Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Left Your Business, and All I Got Was a Ballpoint Pen

A few weeks ago, I made the decision to switch my banking from the bank it has been with since I was twelve to another. This was a decision I have been contemplating for several months now, and finally acted upon by setting up an account at my new bank.

I had my reservations about switching banks, and I confess one part of the plan I was not looking forward to was going into my old bank and announcing that I was abandoning them. I was convinced they were either going to give me the stink eye and demand to know all my reasons, or look so wounded I'd take pity on the poor teller and keep the empty account there just to appease them.

You can imagine my delight and relief then, when my new financial rep said he'd take care of it for me. I now felt confident in my decision; knowing I didn't have to face the wrath/ broken hearts of my previous bank. Sadly, this was not to be. It seems whenever you have a ridiculous fear of something, you must be forced to face it. After a week of living in blissful misunderstanding, I spoke to my financial rep again and he explained (as he probably had before knowing my luck) that he could shut down my old acount, but it would take him six weeks, so it would be easier if I just went over there myself to shut it down and bring over the balance in a deposit.

With trepidation, I went to the bank Monday afternoon; only to realize I had left my debit card at home. How convenient.

Again on Tuesday, I entered my old bank prepared for whatever they threw at me. While standing in line, a smiling woman with a bank nametag came up to me and began asking me how my day was going. Guiltily, I told her it was just fine. She asked me if I was interested in doing better at saving money. I thought of the most honest answer to that question, which would have gone something like this:

"Yes, as a matter of fact I would. The people at your competitors have done a fantastic job of setting that up for me."

Instead, I think I said something like "Why not?"

She then launches into this pretty little speech about how Canadians don't know how to save, recites some interesting stats, and then encourages me to talk to my financial rep about that. I nod and say I will do just that. Then she gives me a pen for being so agreeable. It is in the bank's colours and says:

"Let the savings begin."

At the counter, the girl's only response to my request to shut my account is "Oh." She even smiles as she hands over the balance of my account, and I escape with no accusing glares, no demands as to why they are not a sufficient bank, and no woebegone expressions.

Instead I get a free pen.

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