Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A day of sheer excitement

Now that National City bank has completed its changeover to PNC, I need to spend the day changing all of our business banking information with about eleventy-hundred vendors, suppliers, credit card companies and government agencies.

So I anticipate a day spent on the phone, plowing through automated operators and waiting on hold while listening to orchestral versions of old Fleetwood Mac songs.

By the way, even though National City sent me a boatload of mail to reassure me about how seamless this transition was going to be and about how I didn't need to do anything (just sit back and wait)  - this hasn't been easy.  I would not want to be a bank teller there this week.  Those poor people are taking it on the chin for every glitch and issue that has come up since Monday, and if anyone is NOT to blame, it's them.  So if you bank with "National-City-Now-PNC-Bank", take it easy on the folks in the teller window.

Hey - here's another thing.  This week Anna mentioned a commitment that many people were taking to shop and spend their hard earned money with local and independent vendors, and I think it's an admirable thing.  I'll admit, my family owns a local independent business, so my point of view comes from that place.

But I'm going to take another step in this direction and pledge that in addition to spending my money locally as much as possible, I pledge to try to make all of my business interactions throughout this holiday season as pleasant as possible.  It's my opinion that customers have become more and more impatient and rude towards clerks and service people over the years and the holiday season seems to bring out the worst in us.  Maybe if we start the holiday season off with the intention of being patient and kind to those who serve us, all that good karma will come back to us and our holidays will be a thing of joy and not just a vexing and stressful time.

Now - Before everyone starts typing their responses with accounts of shopping or transacting business and found this or that person who was rude/unresponsive/just-plain-clueless with you, I understand that we've all been in that situation and know how frustrating that can be.  But I don't care.  As our mothers always told us...Two wrongs don't make a right.

So....I'm off to my phone, where I'll be spending plenty of time on hold (AKA Phone Purgatory).  And I promise to be damned cheerful about it!


  1. Heading them off at the pass, huh?

    I want to take this time to remind people that the post office will be crowded and the lines will be long, but it doesn't make ANYONE feel better if you stand in line and bitch the whole time. Bring a book--or something you can do quietly (ie not your cell phone!) while standing up.

    Thanks for this new approach to the holidays, Lee. It's a keeper!

  2. Hear hear! Yes, let's be nice to retail associates :) !!!

    I think I have actually learned to be a better person by working as a customer service rep for 4 years. I just stay very calm and focused on that one person and 9 times out of 10 I think they leave happy...and that makes me feel good!

    And I can't wait for the National City/PNC transition. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. I concur! Sometimes a kind smile from a cusomer, or an understanding nod, is all it takes to change someone's day for the better!

  4. I couldn't agree with you more!

  5. Because I was raised by Estelle Brown, I was taught by example to be sweet and kind when shopping/waiting in line/driving/doing anything that requires patience. It's not that difficult to just be courteous, and don't we all wish everyone would do the same? And then, when you're alone in your car or at home, you can yell "son-of-a-bitch" as loudly as you want.

  6. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I have never had a salesperson go out of their way to fix something just because I threw a fit -- but I have OFTEN received service above and beyond when I've stayed calm and pleasant in a trying situation.