Mr. Jones didn’t know what was happening around him. One minute he was standing in line at the bank, and the next, he was being escorted to a police cruiser.
Everything happened so fast that he lost track. But he did hear someone accusing him of causing a disturbance. What had he done to deserve this?
All He Wanted
All poor old Mr. Jones wanted to do was withdraw some money. And at 92 years old, he had no idea how to use the new machines that were put into circulation.
So he decided to do things the old fashion way. If only he knew it would end with him sitting at the back of a police car. Maybe then he would have asked one of the youngsters to help instead.
He Needed To Pay The Kids
The end of the month had arrived, and he needed to pay the kids what he owed them. That was the only reason he went to the bank.
He had no idea something so simple would turn into such a mission. He didn’t begin to imagine that his presence or his card would cause such a fuss.
He Didn’t Even Know
He didn’t even know the thing could expire. No one had told him that such things had happened. He thought they were valid for life since he never had to renew one before.
But clearly, that wasn’t the case. It was a simple misunderstanding that he would’ve rectified immediately. But he needed that cash before he could leave, and they simply didn’t want to give it to him.
Was It Really That Bad?
That was what Mr. Jones couldn’t understand. It was clear that he had the card and that it was still him in the picture. So what was the big deal?
Why couldn’t they just give him what he came there for and let him be on his way? That way, everyone would be happy, and the police wouldn’t have to get involved.
Mr. Leonard Jones was a 92-year-old veteran with a zest for life. He adored gardening and cooking for his beloved wife.
But since her passing three years ago, things have started to change. He could feel life catching up with him. And the things he used to adore became nothing more than distant memories. So he had to come up with another plan.
Age Was Catching Up
Age was catching up with Mr. Jones, and that made things incredibly difficult for him. His hip had given out, meaning that he needed a walking stick, and that affected every other aspect of his life as well.
Since he couldn’t stand for long periods of time, Mr. Jones had to give up on things like gardening and cooking. But he couldn’t give it up altogether because he still needed to eat.
Relying On Others
Because of that, Mr. Jones started relying heavily on the kindness of others. And since everyone in the neighborhood knew him, they were more than happy to help.
But they could only do certain things and only at certain times. However, Mr. Jones needed help full-time, and that was how he came up with this brilliant idea.
One day Mr. Jones stumbled upon three teenagers, and he asked them if they wanted to earn some extra money.
The teens were instantly intrigued by the offer and asked Mr. Jones what he needed them to do. Mr. Jones explained the situation to them and made them an offer of $100 per week. Delighted, the teens agreed.
Young David took on the task of doing the weekly grocery shopping for Mr. Jones. So every Saturday morning, he would pop by to collect the money and shopping list. Then he would head out.
He would return a few hours later with all the things Mr. Jones requested, and then he would help the old man to prepare his meals for the week.
Little Sam was in charge of gardening. He made sure that the massive backyard was trimmed and that all the flowers for the next season were planted.
He also made sure that the vegetables were taken care of and that they were harvested on time every time. It was a hectic job, but the young man seemed to enjoy it.
Then there was young Anna. She made sure that the house was always ready for the occasional guest. She did all the cleaning and brought that feminine touch back into the home.
Having the three youngsters helping him out was more than Mr. Jones could ever have asked for. They always tried their best, and he tried to do the same in return.
He Paid Well
That was one of the reasons why he paid them so well. They were major contributors to his livelihood, and he didn’t know where he’d be without them.
So he always paid on time, and whenever he could afford it, he tried to give them a little extra to show his appreciation. But this month, things just didn’t want to work.
End Of The Month
It was the last day of the month, and Mr. Jones had to withdraw the money he owed the children. He’d been planning this outing for days and even arranged an Uber to make sure he could get everything done on time.
But the teller at the bank had other ideas. She was trying to make his life as difficult as possible.
Heading To The Bank
It was early when Mr. Jones got into the Uber and headed to the bank. He thought that if he got there early enough, he would miss the queues.
But sadly, he got stuck in traffic, and he only arrived at the bank past 9 am. However, he wasn’t phased. He had the entire day ahead of him. If only he knew what was in store for him.
