Communication is the key here. Too many people are afraid to communicate with the robber and we've even seen some examples where a procedure will say don't talk to them! The truth is, you need to communicate with them. By communicating, there won't be any misunderstanding about what you are doing. For example, you reach to open the drawer and the robber misinterprets this as you reaching for the alarm. It's important that they understand what you're doing and the best way for them to understand is to tell them.
As for your question about the note. The teller should simply say, "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you want and I don't want to give you the wrong thing. Please tell me what it is that you want." This will work whether it's a bad guy or a customer with really bad hand writing!!
Learn more about Barry Thompson and Arvin Clar’s webinar The New Normal in Bank Robbery Awareness Three training programs in one webinar!