Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jane Sykes, Chapter Three: In Which We Learn That They Are Out There, They Are After You, And They Hate Your Cats

Jane calls the branch frequently with her banking problems. We have Caller ID, and when we see “Sykes, Jane” on the phone, everybody suddenly gets very busy with whatever they are doing. As a result, I am frequently stuck dealing with her (“shot not,” and all that).

I received a call from Jane that went thusly:

RB: “Thank you for calling Fiscal United Bank, this is your Relationship Banker speaking, how can I help you?”

JS: “This is Jane Sykes. I have been a client of your bank for thirty five years. I need to speak to you about something.”

RB: “Of course, how can I assist you?”

JS: “The bastards are breaking into my house.”

RB: “Uh…… you mean right now?”

JS: “No, at night! They always break into my house, and you know what? They are trying to kill my cats!”

After a few minutes of listening to Jane’s detailed incident report (including a declined request for me to come over and change her locks), she seemed to lose her steam. Attempting to not sound dismissive, I suggested that she call a locksmith to make sure her locks were adequate to prevent break ins. She thanked me for that, and thus was forged the bond that could not be shattered (despite my best attempts).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Client Appreciation 7,200 Minutes

Fiscal United Bank, seeing how truly visionary and awesome my thought processes are, has adopted my policy. On September 2, 2008, at 1:45 P.M., I celebrated Client Appreciation Minute. Anyone who was at my desk at that time was eligible for a free giveaway. No one showed. But the higher ups must have sensed the potential, because they took my idea and multiplied it by 7,200! We are in minute number 4,935 of our Client Appreciation 7,200 Minutes (referred to in some circles as "Client Appreciation Week") and the giveaways are hot and heavy! We have Baby Ruths! We have Snickers! We have 3 Musketeers! We have mini Reeses! We have M & M s! We have Whoppers! We have- wait, what?

Whoppers? Who eats these? They taste awful! I heard they are used as an alternative to waterboarding by the C.I.A. They are disgusting.

Anyway, it's a good thing that this week falls on Halloween, because pretty much all we're doing is giving away candy. We did that every Friday in August. They're taking my idea and dragging it through the mud with their poorly conceived give aways!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Training Daze

OK, so I went from being a Teller to being a Relationship Banker in February. When I asked when I get to go to RB training, I was told that there was no training yet, as Fiscal United Bank hadn't anticipated promotions so close to the conversion. I was to get on the job training, or as I like to call it, "Too Many Chefs." I know four different ways to do things, and none of them end up being right, because I was taught while everyone else was learning the new computer system. I know how to make the computer do stuff, but I don't know the reasons behind half of the stuff I do on a regular basis. I have been asking for months when I could go to training.

Today, the manager announced that one of our tellers was being promoted to fill the too long vacant head teller position, and the other candidate being passed over would be sent to RB training in the near future. I have a real problem with this. I have been begging to go to training for the entire time I have been in the position, because I feel I would be more independent and effective at my job if I had guidance from a trained professional rather than co-workers who don't even understand how to do their own jobs effectively. I want company sanctioned guidance, and have made no secret about it. But now, because I am intelligent enough to figure out how to do things on my own, and someone else less capable of independent learning is being passed over for a job they could not have handled, they're placating her by sending her to training for another job she could not handle, and not sending the one person who needs the training.

I feel like I am being punished for being smart, and that does nothing to help my morale or motivation.

Not happy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Promotion Commotion

OK, this is getting silly. Our recently launched Incentive Checking has, apparently, met with lukewarm response. Don't blame me; since my own problems with the Incentive website were resolved, I have been pushing this like my old Crown Vic when the engine blew (i.e. with all my might, and it's not really moving anywhere). So, in an effort to generate additional interest, we are relaunching the product with a new campaign.

I was confronted yesterday by a gigantic, obnoxious blue monolith clogging one of the customer exits from the teller area. It offends the eye and obstructs your path, while offering nothing but the name of the product, the slogan, and vague imagery. Apparently this product can, judging only by the signage, allow you to get a pile of random merchandise, a jumbo jet airliner, and oversized novelty dollar signs.

