Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Legends of the Bank Teller - Episode XX

I'm sure I've mentioned the need to get so many referrals each and every week. Haven't I? I can never remember. If I've mentioned it, consider this a refresher on referrals. If I haven't, then this is brand new information.

Each bank teller is expected, as part of his or her duties, to obtain three referrals per day. This means we have to convince three unwitting clients that come to our windows that they not only want, but need to either open a new account, apply for a credit card, or try to get a mortgage (or take advantage of some other highly important product that they never knew the bank offered).

As someone who only works three days a week, I am expected to obtain nine of these coveted referrals on a weekly basis. And when I don't get the full nine something horrible happens. Not only am I docked a week's wages, but I am then sent to the hot box for an hour on Monday. It's a shack made of concrete and metal that sits behind the branch. From the outside it looks like a normal ATM, but inside, it gets really hot in there. I'm sure I've sweated off 35 pounds thanks to my lack of referrals.

Okay, I'm kidding. There has probably been one week that I've actually gotten all of the referrals expected of me. And I'm still here. Thus far, there has been no real disciplinary action taken, other than a "try harder next week." But that doesn't stop the powers that be from telling us we're not doing our jobs properly.

Each week, we have our branch meeting. This is the time when the manager can go over what we did right, but mostly what we didn't do, in the previous week. Now, I realize that whenever she says something to us about not reaching a particular goal, she's just relaying the crap she gets from whoever is above her in the bank hierarchy. And obviously, to the powers that be, when we don't meet or exceed our weekly, monthly, or quarterly goals, it's because we're not doing our job.

To the CEO and members of the board, I have to ask, do you realize that our economy sucks right now? Just because we're not getting new referrals, just because your representatives in the branches are not opening new accounts or handing out credit cards, does not mean we aren't trying. While you sit in your well air-conditioned office enjoying your million-plus dollar salary, shaking hands or signing papers or doing whatever it is you do to "earn" your paycheck, we, the little people, see every day what normal people are going through. People don't want to open new accounts, they can't afford to. They can't afford to get new credit cards, because they're already in debt with the credit cards they already have. People are too busy working and spending their money on gasoline to come in and put money in a brand new money market account.

But then, I guess, when we're not getting those accounts for you, you're not able to keep gaining your ridiculous profits. I guess you want us to get people to open accounts, then you want those accounts to go into the negative so you can charge them exhorbitant amounts of money in bank fees. Money they already don't have. So then, when they can't pay those fees, you charge them more fees.

But really, who am I to complain? Hooray capitalism!

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