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20 August 2014 @ 10:08 pm
Catching up  
Both yesterday and today I had lunch with an ex-workmate whom I haven't seen for a few months. He's been in the city on a training course for a couple of days, having moved into a new role in the bank. Really enjoyed catching up with him, but it brought a lot of bad memories back - talk of "uplift" teleconferences each Monday, that are compulsory for those who didn't meet all eleven KPIs in the previous week, for example. And the same tired old lines being trotted out: "So what are you going to do differently this week to improve on that result?" And everyone having to attend these "Raving Fan Revolt" sessions; urghh, my twitter feed has been full of that for weeks now, it's like bathing in a pool of someone else's warm vomit.

Added to all of that, I was talking to a friend from a branch down south, the other night, and she mentioned how she has to make at least four unsolicited phone calls per day, in an attempt to make an appointment for one of the bank's sales specialists, but she's not allowed to talk about product when she calls - she can only tell the customer that it's a good idea to get their banking reviewed. Who has time for that?! Anyway, they've been told that if they don't make their calls, they'll be getting calls from the area manager. You'd think he'd have more important things to do, yes? To me, it smacks of bullying, and just hearing about it made me feel really anxious.

You'd also think that after 21 years there I'd really miss the place, wouldn't you? I miss what it used to be, but not what it's become. And then the Financial Review last weekend was trumpeting about bank's financial results, and how their biggest improvements were in productivity gains ie doing more with less, and I knew exactly what they were on about, and how those gains are achieved. It's the frontline staff, and fewer of them all the time, being flogged for every sales opportunity, to the point where walking into a bank is a profoundly disturbing experience for customers, with overtones of MacDonalds "Do you want fries with that?" enough to set your nerves on edge. I won't set foot in a bank if I can possibly avoid it, these days, to the point of depositing cheques via the atm on the weekend.

Unfortunate, in the extreme, that it's the only business I know.
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Current Mood: depresseddepressed
Minoriminori_k on August 20th, 2014 01:42 pm (UTC)
Wow, the uplift meeting sounds very similar to my business! I'm not in financial industry, in system engineering industry. I belong to corporate planing department and watch monthly sales and profit figures... And it's fifth fiscal month yet but this years those figures are bad. So board members' attention fully focus on 'what options do we have to improve them.' I'm bit tired to hear those questions... Agh.
miwahni: Pros BD tablemiwahni on August 21st, 2014 11:06 am (UTC)
They're awful questions! I used to throw it back to my manager, if he asked me what I was going to do differently - "What do you suggest? I've tried this and this and this so far." And then listen to him stumble and mumble while he hunted for an answer. Sometimes I think they ask those questions because they don't want to think for themselves, and they think they're "leading" or "managing" by asking them.
I hope your figures improve, so that they stop asking you those questions too.