Just A Withdrawal
All he wanted to do was withdraw some money after all. He just needed to fill in a slip, hand it to the cashier, and be on his way. How difficult could that be?
Apparently, it was going to be far more difficult than Mr. Jones ever would’ve imagined. And it was all because the cashier wouldn’t listen to a word he said.
A Long Wait
The wait was long, longer than Mr. Jones thought it would be. There were only five people in the queue in front of him.
But with only two working tellers, it was taking forever for them to get served. And for a man his age, that wasn’t a good thing. But that was just the beginning.
He Needed To Sit
After 20 grueling minutes, Mr. Jones was starting to feel the pressure. His hip was starting to get painful, and he knew he needed to sit down if he wanted it to stop.
But if he left the queue now, he’d have to start the process all over again. The only thing he could do at that point was fight through the pain and hope the process sped up.
What a lot of people didn’t know about the man at a glance was that he was a war veteran. Even though it had been many decades ago, it still portrayed something about his character.
But a repercussion of his military background would be when he was confronted by one of the guards. He wouldn’t be able to help himself when his body reacted to a threat in front of him.
Not Noticing Something
The old man was growing impatient by the minute, but there was something that he hadn’t noticed that would be to his detriment. It was the security measures.
What he didn’t know was that the bank had been held up by robbers just a few months before he tried making his withdrawal. That meant everyone was on edge.
The staff were on high alert, verging on paranoid. But this was something that the poor old man didn’t know about.
This meant that he would easily be a victim of the system without even knowing it. He would do nothing wrong, but to the faculty, it wouldn’t appear so innocent when he was dragged out of the store.
Even though it appeared normal on the surface, the bank was hysterical on the inside. The polite cashier had an itchy finger for the panic button under her desk.
And though the security guard politely greeted people by the door, he was ready to pull out his pistol at the slightest hint of danger. This was not the environment that Mr. Jones had anticipated.
One person got served, and then another. Mr. Jones was getting closer to his goal by the minute. If only they would open another teller, then he could be on his way.
But the old man still stood in the line, grumbling on the inside. If he knew what kind of mishap there would be at the counter, he would have spun on his heel and headed back out the door.
Another Teller Opened
By 10:30 am, another teller opened, and luckily, things did indeed start speeding up. But Mr. Jones had no idea what he was in for.
The old man had seen plenty of hardships in life and didn’t need any more. Between the long-term effects of the war and his wife’s passing, his tolerance for grievances was low.
Looking In The Wrong Place
His mind started to wander as he stood in line. He looked around and made the mistake of staring at the security guard. It was a harmless action, but he didn’t know what he was doing.
His gaze glanced at the security guard’s Beretta pistol in its leather holster. It made him think back to when he was a soldier. But the guard didn’t see what he was reminiscing inside his mind.
The innocent reminiscing and gazing looked very different from the perspective of the security guard. Mr. Jones had no idea what he was doing to the overworked and stressed guard.
He was already on edge from the holdout a few months prior and was looking for the slightest bit of suspicion, and the old man was becoming a prime candidate.
Sizing Him Up
It looked to him like poor Mr. Jones was sizing him up the way he was looking at his gun. This put him at the top of his list in terms of suspicious actions.
All he wanted to do was make a withdrawal, but he was inadvertently making his own life a lot harder by accident. Mr. Jones had no idea what was coming to him.
Front Of The Line
With all of the daydreaming, before he knew it, Mr. Jones was at the front of the line waiting to be called by the next available teller.
He could feel his excitement growing, and as he was called, it doubled. He could finally get the visit to the bank over with. But things wouldn’t work out the way he wanted them to.
Presenting The Documents
Mr. Jones presented his documents to the young lady who was waiting to serve him. And that was when his problems truly began.
He had made sure he had all of the necessary documents on his person when he left for the bank. But there was something he had overlooked that would cost him more than just his time.
The next thing Mr. Jones recalled was that the lady behind the counter was arguing with him. And before he knew it, there were two security guards standing behind him.
One of them had already felt like Mr. Jones could pose a problem from earlier and was eager to step up and see what was going on. But the poor man hadn’t intentionally done anything wrong.
