One of the greatest disadvantages I have in any job is that I can’t handle being bored and I can’t handle monotony. No. I CAN’T HANDLE MONOTONY. The same motion all day every day is just more than I can take. If there are other factors that break it up, or that make it more than that, it would be a bit different. In most cases, that is the people. My grocery store job would have been better (though not perfect) if I had been able to focus more on the people. While we were told to talk, if it slowed us down, we were suppose to shut up. Welcome to _____, did you find everything you were looking for? Have a great day! Were must haves but anything else was bonus. And if the bonus slowed you down, the speed was the most important factor.
The bank? Total opposite! They want you to take your time, get to know your customer, and really focus on building that relationship. That relationship is first and foremost essential. Now, does this mean spending a half hour chatting if there is a line of people? No. But a few extra minutes is important. There are obvious reasons of course, but there are reasons you wouldn’t think about. If a customer is known for coming in every Friday and depositing a check around 300$ and suddenly shows up with a check for 50K, we need to question. Those Nigerian lotteries and unknown uncles leaving you everything? Where are you taking those checks before you wire back a chunk of it to cover “costs”? Yep, the bank. So by knowing you, we are protecting us, yes, but we are also protecting you! When that check doesn’t clear and you’ve already wired the 35K to Nigeria, guess who is stuck owing the bank 35K. We want to protect you from that. That situation benefits no one.
That whole fiasco at the photo studio started when a manager was told by someone other than me, that I wanted her job. Now, had she come to me first, she would have learned that yes, I did want to be a manager but that was not the location I wanted and I was not looking to get anyone fired. I was looking for someone to be promoted, or go elsewhere on their own accord, and I move up. Nothing wrong with that. But because she didn’t come to me, they instead launched a get Karen fired campaign. I was never fired, I quit before it got to that. The drama wasn’t worth it in any way.
The bank? They expect you to have goals. High ones even. High ones that the company as a whole are committed to help you reach! Instead of being threatened to hear you say you want their job, they are happy to hear the motivation in your voice! Besides, they have their eye on a job higher up, and someone has to take their place!
So then, the getting bored fear? Here is the thing. If I don’t like being a teller, I’ll do something else. If I love being a teller but down the road get bored with it? I’ll do something else. There are so many different options of what I can do all within this company. There are people I’ve met who have worked here for half a century and have done a dozen jobs in that time period. And that’s not frowned upon. So I can really see me staying here. I could see me somehow putting a psychology degree to work here! Or staying here until I get that degree when I’m 50 and then moving on. Either way, that’s OK.
Now I’m going to try my best to further describe why I love this company. And I’m not really sure how easy it will be. I’ll probably just list a bunch of examples and feelings. But I want to start with the weirdest thing I have ever seen for any job.
I have met and run into many people in the halls of where I’m training. The facility itself holds the online banking call center and all the training. In 5 days of seeing LOTS of people, I have not seen a single person that looked unhappy. Most of them were cheerful. Some of them were neutral. But not a single one looked displeased to be at work. I even found myself excited to get to work to see what I’d be learning next. Fine, that will be a bit different once I’m at my branch and actually working. But all these other people I’m talking about? They were working. And not a damn one looked miserable to be there. That’s either some mighty fine kool-aid, or this company is a mighty fine company.
I already told you about my first real introduction to the company being the first training class cut short by 7 hours because the trainer’s son was in the hospital. But that family first philosophy was just reinforced as the week went on. It was made very clear that they expect us to make our jobs our second priority.
I’m excited that I’m already filled with ideas of what I can do next in the company! Example, there is a group of online banking tech support that works over twitter. Dude, I can totally do that! Or I could do audits.
But mostly, I want to be a trainer. Every job I’ve ever had, my favorite part has always been training people. I actually, at work Thursday, ran into someone I knew 9 years ago when we both worked at Circuit City. She took one look at me and was like” I know you! You trained me!” And I recognized her too and asked how I did, keeping my future goals in mind. She raved about how good at training I am. That reinforces that not only do I love it, but I’m really good at it too! So while it’s a few years off at least, it gives me hope that will be an obtainable goal within this company!
