A basic structure in the stories we tell, one present also in our own lives, is the one in which we want something, fight for it and at the end accomplish it or not.
Before going back to our stories, let us look at this within every day subjects: we want a special suit, we work to get the money, we search many stores, and we find it and buy it. We want to solve a math problem, we search for the solution everywhere, and we find it. We want to pass a course, we study a lot, we complete homework and tests, and we pass. We want to throw a party, we invite people, we get music, we get a venue, and we give the party.
In the case of the stories we tell, they become more interesting when people in them go through struggles in order to accomplish their goals. We relate with those struggles because as human beings we know it is not always easy to get what one wants.
Let us see:
In the bank situation, let us suppose that two masked men tie up the guard but police arrive and surround the place. The robbers take the bank customers hostages, uncover the cop, take his gun away and tie him up. They threaten to kill him if the police try to enter the bank. It will be harder to avoid the robbery but let us say that in our story it will not be impossible.
In the situation of the employee being offered a promotion let us suppose that there is another candidate and both of them will dispute the promotion. His rival plays dirty tricks on the employee and makes the boss find stolen documents inside his desk. The rival also tells their boss that the employee does not perform his job well.
And in the case of the woman which the character had not seen in ten years, let us suppose that she tells him that she has always being in love with him but her husband threatened to kill her if she did not marry him. In fact, the supposedly accidental death of one of her brothers was instead a warning murder.