OK, fair enough. Advertisement. I get it. But certainly, it can be done in a smaller space, and can be positioned somewhere where it isn't making clients funnel through one narrow space to leave the teller area.

Later in the day, we see a large blue duffle bag. Said duffle is filled with, among other things, small stress relieving foam airplanes. (Much needed, by the way. I've been through six of them this morning alone.) ALSO secreted in this duffle bag are blue ribbons, asking "Have You Been Rewarded?" with our logo on the bottom. We must wear these now, held on by our magnetic name tags. Have I Been Rewarded? No, I certainly have not. Despite the fact that I look like I have won Best In Show, I don't consider this a Reward, I consider it punishment.

I've always been grateful and proud to work for a company that doesn't do the cheesy gimmick thing. I hate watching people standing on the side walk wearing a gorilla suit and a sandwich board that says "You'll Go Ape Over Our Interest Rates!" I think it demeans both the employee and the bank. Dressing us up with ribbons and bows and making us decorate our break room is missing the point.

Maybe the real reason people aren't going crazy is that they realize that with only 200 Miles per month maximum for ACH payments and 100 Miles per month maximum for withdrawals, it would take 5 ½ years to earn $50. People miss Debit Pluses, and if you ask me, this is a poor replacement. They want dollar for dollar bonus miles! They want to redeem exact amounts for airline tickets, not this sliding scale that pretty much guarantees you're losing miles unless your ticket costs exactly $250. Yes, they get HUGE bonuses for Direct Deposit, and an Anniversary Bonus that will halve the time it will take to gain serious miles, but it just isn't that exciting.

So let me be frank, Fiscal United Bank; it's not gimmicks, it's not ribbons, and it's not bells and whistles the common people want. It's zero problems, which is what we're known for. It's the ole Straight Talk Express. Let's save the ribbons and get down to some serious Incentive!

Monday, October 6, 2008

F.D.I.C.-Ya On The Other Side

With the "big bailout" finally voted through, excitement abounds concerning the increased coverage provided by the FDIC that was tacked on to the bill. So with this increased coverage comes a deluge of questions from clients. Here are some of the best so far:

"So does this mean I'm fully covered now?" (usually asked by people with about $3,000 in the bank)

"Does this mean I need more signers on the account?"

"So my coverage does what now?"

"Benny-who?" (when asked about beneficiaries)

"So I have more money now?"

"Ok, its 100,000, times 250,000, that's 25,000,000, right?"

"Why don't you have candy on your desk like she does?" (with them pointing at my coworker's desk)

As I may have mentioned, we don't have the brightest clients.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mini Vacay

Well, now, I'm back from my five day retreat from the banking world. Nothing big happened, right?
Interesting five days. The more I did, the longer I stayed away from the bank, the more I forgot, and the more relaxed I became.

Wednesday: Tremendously productive. Jeep inspection and oil change, paid property taxes and home owners insurance, my vision is 20/20 (actually 20/15 in my right eye) and I got a lot of cleaning done around the house. Forgot the interest rates on business money markets.

Thursday: Not so productive. Some cleaning, some writing, some video games. Forgot the mail code for product services and the name of the business I opened a checking account for on Tuesday.

Friday: Did NOTHING productive. Literally. TV, video games, writing, internet, eating (it is vacation, after all). Forgot the interest rates on Interest Bearing Checking, the mail code for check images, and the number of the deli that I always got lunch from.

Saturday: Now Saturday was epic. My brother woke me up an hour too early to get to my nephew's football game. I went to the deli to get an egg sandwich. It was gross. I dropped my phone outside the deli, and didn't realize until 25 minutes later, thus skragging my phone. Football game was rained out. Whilst playing video games, texting over IM, and chatting over X-Box Live, I managed to stab myself just above the knee with an X-acto knife. I hobbled to the Sprint Store, found the exact phone I wanted, found out they didn't have it in stock, went home to see if my old phone would hold a charge, found out it didn't, went back to Sprint store to get other, less perfect phone as temporary replacement. Did more house cleaning despite stab wound to the knee. Forgot interest rates on ALL accounts, name of the courier, proper emergency exit procedures, and how to use ConnectionSpot.