The company itself has a good rep with the outside world. Let’s face it, a lot of people are pissed with banks right now. But this isn’t one I’ve been hearing people complain about. And seeing it from the inside? I can see why. Are they perfect in every way possible? No, but they are pretty damn good. And they do really seem to look out for their customers. Yes, they charge fees. That is how banks make their money after all. But they aren’t looking to squeeze people for every dime. They seem to be in pretty solid standing with employees, the government and their customers. These days, that’s an accomplishment for a bank.
Then there is the stupid shit like I can wear whatever the hell I want to work as long as it’s professional. No problem. I’m no longer limited to this exact shirt with these exact pants every damn day. It’s now this pretty thing plus this pretty thing and oh! this pretty thing too equals this epic outfit! I’m able to wear skirts to work! I love skirts! It’s a way to go out in public and be appropriate without having to put on pants! Life goal achieved!
I really like that there is no script. Yes there are general things they want us to get across but they want us to do it our way with our personality.
And I really like that if someone has an account where they have to have a minimum balance or be charged a fee, and we know they’ve lost their job, we are encouraged to downgrade them to an account that has no fee. Yes, upgrades are awesome and fees pay the employees, but taking care of the customers comes first. Period. Besides, they can upgrade when they get a job and can afford to maintain the better account.
The CEO of the company runs a charity that deals with giving young kids in the community an edge towards being better prepared for school and life. An example being volunteers going to ESL classrooms and reading to these kids in English to help them learn the language. To encourage his employees to volunteer, he will pay every employee up to 40 hours a year to commit time to it. Meaning you are clocked in as if at work, but are instead with these kids. 40 hours a year. That in itself is awesome. But! We were flat out told that those of us who have kids will be paid to be their field trip chaperones if there was enough coverage at our branches that they can spare us. So my company is willing to pay me 8.70 and hour to go with my kid and his class to the zoo this spring because it’s part of the charity. Seriously. It’s education based and for the bettering of kids. It doesn’t matter I gave birth to one of them.
Bank. Holidays. I have this coming Friday off because of Veteran’s day. Truly, the only people who should have Veteran’s day off are veterans. But I’m not complaining. I’ll have all major holidays off and the minor bank holidays as well. And then? They are going to pay me as if I worked. Rumor has it, this is how it’s suppose to happen in the real world.
Look, I couldn’t even begin to list all the examples. But flat out, everything I’ve ever loved about a job, this job has. While everything I’ve ever hated about a job, this one does the opposite.
So let’s take a look at what this does to my mental health.
For the first time in my life I’m really proud of who I am and what I do, outside of my own home.
Flat out: The family I have always wanted. The job I have always needed. I’m on top of the clouds! This is the best mental health state I’ve been in ever!
I hate that I have to leave my kids to go to work, but what this job does for me and in turn allows me to do for them, is by far better than anything me staying home can do, even if money wasn’t an object. I’m coming home to my kids worn out, but excited about my day. I’m not crying about the miserable day I had. I’m not spending life dreading going to work tomorrow. I’m coming home happy which allows me to focus my energy at home on home. I’m leaving in the morning upbeat and with a smile showing my kids confidence that I’m going to a good place and that while I’ll miss them, it’s all ok and I’ll be home soon ready to play.
This past week and the next few weeks my schedule is off because of training, but once I’m at my actual branch I’ll be gone 25 hours a week, home for lunch and dinner and there to tuck in my kids every night. I’ll be out of the house long enough to get a break from kids but by the time I’m really missing them, I’ll be back home to them. And in the meantime I love where I’m at and they are with someone they feel secure with and who loves them. This makes us all healthier people and a stronger family.
And for once I’m proud to be me. I mean really proud. I’m not a retail slave. I am a financial professional with lots of opportunity to grow in that field. Even with just 5 weeks of training I already know more about the financial world then I ever did in all my years combined. I’m by no means an expert. I still have lots to learn. But I feel wiser. I feel important. I feel really important. This is something I can be proud of. And if I work at it, this is something I can build even more pride in as I learn, grow and advance.
For once, I’m not ashamed of myself and my job.
Now, what about becoming a therapist? No, I have not given that up. That would be my very first choice of everything ever. But if I can’t make that goal happen, or even if I can but it’s decades off, this is something I’d be very happy doing. And while it might be in some ways settling, it’s really not. At least not in a bad way. This isn’t wanting to be a doctor but settling for flipping burgers. This is me working hard at something noble while I work towards achieving something else noble.