Friday, October 3, 2008

Checks and balances

The economy. It’s on everyone’s mind.

Earlier this week I had my own sort of financial crisis.

At work, I tried to handle a financial transaction online. It was a task that I had done before. This time, however, broken and outdated web links kept me from efficiently doing what I needed to do. The account is on a locally owned bank, not some giant conglomerate, so I thought calling them on the phone would be my next best option. All I really needed was the updated, correct, web address. Surely someone at the main branch just down the street could give me that, right?


Once I got them on the phone and posed my problem to them, I was transferred to at least three different people and put on hold at least twice by each of those three people. After all that and still no answer to my question, the exchange ended mid-sentence. As I spoke, they hung up on me.

To them, I was the idiot. To them, I was the one with a ridiculous request. To them, I was not worth their time because I was asking a question about something that was not in their current database of knowledge. Never mind trying to help find an answer, which in the end would benefit not only me but them and any other online customers as well.

I don’t think any of the people that I spoke with on the phone were idiots. I do think that they were not really listening to what I was asking. They tried to get me to sign up for online banking. They wanted me to fill out an application for a credit card. No thank you, I already have all that, I just need a correct web address to make a transaction. I wasn’t even asking them to make the transaction for me. I just wanted a web address that worked so I could do it myself.

They were providing solutions that were well within their current knowledge database, but had little to do with my question. Mostly, they had not been properly or thoroughly informed or trained. That part is not really their fault.

What IS their responsibility is how they direct themselves based on what they know. And, how they use what they do know to learn more about what they don’t know.

I have that same responsibility. One thing I DO know is that what I do and say often affects other people. My words or actions may not change the course of someone’s life, but it might affect their feelings or their attitude. I could ruin or make someone’s day without even trying. I want the small deposits I make into other people’s lives to earn high dividends.

Which is why I thought twice about dialing the number right back after they hung up on me, and asking to speak to the bank president. After all, it is a local bank; the president is a local man that everybody knows. It wouldn’t have been hard to get him on the phone. I wanted to make that call so badly, but I couldn’t do it.

That responsibility to others is also why after cooling off from the phone call and resisting the urge to call back, I wrote and re-wrote a letter to the bank president, and then finally ended up deleting it without sending it. I just couldn’t find a way to express my problem without saying something negative about someone.

I know I would be miserable if my boss received a phone call or a letter about me that was critical and unflattering. I don’t want my life to cause people to do things like that. I want people’s lives to be better because of me.

So, I let it go. I didn’t want to, but I let it go.

It’s gone. And you can take that to the bank.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:29-30

1 comment:

Jules from "The Roost" said...

That was a hard one to let go! YOU were the bigger person for it :)