little episode of what appears to have been an attempted sexual assault by that Bank President long ago, when I sat down to balance my personal check register this month. I have my bank accounts on Excel spreadsheets and I reconcile them against my online bank accounts. In many ways 21st century life is much safer for women, confining but safer.
Caption: Faces From Long Ago On An Abandoned Silver Coin
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019