Just having the guards behind him caused a monumental amount of pressure on his ability to make a stand for himself. The old man wasn’t equipped for stress like this.
He didn’t know what happened. All he remembered was that the woman said that his social security card had expired. What happened after that was nothing more than a blur.
Told To Leave
The security guard that had seen the old man look at his pistol earlier was all too eager and grabbed onto Mr. Jones’ arm, painfully squeezing as he tried to drag the old man away from the counter.
That’s when dozens of thoughts raced through his mind as his survival instincts kicked in. But what he did next would only cause him more grief than he had bargained for.
Mr. Jones protested because he needed to get the money for the kids who were anxiously awaiting his return. Why were none of these people listening to him?
As Mr. Jones opened his mouth to speak, the security guard told him to shut it and leave. That’s when the old man’s military training from forty years ago kicked in.
A Real Threat
The guard was manhandling the old man, and in his desperation to get free, a switch turned on in his brain. He felt his military training and experience from nearly a half-century ago spark to life.
He grabbed the guard’s hand that was gripped painfully tight on his forearm and used a reversal to get out of it. The guard was shocked by his speed. Clearly, he hadn’t taken the old man seriously. Now he was a real threat.
Drawing His Gun
The guard had seen this as an attack and reached for his pistol. But just as he was about to draw it, he heard the cashier scream, “Stop it! He’s just an old man!” This seemed to knock some sense into the guard.
He kept his hand on the holster but didn’t escalate the situation yet. Now Mr. Jones was in a standoff. Would he be able to explain his way out of this?
He Tried To Explain
Mr. Jones was desperate for the cash and tried to explain his situation nonetheless. He stared down the guard and when he felt comfortable enough to turn away, he faced the cashier.
He’d have to try and sell the reason why he was there. For a 92-year-old man to go out and wait in line was a strenuous task. Surely she’d understand that?
He tried to tell the woman about the children and why he was there, but she called the security once more and threatened to call the police if he didn’t leave.
It seemed that she saved him once from the guards by getting them to lower their guns, but she wouldn’t save him a second time. What was he going to do now?
They Wouldn’t Listen
Mr. Jones pleaded with anyone that would listen. He didn’t know social security cards could expire.
It seemed the world was a cruel one when people didn’t care to understand his innocent mistake. But now that he knew cards expired, he’d have it renewed immediately.
All he needed was for them to help him this once, and he swore he’d never make the same mistake again.
He even crumbled to his knees, his hip not being able to support him anymore. But his pleas fell on deaf ears. No one wanted to hear what an old and irrelevant man had to say.
A few minutes later, the police arrived at the bank. Three cars had blocked the entrance, and all the officers were armed to their teeth. Mr. Jones was shocked by the sight.
Did they really need that for a man as old and frail as him? “It’s him! He’s the man causing the disturbance!” the cashier yelled, pointing a finger at Mr. Jones.
“Please, officer. I didn’t mean for all this to happen,” Mr. Jones said as his tears stung his eyes. “All I wanted to do was draw money for the children who help me make my way through life.”
The officer led Mr. Jones to a chair and sat down next to him. “Why don’t you tell me what happened here today?” the officer asked politely.
Mr. Jones explained the whole situation to the young officer who was sitting beside him. And he could see the disbelief that was etched on the officer’s face.
“How could they do something like that?” the officer asked, even though he was mainly talking to himself. After that, he got up and approached one of the other officers.
The officers on the scene started questioning everyone who was in the bank at the time Mr. Jones reached the teller. And they quickly discovered what the problem really was.
The teller had told Mr. Jones that his social security card had expired and that they couldn’t help him until he had it renewed. That was the bank’s policy, and they couldn’t change it.
Explaining His Situation
After questioning everyone involved, the officer explained the situation to Mr. Jones, who informed the officer that he didn’t know such things had happened.
His wife had always taken care of all the paperwork. And he promised the kids that he would be back with their money in two hours. All he wanted was some leniency.
The officer nodded before helping Mr. Jones to his feet. He escorted the old man to his cruiser and helped him into the back seat. Was he being arrested?
No, the officers had come up with a plan. If the bank didn’t want to help the retired veteran, they would. And there was nothing anyone could do to stop them.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.