As I walked into my bank, a young man in his early 20s was blocking the entrance. He stood with his back to me at a parade rest. His demeanor was strange, as if on something or mentally unstable. He had short brown hair and was sloppily dressed in a gray shirt and blue jeans. He was holding an unlit cigarette. He was accompanied by a man who was standing in line to do his banking. This man was in his mid to late 50’s, had a gray beard and was dressed in a black baseball cap, white t-shirt, and black shorts.
I asked the man blocking the entrance “are you in line?” In a confused state, he muttered something and stepped aside enough for me to pass. He then resumed his original position. His companion, who was standing about 15′ ahead of him in line, asked him to take a seat. He took a seat for about 30 seconds then stood and paced around the waiting area. He then proceeded to remove his shirt about 3/4 off his body revealing a tattoo that appeared to be gang related. He then lowered the shirt. As I scanned the room to analyze the reaction of emp[employees and customers, it appeared that people were mentally shutting down. Rather than being on alert and preparing for a potentially hazardous situation, they tuned it out and continued on with their activity as if hoping the problem would resolve itself. They were drifting into compliance mode. Both men left the bank together but the one who had blocked the entrance tagged behind, staring back through the bank windows, scanning the room. I’m not sure if he was high or if it was something else.
When people face something they are not prepared for they tend to shut down.