I’m an introvert. But not for the reasons you think I am. I am NOT shy. Never, have I been shy. I read somewhere a while ago that an introvert is simply someone that can center themselves from inside. In other words, instead of looking outside for the catalyst for their calm an introvert can do that for themselves. I guess that is what also makes me a loner. My mother is a loner and I’m a lot like her. Some years back when my son was a baby I worked in a bank. One day the branch I worked in was robbed….at gun point. I was the senior person in the branch at that time and I actually watched the robbers walk into the branch. There was literally nothing I could do to stop it. I didn’t even have time to warn the others.
As I watched the thieves pull the shotgun from the back of their vehicle I simply surveyed the branch, noticed there were no customers present, pulled the silent alarm, then placed my hands on top of my desk. Just the week before I’d given the security briefing to rest of the staff. I told them exactly how to behave in the event of a robbery. As the thief racked his shotgun all I could think about was….I was wearing my good dress. Would I have to lay on the floor in my one interview worthy outfit?
Thankfully, it was all over quickly. The second thief walked over to the one teller I was SURE wouldn’t be able to handle herself, demanded the money, then left the branch. As I ran to lock the door the teller collapsed. But she’d done her job. She’d followed instructions and saved our lives.
A short while later, after the police arrived, and just before the counselor arrived on site we were instructed to call our families to let them know we were ok. See, the information was going to be on the news soon. They didn’t want our family members to be startled. I personally, didn’t have anyone to call. My family was 350 miles away. And, since I never heard any news from Richmond when I lived there I found it doubtful my parents would hear about the incident over the news. Instead I called the babysitter taking care of my infant son. Later, I stopped by school and told my advisor and his staff. Were it not for them I’d have no one to tell.
Before leaving for the day, the counselor stopped by the branch. We had a group discussion. One of the first questions she asked was…”Who is coming to work tomorrow?” We all were taken aback. We ALL were planning to come to work the next day. It never even occurred to me not to come to work. Later, as I discussed the incident with the assistant manager of the branch she informed me that I seem to be able to know what I need to be ok. She said everyone doesn’t.
All I needed that day was to pick up my son, hug him with all I had, and simply go home. I left all the emotions at the job. Because, after the robbers left, and the branch was secure. I walked over to that teller and thanked her. She did EVERYTHING right. She SAVED OUR LIVES. She will never know how much that meant to me although I certainly told her those exact words.
I am an introvert. For some reason I know what I need to do to be alright in any situation. I am not shy.