Banks

31 January 2011 Categories: Gerry's Corner

I have 2 stories to share but before I begin, I want it to be clear that I am NOT sharing these stories as recommendations but purely for humorous reading. These actions that I took in response to some unpleasant experiences felt like the right thing to do at the time. Both these incidents happened more than 20 years ago.

I was working onsite at a client. This particular day when I arrived at work the client gave me a cheque for my last invoice. Being on a tight family budget, I decided to go to the bank to deposit my cheque during my lunch hour. I arrived at the bank and it seemed like everyone decided to go to the bank at the same time. These were the days before ATMs. Now I have to stand in a serpentine line of app. 20 people with only 2 tellers working because the other tellers were at lunch as well. I waited in line for 45 minutes to complete a 2 minute transaction. Even though I was a Business client with the bank, I was not allowed to go to the Business teller because my Business was too small, in other words I did not deposit many cheques, cash and coins. When I finished at the bank, I did not have time to grab any lunch because I had a meeting to attend at 1:00 pm. I forfeited my lunch and was on time for the meeting. It bothered me tremendously that I had to stand in line so long and miss my lunch. I was thinking, I give my money to the bank to keepsake it for me, they in turn give me no interest but yet the bank makes money on my money. I thought the bank should be in line for me instead of the reverse; afterall they were going to gain the most from this transaction. That night I could not get this situation out of my mind. Then I put my Buusiness hat on and thought time is money therefore the bank cost me money for waiting so long in line. I decided in a fury to send the bank an invoice for my waiting time that day. I prepared an invoice, addressed it to the Bank Manager and mailed it. What have I got to lose? Two weeks later I get a call from the Bank Manager asking me if I had made any arrangements with any of his staff members for work that was covered by my invoice. I replied no and explained that I was charging him for my lost time being in a line up so long to deposit a cheque. Of course he advised me that he had to talk to Head Office about this but he did not think they would allow him to pay my invoice.  So I replied like a typical CEO ”  Well you will be talking to my Lawyer ”  Two more weeks go by and I heard nothing further from the bank so I sent him another invoice plus interest for past due payment. I received another cheque from my client and off I go to the bank to deposit it. I really don’t recall if it was at lunch time but again I was in line a longer time than acceptable. I get to the teller and as soon  as she seen my name on the cheque, she moves aside and whispers something in the ear of the teller next to her. That teller leaves and talks to another person and that person literally runs to the back offices. You would think that I had just presented a note to the teller saying :”  This is a robbery ”  The teller very slowly continued to process my cheque then a short and stocky gentleman comes from the back offices straightening his tie and suit coat. This gentleman comes to where I was standing and says : ” Oh, you are _____”? Then says ” I am ____ the Bank Manager, could I see you at the other counter, please “. I went to the counter and met the Manager. He starts explaining to me that since I had sent my invoice that he had conducted an investigation and found that I was treated unfairly. He had found that I was a Business customer in very good standing and that I should never have been in line with the retail customers. I explained to him that I was rejected by the Business teller more than once and that the Business line was strictly for large Business clients like stores. He then told me that I would never be rejected as a Business customer again. I thanked him and told him to forget about the invoice I had sent him.

The real funny part is the next time I went to the bank everyone knew me, even greeting me by name. I was now a somebody. When I went to the Business teller I found I could do my retail banking ( personal accounts, kids accounts, etc. ) as well. For the time I dealt with that bank branch I never had to stand in line again. Read my next blog for the second story on a similar subject.