One year ago this month I left my position as a Member Service Representative at Verity’s Wallingford Branch. It was a hard decision. The kind that comes with uncertainty, sadness and some regret, but it was what I needed to do for my family.
At the time I consoled myself with the idea that I would become one of the “regulars,” a member who is in the branch so often that is feels like they are part of the family. I had images of myself bringing in donuts and going for coffee with my former co-workers. It would be like nothing had changed.
Fast-forward one year and I can almost count on one hand the number of times I have been in the branch since I left. What?!?
The thing is, although I highly value the personal service that Verity offers in its branches (and thoroughly enjoyed being one of those on the front lines of providing that service) I am, and have always been, an impersonal banker.
Before joining the credit union movement in 1998 I was a long-time customer at one of the BIG banks in the area. I use the term customer loosely. After opening my account I literally don’t think I stepped foot in a branch until I went in to close my account fifteen years later.
It wasn’t because they were unfriendly – I’m sure they were perfectly nice – it’s simply because I prefer to do my financial transactions myself. Privately. Independently.
Since leaving Verity last year, I have returned to my old habits. I bank online. I bank by mail. I bank by ATM. Sometimes I even bank by cell phone.
All of which leaves me feeling guilty, and grateful.
Guilty because I miss my former co-workers. Guilty because I know building and maintaining community takes time and effort and face-to-face contact and I truly want to be a part of the Verity community. Guilty because I know how much seeing a friendly member can mean on an ordinary day.
Grateful because Verity makes it easy to transact in whatever way makes me most comfortable. I can log on to VerityCU.com and check my balance. I can use a postage-paid envelope (postage-paid!) to send a check to my account. I can use one of Verity’s six ATMs anytime of the night or day to get some fast cash.
Grateful because I can use one of hundreds of shared branching locations – like the one right across the street from the grocery store I seem to be at every other day – to get a cashier’s check if I need one. Or call the Member Service Center at Northgate to ask a question. I can even pull over to the side of the road and transfer some money using my smart phone with Verity’s mobile app.
All of which means that Verity is still the perfect place for me. Just not in the way I had imagined.
So thanks Verity and all of you who made working there a wonderful experience. I still miss you and look forward to seeing you at least a few times this year!
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