Today is the day. My driver turned the car onto Park Ave.
"Five minutes, Mr. Magosaki."
Storefronts displaying the latest fashions blurred by as I stared out the window. Eyeless bodies herded past the high dollar lure of gems and clothes. A dozen patrons waited in line for coffee and bagels from a food cart. In a few hours, it would be for hotdogs. Are these real humans or just robotics set in motion like twenty-first-century mannequins? A NYPD officer paced the walk scanning for anyone who would dare to draw notice.
I have had my eye on things for a while. In five minutes I will step through the front door of the bank and make the long overdue changes. Those who have acted badly will pay.
Forty years in banking is a long time to put up with their insolence, disrespect, and prejudice. I wish my parents had never moved to New York City. Being enlisted as interpreters for the United Nations had been thought a grand escape from postwar Japan. Instead, one challenge had been traded for another. A culture built on century-old traditions exchanged for a melting pot of humanity. Today, I will institute the administrative, policy, and personnel changes that need to be made and make them proud.
I'm not sure what the Board will think about the shift in bank policy but I must be steadfast in my goals. If needed, I will replace them all. They have grown fat and lazy living on the backs of the less fortunate. Their positions were garnered by appointment rather than merit. Out of touch with reality, they had no idea the struggles that the average person withstood to survive. They consumed steak and caviar while others ate hotdogs on the street.
The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and MSNBC will want to schedule interviews and the stockholders will become concerned. I can handle them. They will be ecstatic when they see the market respond with positive returns. We will become known as the people's bank.
The Federal Reserve will audit us and perform regulatory stress tests. Upsetting the status quo comes with difficulties but I am prepared to handle it.
Note to self: Fire Hanks the condescending bank teller manager. Second, notify Mrs. Astor to leave her stinking white poodle at home or move her accounts. Review and reconsider every personal loan denied in the past month. Last, I will issue a memo for a ten percent raise to all hourly staff and double their lunch breaks to an hour.
The car stopped and I climbed the nineteen steps to the Manhattan bank. I paused at the top of the stairs and asked myself; Are you ready or are you a coward and will maintain the status quo?
Stepping through the depository's doors, Herman the security guard greeted me with his daily nod, circa nineteen-forty-five, winking like he was staring down the sights of an M-1 carbine on Iwo Jima. I don't trust him and he doesn't trust me. A bank's very existence is built on trust. He smirks to remind me who was the victor and remind me of my ancestor's loss.
Additional note to self: Retire Herman. The war ended sixty-eight years ago.
"Mr. Magosaki, you're late. Either, skip lunch or I will have to dock you an hours pay. Your favorite customer is waiting for you. Count your drawer and get your Tellers window open now," demanded Mr. Hanks, "By the way, you have been scheduled to work Saturday A.M. The Tellers softball team has a game at nine o'clock."
My Uber driver texted my phone,
"Thank you for the generous tip. Sorry your '83 Civic died. Do you need me tomorrow as well?"
"Good morning, Mrs. Astor. How is Fifi? Would she like a puppy treat today?" I said.
Tomorrow is the day. I will bring poison. It's easier.
This short story is for JBaz's 'Silent Thought' Challenge. I went with a mentally off-balance bank employee. You might have met him today in a convenience store, your bank, or in the grocery store. Be kind, you don't want to make their list.
Six hundred and forty-seven words. One write and one edit. A good edit would chop at least twenty percent more off, maybe more. I have been to NYC many times and a thousand faces could be the subject of this story. What are they thinking, feeling, or processing? If I were to trade places with them, in that instant, would I be in physical pain, happy, or stressed? Would I be broke? Hungry? What do their eyes record? Do we want to know?
Join the Silent Challenge by JBaz and have some fun.
About the Creator
Since reading Tolkien in Middle school, I have been fascinated with creating, reading, and hearing art through story’s and music. I am a perpetual student of writing and life.
J. S. Wade owns all work contained here.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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