Sunday: Did last minute cleaning. Went to Blockbuster with Jillian to rent video games. Went to my sister's house to visit and explain stab wound, helped brother in law with Jeep cover. Went back home and played video games. Watched baseball, learned a whole lot about Facebook. Forgot names of co-workers, phone number of the branch, job description, passwords to all computer applications, and directions to the branch. By the time I went to sleep Sunday night, all I remembered was that I had a job with Fiscal United Bank and that my title had the word Relationship in it.

Monday: Imagine my disappointment when I learned that my job was about Relationship BANKING, not as some sort of romantic counsellor.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Leave Me Alone, I'm Sick

So I'm running a fever of, by my estimation, 128 degrees. I've been bouncing between flop sweat and shivering for the entire day. My sinuses feel like their packed with Pop Rocks and Alka Seltzer. My nose is like Hilary Clinton; it won't stop running, even though it's been told repeatedly that enough is enough. My cough sounds like a 75 year old woman who smoked 18 packs a minute for 320 years. I'm hallucinating, or maybe there really are small parakeets dive bombing the teller line.

But I can't go home, because I am closing. This isn't the first time, either. As a teller, I once went through an entire day having to vomit every 45 minutes, even though I had nothing in my stomach. I had such a high fever that I was huddled over the drive up drawer with the heater on for warmth. I had to lay in the back on the floor every few minutes to keep from falling down. But I stayed, because I was closing, and God Forbid anyone else step up to the plate and take a bullet.

Everyone wants you to feel better, everyone wants you to be well, exccept no one else will step up and take over for you if it means they have to stay past 5:01.

Being a team player is sometimes exceedingly painful. I have a five day weekend starting Wednesday. Hopefully tomorrow will find me not as an extra in The Andromeda Strain.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is It National Asshole Month And I Missed The Memo?

In my job as a banker, I meet some interesting people. That sometimes translates into people who have a very interesting take on life that amuses me and makes me think about new ways of approaching problems, appreciating the little things, or communicating. Then again, it sometimes translates into self important douche bags who like to make themselves feel important when the world just doesn't make sense to them.

A client at the bank this week was told by our telephone express department that there was a $700 transaction on her account with Monday's date on it Tuesday at 5:30. She called the branch, and we tried to explain to her that until it shows up in our claims system (1-3 days), we can't dispute the transaction. She then blusters about her husband's connections, and proceeds to call the cops. A plainclothes detective shows up, and I, at my manager Alice's urging, deny him entry into the building until I can call my manager back (at this point I was the only senior staff member present) and he calls two patrol cars to back him up. When they finally arrive and knock, I realize that the uniformed guys are someone I HAVE to let in, so I open the door, and he practically tears the door open. After reading me the riot act about correct procedure for identifying plain clothes officers, he spoke to Alice and she smoothed things over (and I may have gotten a free day off out of it). So I have to deal with THAT as I'm ready to leave the building. POINTER: You don't call the cops when there is a transaction you don't recognize, even if your husband IS the fucking DA, or works for him, or gargles his balls, whatever this old bitch claimed. You follow bank procedure, and don't abuse your power. The officer in question is friends with her husband, and is now being questioned by our security department for procedural irregularity.

Another client sat at my desk and asked me a series of questions, and I answered them to the best of my ability. When she left, I assumed I had done all I could to answer her questions in a courteous, professional matter, mostly because she thanked me and didn't say "I'm sorry, I'm still not satisfied." Well, turns out she was NOT satisfied, as she claims that my answer to one of her problems was me handing her a pile of papers and saying "here, YOU find it". BULLSHIT, bitch. That stack of papers was me handing you the tangled mess you've made out of your Christmas Club by changing how much you put in every time you renew it. It is not my fault if you don't know what your husband is doing to your joint accounts behind your back (or what he's likely doing to your bedsheets with his secretary while you're off griping about everything in the world). Incidentally, the only way she knew about ANY of this is because I tried out of the kindness of my dumb old heart to explain something I THOUGHT might appear confusing to the mind of a newborn ferret, or a creature of similar intelligence. Apparently I overestimated her.

