Saturday, November 10, 2007

to the bank

Have you ever been broke and gone to the bank for help? The experience is hard on the self-esteem. I remember once I was collecting door prizes for an event and a loan officer at my local bank had agreed to donate. So I went to the bank to collect on promised donation. I sat in the waiting area and watched as the loan officer (let's call him Tom) went to the secretary and saw my name on his appointment list. He put on his most professional look and came to me with an outstretched arm. He escorted me into his office and I got the feeling he thought he was about to save my soul. He motioned for me to sit and as he got comfortably situated behind the big mahogany desk, he put on his most sympathetic, compassionate face and said, "Valerie, what can I do for you today?"

I realized at that moment that he thought I was there for financial help. I stammered a bit but finally said, "I'm here for a door prize." He had an epiphany at that moment, jumped up and said, "Well slap my face. I forgot all about that."

My point is this: It seems to me that loan officers at "lending institutions" come in two flavors; arrogant asses or syrupy saps. My Tom was a syrupy sap. But I've heard some pretty good stories about the arrogant ass kind of loan officer who acts as if he's lending out his own personal money.

I think we can all identify with the humiliation of being young and desperately in need of the bank's assistant, whether buying the first house or car, or borrowing to pay off the baby.

When Michael (my brother) and Lawana were just starting out they went to the bank and unfortunately got arrogant ass for a loan officer. (We'll call him Alan). I can't remember why they needed money, but we'll assume it was for their first house. After some discussion, Alan left the office to see what he could do for them. He came back and said, "Mr Callahan, are you aware that your bank balance is 15 cents?"

Michael is well versed in turning a horrible and humiliating situation into a comic show. Assuming the ass would enjoy a laugh as well, Michael said, "Do you mean to tell me we've not gained 1 cent in interest?" The loan officer didn't laugh. Michael then turned to Lawana and said, "Lawana I think we should get our money and take it somewhere where it'll work for us."

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