Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We Open at Nine

I've never been an organized bill pay-er. I have a good visualization of my family's overall financial outlook, but actual credit/debit entries drive me insane. They feel like such a waste of time.

That philosophy leads to other things, such as waking up on your day off and realizing some of those bills are due that day. In today's world, paying a bill can be as easy as clicking a mouse. I do that mostly, but the bill in question could only be made in person in order to be posted by the due date.

So, after completing our complicated morning routine, I left the house in full Red Sox winter gear and headed to the bank. This particular bank is national and has many, many locations. No sweat, I thought. I'll enjoy my cup o' java en route and take care of this expeditiously.

I parked and noticed there were a number of people holding java cups like me. The vapor of the hot, holy liquid rose in the morning's cold air. I figured the bank was not open yet, and like myself, they were all waiting.

Some of the bank's employees were making their way in. I always figured bankers and banker's assistants had a secret back door somewhere like doctors. I never dreamed they came in the front glass doors.

Through the glass doors we -- the java sucking customers -- could see other employees already in. They seemed to be engaged in hilarious conversations, as facial expressions displayed lots of laughing. Or, they were laughing at us for being on the cold side of the glass.

One of the inside employees saw the incoming bank people and unlocked one of the doors. The now-freezing customers, whose coffee was running low, assumed that was an open invitation for all. But, when the first non-employed approached, the insides employee said, "Sorry. We open at 9 a.m." With that she re-locked the door and went back to her laughing inside.

I looked at my watch. 8:58 a.m. No joke.

Things like this shouldn't aggravate me, but they do. Why not let people in 30 seconds early? Most of us, if not all, were there to LEAVE money.

I wasn't aggravated anymore. I was flat-out pissed. Again, as my previous post about the college bookstore, customer service is dead -- mostly.

Corporate America has always given me reasons to stay away. Employees make you feel like they are doing you a favor.

Just as I had enough, light at the end of the corporate river of crap.

A man, in his apparent 50's, asked the cold, java-empty group if we wanted to come in. He ordered the key Nazi to unlock all doors and "invite customers in".

Still, she said, "Why? The system is not up yet? We don't open until 9 a.m.!"

He glared at her and that's all it took.

The bank deprived refugees were allowed to come in, make ourselves comfortable and kindly wait for computers to boot.

In the meantime, this man and I had a long conversation about my chosen career. What started out as a bad not-open-yet bank experience, ended in a possible future banking relationship.

My transaction was posted.

A lot of this bias comes from my long tenure in small business. We also post business hours and other stipulations, but when needed, the door is open early or late.

This bank and the key Nazi, who laughed her way to a glare by management yesterday, continue to give me reasons to stay clear of Corporate America.

The Commish

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