A client came in and wasted a full two hours of my time just before I was about to go to lunch and had me open an account. He lied to me about how much money he was depositing, he counted each bill of the rubber banded wad one at a time licking his fingers between each bill, he then pulled out a second wad of bills when I was forced to count it anyway, he mumbled, he smelled bad, and he had an annoying habit of shaking his head side to side when the answer to my question is yes. DICKFUCK.

It seems like 99% of the clients I deal with this week are fucksticks. Will everybody just shut the fuck up, have a milkshake, and fucking chill for five minutes?


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The End Of Casual Fridays

Today marks the end of the Casual Friday Era, and I, for one, am devastated. It was so liberating to go to work wearing nothing but a tee-shirt (and pants, of course). I don't think we should go to a full casual environment (we'll leave that to WaMu and their ilk) but it makes for a nice change of pace.

What befuddles me is that there are people out there that wrinkle their noses at us when they see us in tee-shirts or polos. "I like you in suits," they say, as if how we are dressed has ANY impact on our ability to do our job. One of these same customers actually complained because we weren't open on this 4th of July, which was on a Friday.

"It's a banking day," she whined.

"It's a holiday," a teller repied.

"It's a banking day," she whined again.

"It's a National Holiday," the teller replied.

"It's a banking day," she whined a third time.

"It's the birthday of our country and every bank and government organization gets it off," the teller said.

"It's a banking day," she whined yet again.

At this point, we realized she was completely self-absorbed and incapable of understanding even basic human needs, and ended the conversation. I would like to know where these people work and visit them at their jobs and tell them I like them better wearing tuxedos and evening gowns. But then again, half the customers who complain about this are elderly retired folk.

Fare thee well, Fiscal United tee-shirt. We've only known each other a short time, but it was a wonderful affair while it lasted.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Here's A Concept Everyone Can Get Behind...

Milkshake Wednesdays!

We just celebrated making it halfway through the work week by buying ourselves a round of frosty milkshakes from Flo's, the local snack shack. I have to tell you spirits are soaring here. I think that it should be instituted as policy. Imagine; every Wednesday, the bank buys us all milk shakes, and in turn, we get fat and unable to leave the building! It's a win win situation!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I have a deal with one of our other Relationship Bankers that allows me to only work one Saturday a month (at the cost of closing three nights a week during the weeks I am not working Saturday). Not the ideal arrangement, considering that when I was promoted, I was told I would only be working one of every four Saturdays and only closing one or two nights a week. It works okay for both of us, because I HATE working Saturdays, and she hates closing. I have to stay an hour and a half later one more night a week, but I get to actually have a weekend.

None of this would be necessary if we worked in a branch like my old branches, where the Assistant Manager served as another CSR, taking on a fair share of closing, weekends, ATM duties, etc. But that is, as they say, neither here nor there.

So this is my Saturday. It's rainy, it's hot, and it's depressing, and it's only a third of the way over. It's boring for 60% of the day, and the other 40% is hectic as all get out. Seems like everybody gets here at the exact same time, and everybody wants to open an account at 2:55 P.M.

SIGH... Three hours left...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Client Appreciation Minute

In light of the fact that this is usually the week we did customer appreciation day as Southern Star Bank, and we have yet to hear anything about it, I am forced to assume the project has been abandoned. No more Hawaiian theme, no more football theme, no more movie theme, no more free keychains and hats and pens and virgin daquiris.

As such, I am hereby instituting a replacement policy, the Client Appreciation Minute. At 1:45 PM today, it will be the First Annual Fiscal United Bank Client Appreciation Minute. Any customer at my desk at 1:45 PM will be treated to a free giveaway celebrating their patronage at Fiscal United Bank.

Oops. Time's up.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


It was very refreshing for Fiscal United Bank to bite the bullet and give their associates a bonus. For all the struggles we've had with our computer systems since the merger, it was very nice to know that they appreciate our efforts, and what better way to show it than cold hard cash?

I was the cheerleader for ConnectionSpot systems in our branch Pre-merger. I told everyone that while the simulation was buggy, that I had a really strong feeling that the actual system was going to make our jobs much easier and less stress free! Oh, how I want to go back in time, and see that carefree optimist that I was... and beat him over the head with a sock full of teller stamps. I still think that, once they eliminate all the bugs and activate the full functionality of the system, it will be a valuable tool. But the list of problems seems to be longer than the line at the drive up during a thunderstorm.

