Dear Bank of Prairie Village Clients and Shareholders ~
"The Estate Sale Mirror"
One of the reasons I love being a community banker is the fact that you live and work within your community. The other reason is that you do not have distantcorporate "planning" officer dictating how your bank lobby is going to look and how it must be decorated.
Driving to the bank one morning and cutting through a Mission Hills side street, I noticed an unadvertised estate sale.
The estate sale had a great large gilded antique mirror, which I thought would look good in the bank lobby.
Unfortunately, I had no cash. I approached the guy running the estate sale and offered him full price for the mirror if he would only take my check. Dubiously,the gentlemen looked down at my proffered but crinkled blank check. I then gave him my business card and assured him the bank on which the check was drawn would honor it.
During our conversation, I realized that the gentleman running the estate sale was the son of the recently deceased homeowner. I remembered her obituary from the paper. I told him his mother was a most accomplished woman to be admired.
I then took the antique mirror to the bank lobby. Yes, we do shop at estate sales for our bank lobby's furnishings. Being frugal is part of being a good banker.
I had forgotten the incident until later that week when my new friend came to the lobby wanting to open an account. I was thrilled at the serendipity of meeting someone at a local estate sale and then having him as a new bank client. This is exactly why community banking is so much fun.
Apparently, my friend took the proceeds of his mother's estate sale to the local branch of a large national bank. Prairie Village branch of what used to be a real local community bank. They accepted his big bills which he carried in an old cigar box. However, with regard to the cigar box coins, they told him he would have to take his coinage to another location.
Incensed, my friend found my business card in the bottom of his cigar box and came to our bank. He contrasted our positive community bank experience with his attempt to do business with the Big Bank ~ and their "new coinage" policy.
Among the lessons learned from this story that I relate to our young bankers are that ~
1) A warm firm handshake
2) The good manners to stand when someone approaches your bank desk
3) The use of actual people to answer telephone customer service inquires ~ should be mandatory in your habits and thought processes.
These simple lessons are no more than common business sense and good social practices. However ~ they seem to have been eliminated from today's.
~Thank you for giving us this opportunity to be your bank and bankers~
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