Friday, March 26, 2010

A certain large financial institution

Ok, so there is this one particular financial institution that the federal government deemed too large to fail. I will allow it to remain nameless but lets just say it can be found in most any city in America I know exactly why the government saved this bank. Its because they are run the same way. If it can be done inefficiently, thats how this bank does it. So far in my fledgling career, I have had 3 interactions with this bank. All three have been lousy. The first one was with a "local" branch (which is laughable by the way). The young man purchasing my first listing went through them. We closed about 2 weeks late (a little over 6 weeks after binding agreement). Why, you ask? Because the guy didn't have a credit score and they had to do actual underwriting. It completely freaked them out. Selling Sam and Candace's house, I am dealing with these folks again. The loan guy will not ever answer his phone or return calls. We are already about 3 weeks after the "realistic" closing date. We bumped the date to this past Wednesday. On Tuesday he tells the closer on our side that he needs 24-48 hours to complete this one extra task. Do we have anything yet, NO!!! Meanwhile Sam and Candace are incurring charges every day on their house. On the other side, we are buying a home in short sale with this particular institution. It is going somewhat smoother but still, the communication is lacking. They keep everything secret. A tip for them, let folks know what is going on and what to expect. If you don't meet your own deadline, let people know. It's called customer service. Apparently when you are too big to fail and nanny government will always bail you out, you forget what customer service is (or perhaps you just plain don't care).

Addendum: I understand that some people will say, just go somewhere else. The problem I am having is that I never solicited their business. Buyers of my listings have come to the table with them as business partners. I am at their mercy and my client's (much more importantly) are at their mercy. It seems as if they take their time because they can. I also understand that the actions of a few do not indicate the performance of everyone in the company, but, I am 3 for 3. 100% of my interactions have been lousy. I also know that the bailout money is not the cause of the bad service. They were lousy before the bailout. That's probably why they had to have it!!

My advice, if there are good people at the local level, let them run it. Decentralize and allow efficiency to take over. Quite being so dadgum big and corporate and inefficient! Remember, the customer is the first part of customer service. For all of you out there, stay away from this bank. They tell everyone that they are struggling with the overwhelming amount of work. Help them out by not giving them any more work to worry about.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I will never have another very first opening night

Well, it's done. I have had my very first opening night. What an experience! The room we waited in was hot and crowded. I kept my son on a little bitty foam couch for 2 hours, we dropped a few lines (not as many as I expected) but all in all, we did very well! The audience was great. They took a little time to warm up (perhaps it was us taking a little time to warm up for them) but by the time we got to the really funny parts, they were rolling. I have discovered that Vanessa, Sherry and Nathan are all pretty frickin brilliant. Sherry portrays her character PERFECTLY. Vanessa and Nathan are just really sharp witted and play off everything. The rest of the cast did a great job too, but these three in my opinion stole the show. Jessica saved our butts once also--thanks very much for that.

I had a wager going on my facebook about how many times I would puke. The good news is that I did not puke or dry heave at all! So I guess everyone that said I would be fine won the pool. What do you win--my undying appreciation for your support--CONGRATS and thanks for playing.

Jonas did a great job too. He was confined to a very small space for almost 2 hours. Of course, he had the undivided attention of a pretty young teenager so I am sure that helped but even so, he was well behaved, cheerful and generally a pleasure. When it was his turn, he did his part very well, adding a great little twist to the play. I am so proud of the little guy. Ok, I also bribed him with ice cream. When we left, we went to the McDonald's right there on Church and Broad. As I pulled up to the drive through, they turned all the lights off. I was 5 minutes before they closed! I said something to the effect of "you gotta be kidding me." The guy came over the intercom and I asked for an ice cream cone. He said the machine was down. What a bum!!!! I figured I could go to Sonic because it is open late (was around 11). They were closed. I ended up stopping at the BP and getting him a nutty buddy. I had to make good on the promise--otherwise the bribe wouldn't work tonight!!!!

Well, it was a great night. I hope plenty of others get a chance to see the play. There is a great message and some really funny parts.