So thanks for the bonus, Fiscal United Bank! Hopefully the problems will be gone soon enough to keep things from turning into the Poseidon Adventure...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Global Warming Strikes The Lobby

I am, as anyone who has met me can attest to, a robust figure. My suits could probably double for shelter for some third world families, and if I didn't get regular exercise from playing softball at night, I'd likely be a third world country. As such, in the height of summer, I'm likely to pit a shirt even with the AC running. Others in my branch are quite a bit thinner, and thus is laid the ground work for a battle as old as Time itself (the Magazine, not the Dimensional Concept).

On a typical day, the air is on when we get into the branch. It is usually nice and cool, allowing me to settle in comfortably and begin my day of making the world safe for dollars and cents. Then the assistant manager will come in, and the battle is joined.

"BRRR," she's say, rubbing her arms and shivering. "It's freezing!"

"Really?" I'll reply, "it's pretty comfortable in here, actually."

She'll bump up the thermostat, making the AC turn off, and then almost instantly a humid haze rises in the branch. The temperature climbs like Google stock and suddenly I feel like I am under a blow dryer set on flambe.

A few minutes later, I'll ask if anyone is hot, knowing the response I'll get (I'm not the only one who runs a bit warmer than usual). After a few of the tellers agree with me, I'll wander over to the thermostat and nudge it down until the air kicks on.

A few minutes after that, one of the tellers will make a joke about icicles forming over the drive up station, and the assistant manager will bump the AC off again.

And so it goes, as Billy Joel once sang.

The problem is this: the temperature varies from inch to inch throughout the branch. You can be freezing over by the drive up lane, and then step four feet to the left and suddenly you're sweating like Wesley Snipes at tax time. There are pockets of heat through out the branch, and the challenge is to find them. There is another Relationship Banker that feels the way I do about the heat, but she sits on the other side of the room where it's always hot. It would be nice to switch her with the assistant manager, who sits in one of the coldest spots in the branch, but then the AM would be too far away from the Manager, so it's no go.

So as such, it has been a long while since I have gone more than 10 minutes wearing my suit jacket. It's become vestigial, useless, purely ornamental, and serving no real purpose, like an appendix, a pinky toe, or Rob Schneider's last movie. A shame, too, because I look darned good in a suit. My argument is that I am required to wear a suit, so there is only so far I can go to compensate for the heat. (No one needs to see me in shorts and a tank top, trust me. I don't get to the beach, and I am so pale that people would be calling Ghostbusters if I took my shirt off.)

On the other hand, those who are cold in the air conditioning can dress a bit warmer when they get up in the morning. They can always put on a sweater (or eat a cheeseburger, for goodness sake). They are the ones who can take steps to make themselves comfortable, whereas I am one Full Monty away from getting tossed out of here. Hey, at least I am pretty much permanently excused from wearing my jacket. It's a good thing I give such excellent customer service that it compensates for my jacketlessness when dealing with mystery shoppers.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Jane Sykes, Chapter Two: In Which We Learn That Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates, Which Is Itself Like A Ballistic Missle

After my initial experience with Jane Sykes, I was terrified of the woman. The blazing, crazy eyes. The warbling, shrieking voice. The giant glob of lipstick perpetually stuck to her upper lip.

Apparently, I hadn’t seen anything yet. Jane had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in her mid-twenties. As I mentioned, she is now in her seventies. She is supposed to be medicated, but she often goes off her meds. She has been asked to leave just about every bank in Blue Point. She comes into Fiscal United Bank frequently, as we have not yet asked her to mosey on along.

There is a colloquialism in banking (and, I’m sure, in every retail setting, in one form or another) that has come to be known among our tellers as “shot not.” That name is derived from the term “shotgun,” which is commonly used to claim ownership, derived itself from the practice of calling out “shotgun” in order to secure a place in the front passenger, or “shotgun,” seat. “Shot not,” is exactly what it sounds like; a declaration of negative ownership. In other words, “I’m not taking this one.” Jane Sykes has been “shot not”-ed by just about everyone in the branch, and for good reason.

