I always knew he had it in for me. Ever since he became manager of my bank branch. Gillespie was tall and formal and cold and distant. Bill Moore, the previous manager had been cheerful, outgoing and sympathetic when you came to him with a problem. He would even bend the rules a little to keep a good customer. Gillespie was inflexible and always made me feel he disliked me.
When the bank erroneously deducted funds from my account, causing an overdraft charge of 45 dollars, he replaced the funds but refused to cancel the overdraft fee. I removed all the money from the account and appealed to the higher management of the bank. The effect of this was to be shunted from one office to another and to be told endlessly that it was company policy which couldn’t be changed.
Last Friday I visited my brother-in-law, Jim McNeely, and talked it over with him. he said “I know what you’re going through. Managers used to be able to manage to do something! Now they just spout company policy.” Jim was an inventor and he wanted to show me his latest invention. It was a ceramic material which was completely non-metallic and as hard as steel. He had used it to make a sort of zip gun which fired a bullet propelled by a powerful spring. He knew I did a lot of target shooting and wanted me to test it for him. I stuck it in my attache case along with all the papers concerning this bank snafu and didn’t think much about it.
I continued stewing about the bank’s unfair practices. Finally, on Thursday I decided to go back to my branch and have it out with Gillespie. This was a giant pain in the rear end because I live 25 miles out in the country in a little, old fashioned country house over one hundred years old. But there it was, There was nothing for it!
When I entered the bank, I informed one of the clerks I wanted to see the manager and was seated on a couch to wait for him . After a long wait, I was ushered into his office. He was his usual cold, formal self. We went round and round and he kept repeating “Company policy, can’t change it”. After a while he stood up, saying “This discussion is over. You must leave now.”
Suddenly, something inside me just snapped! I reached into my attache case, pulled out my brother-in-law’s gun, and let him have it! There was no report. He was standing. He staggered backward, falling on the floor! I stared in horror! He lay there endlessly repeating “There is nothing I can do. It’s company policy. There is nothing I can do. It’s company policy. There is nothing I can do. It’s company policy.” The hole in his chest showed not a drop of blood but various electronic components!
I struggled to pull myself together! And the I realized I hadn’t exactly committed a crime. All I really needed to do was get the heck out of there! I went out the door of the office, closing it behind me. It was 5 O”Clock, they would be preoccupied with closing procedures. I walked slowly, deliberately to the door. The guard let me out. My car was right by the door, I got in and left. By then I realized there would be no pursuit. I stopped at a truck stop and calmed down over a cup of hot coffee.
Just as I expected, the next morning about ten, a Lincoln Town Car pulled up in my drive a very professional looking lawyer asked to be let in. He seemed somewhat miffed and he spoke to me as if laying down the law. “Here is what we are going to do. We are closing out your account at the bank and canceling all fees. In the future you will bank somewhere else. You will never set foot in your branch again. You will keep your mouth shut or you will have no end of trouble! In this attache case you will find 20,000 dollars to compensate you for your trouble. That is all. Good day!” with that he left.
I sat there, counting the money and reflecting. Though the outcome of my showdown with Gillespie wasn’t quite what I had in mind, In a bizarre sort of way, I guess I could say: “That’ll show him!”