1. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Write about a time you taught someone a lesson you didn’t want to teach.
2. Talk about a time when you were driving and you sang in the car, all alone. Why do you remember this song and that stretch of road?
— The Scintilla Project Day 3 prompt
One thing you get to know about me pretty quickly is that it takes a lot to bring out my bad side. I have a ton of patience and let a lot of things slide off my back that’d probably drive other people insane.
But even though it’s rare — even though I can count the times I’ve yelled at someone outside of my immediate family on one hand — once you do bring my anger out, there’s one thing and only one that you should do:
After my restaurant days, unlikely circumstances led to a job in banking where I’d spend 6 years climbing ladders (or more accurately, being hoisted up them) and helping our clientele. I was one of the best we had at what we did, and prided myself in giving the best customer service possible, every. Single. Time.
Which is why I was livid when I got accused for making a mistake that I know I didn’t make.
As a sales rep, it was my job to keep a portfolio of clients and make sure that their financial interests were looked after. It involved many long hours of paperwork, follow-up calls and lending an ear to the things going on in their lives, but it was all worth it to make sure that they were all getting where they wanted to.
No sales rep can do their job alone, though — on top of the relationship you build and business you drum up yourself, you rely on the bank tellers to refer new clients to you. You’re not licensed to sell mortgages or trade stocks, so you refer business up to the financial advisors when the opportunity comes along.
But nobody’s perfect. No one.
Your Number’s Up
Pride can get in the way of honesty all too often.
One night, a customer cane in with a complex set of transactions, and I was one of the few reps my bosses would trust to do it. After at least 45 minutes of opening account, writing mortgage transfer papers and preparing some investments, I knew that I’d done one of my best jobs ever. The customer was happy, my bosses were happy and it was completely clean. I called it a great night!
Too bad I couldn’t say the same about the next morning.
Seems that someone had made a huge mistake in processing the customer’s mortgage transfer the night before, and they were out to lose tens of thousands of dollars if it wasn’t fixed — and everyone swore that I did it.
I’m confident in my skills. I know what I can do and what my potential is. But I’m not cocky — if I make a mistake, I’ll be the first to admit it and try to get it fixed.
And this wasn’t my mistake.
In the End, it All Adds Up
After getting chewed out and lectured by management, they decided that my punishment was to get on the phone with the mortgage centre, other banks and whoever it took to fix the problem, and to do it for as long as I had to.
Hours later, it was done and so was I. I flat-out refused to work until they got their heads out of their asses and got the real story. I went up to the lunch room and sat.
No one had ever seen me that silent before, and they were worried.
After they got an investigation done on the transactions, it turned out that the financial advisor who I’d referred my customer to had made the mistake, pulled the seniority card and tried to pin the blame on me.
How d’you like them apples???
In the end, they did apologize and they learned that I wasn’t a force to be reckoned with, but I didn’t end up working there much longer as a different career path would soon open up with new experiences, new opportunities and far better pay.
But that’s another story for another day.