Apparently, Jane once came into the bank with a problem that needed solving. My assistant manager Margaret, who was a client service rep at the time, was the one who had to resolve the problem. She did so, with quick success, and had earned Jane’s gratitude. Jane came back into the bank a few days later, carrying a box of chocolates, seeking to reward Margaret’s efforts. Margaret, terrified of the woman, had stayed in the vault room, where everyone hides when there is someone they don’t want to deal with. After a few minutes of Jane becoming more and more belligerent and insistent, Margaret stepped out of the vault room, her “business” finished. She was pelted with the box of chocolates by an irate Jane, who was infuriated by the fact that Margaret had taken so long to make an appearance.

Mrs. Gump was correct, life is like a box of chocolates; it can hit you from odd angles and hurt quite a bit if you don’t defend against it.

Since my promotion, I have seen her several times. She is no less scary. I have a thick legal pad on my desk, perfect for blocking incoming Whitman Samplers, just in case.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Error - Tracking Sheet Overload

My brain is a delicate piece of machinery. Maybe it's the excessive alcohol as a kid, maybe it's the concussions from softball, maybe it's the stress of the last 5 years of my life, but I can't keep up with all of the tracking sheets!

Having never been sent to formal training, there is a great deal I have had to learn on the fly. "In house training," they call it. "Too many chefs," I call it. I get instruction from four different sources, and that means I usually get four different methods for doing anything. And that doesn't include the things that no one tells me at all, that happen along the way where suddenly someone asks me about something and I look at them like a dog hearing a new sound for the first time.

So I am already stressing about which way is the right way to do my job, having to sort through four different methods to try and remember the right one. NOW, I have to track everything I do four different ways as well. I have to do a checklist for every account I open. I have to mark in ConnectionSpot what tasks I have performed for each account for each customer. I have to fill out a tracking sheet for my incentives. I have to fill out a banker book, which is basically a rehash of my incentive sheet.

Why can't there be one form for everything? It takes me longer to create the paper trail for an account I open than it does to open the actual account. I was told that Fiscal United Bank was trying to be a green company. All the paper we waste on redundant tracking is only part of the problem. There is a critical time resource that is being misused. Sure, we have some down time at times, else this space would have remained blank in perpetuity. But my brain can't retain enough details per client to put off filling any of these sheets out until later, so if there is a client waiting to be helped, they have to wait longer while I muddle through paper work.

Hopefully one day ConnectionSpot will be able to take what we've done and spit out all of the necessary tracking sheets ready for consumption by management. And actually, I'm pretty sure it already does, else how could our sales coach know if our incentive numbers are correct? So why are we spending so much time drowning in a sea of paperwork?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Convert This

Southern Star Bank is now Fiscal United Bank. And I have the thirteen day work week to prove it!

We officially converted in name in March. We were forced to work all weekend, after having worked all week, to make sure that everything Southern Star was disposed of, burnt to a crisp, shredded into molecular powder. Seriously, we had to work on Sunday, and I haven't worked on Sunday since I was 17 (I was suspended for two softball games for using profanity as part of a zero-tolerance crackdown).

Needless to say, I was not pleased. Nor was I pleased to have to work on President's Day, despite the fact that the bank was fucking closed. Nor was I pleased to find out that we would be working on Columbus Day this year. Fiscal United is not off to a good start in my eyes. By the time that second Saturday afternoon rolled around, I was ready to claw the eyes out of a bobcat for some sleep. I am a long time sufferer of insomnia, and this stint has not helped.

Between learning all the new systems AND learning the new job, I'm pretty well strung out.

At least the people at the new branch have been treating me with dignity and respect.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Relationship Banker? Really?

Is that what we're calling ourselves now?

Okay, I can see how Fiscal United Bank is looking to make everything a little more personal and enhance the customer relations experience, but why do I suddenly feel like I'm the star of a Will Smith romantic comedy? (Granted, Kevin James and I probably wrestle in the same weight class, but Hitch I am not...)

How exactly does Relationship Banker explain to the customers what my function is? Just seems to me like this is more of the Dilbert-esque corporate lingo doublespeak that gave us such gems as "leveraging our action items into a dynamic corporate synergy." What does that even mean? Where do people come up with this? It's like someone threw business edition poetry magnets at a fridge and used whatever came out as their new mission statement for the quarter.

Whatever happened to the days when your job title actually described what your job was? What was wrong with Client Service Representative? Too long? I can see how they'd likely seek to avoid branding us Client Servicers. That just sounds way too blue. But what made them settle on Relationship Banker? Why not Financial Ingénue? Domestic Partnership Broker? Currencyhandler of Intrigue?

I guess it could be worse. I have been called worse by people I worked for. Just seems like they're hiding us behind an Esperanto-like language of Business English that shall henceforth be known as "Bizinglish."

Here's hoping you can leverage your daily action items into a positive calendar position (or, in non-Bizinglish, "have a nice day.")

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Poetry In (Pro)Motion

I'm a movin' on up (or down, as it were, to a lower chair). I am being trained to become a Client Services Representative. There is no formal training for this, I am told, so the past few weeks have been me having my job explained to me by four different people four different ways. What's even funnier is that I am learning the way to do my job now, on our current systems, even though in less than a month we will be switched over to our new system, ConnectionSpot. So I'll have to learn the job all over again, from a computer stand point.

I am also told that one of our tellers, Billie Jo, is being passed up for this promotion. I didn't even know she was being considered, and frankly, it shocks me to hear it. She is not all that good at her current job as a teller. She gets flustered easily, distracted frequently, and confused copiously. She has differences in reconciling her teller drawer at least once a week, which for those not in the banking world, that's not good at all. Not the worst I had seen, but not up to standards. (The worst I've seen was Tracy, from the Riverhead branch, who had 29 differences in a 40 day span, and the only reason she wasn't fired according to Jean, the assistant manager, was because they couldn't afford to lose another teller. As in, because I was leaving, they were keeping a moronic Barbie-doll. And to think, I could have stayed there and enjoyed all that strife!)

You put Billie Jo behind a desk with an irate client yelling at her, she'll fold like an origami laundromat with a 2-7 off suit.

We shall see how the new position treats me. Hopefully it won't lead to another new position: prone.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jane Sykes, Chapter One: In Which We Learn The Name That Must Never Be Spoken

Jane Sykes is in her seventies. I was working on the drive up and she pulled up in her huge car. Just before I went to help her, one of the other tellers grabbed my arm and said “Oh, God, it’s Jane. Don’t say her name to her, she’ll flip out.”

I laughed to myself, thinking they were playing a prank on me. I turned and looked at the client and froze in my tracks. I’ve seen how old ladies apply make up. It looks like they applied it driving 80 miles an hour backwards.

Well, Jane looked like she had taped lipstick to the end of a giant swinging pendulum and then ran past it with her lips pursed like a duck bill. Her eyes were crazy. It was like they were vibrating in their sockets. I broke my momentary paralysis and opened the drawer, turning on the microphone. “Good morning, how are you today?”

What issued forth from the speaker was a string of untranslatable gibberish. I heard something about cats as I pulled in the drawer and began to process the transaction. The woman speaks as if she constantly has a mouthful of lozenges.

After a few moments, I finished her deposit and placed her receipt into the drawer, sending it out to her. Without thinking, I asked “is there anything else I can do for you, Mrs. Sykes?”

I feel I am a good person. I may not have adhered to the strictest definition of my religion’s tenets, but I treat others with kindness and compassion, I try to be the best most decent person I know how to be. I’d like to think it’s the intent, not the delivery, that grants the departed access into whatever hereafter there may be. In other words, I don’t think I am going to Hell.

If I am, though, I have an idea of the kind of demonic howling I am apt to be greeted with. This woman went insane right there in the drive up lane. How could I have used her name? What was I, stupid? Didn’t I know that they were listening at all times? Didn’t I know that if they had found out that she was banking there, they were apt to break into her house in the night?

I apologized profusely and she drove away very angry.

Holy Sweet and Sainted Jesus. I will never doubt my co-workers again.

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