Dear Financial Institutions,
I just wanted to say thank you for being in my life. At a time when so many of us are struggling to make ends meet, are barely surviving from paycheck to paycheck, and any sort of long term financial security feels utterly, hopelessly unattainable, you have reminded me what a difference a smile makes.
Just the other day I had the very good fortune to visit my neighborhood Chase branch. The broad smile I received upon entering the premises made me feel right at home.
I marveled at the new design of the bank’s interior. Gone is the row of alienating glass windows, which I always found so, well, alienating. Until now I never realized that I longed to share the same air as the teller dispensing my cash. Well, now I can do just that, and it’s fantastic. I love love love the new approach.
I was quickly seated before a most affable employee. Or do you call him a Customer Service Representative? Financial Satisfaction Advisor? Excellent Experience Advocate? Anyway, he was so friendly that even my infant daughter enjoyed her time discussing my finances, smiling and cooing at the dapper young Banking Associate (Fiscal Friendliness Champion? Pecuniary People’s Person?). Not at all the stuffy banker of yesteryear. And such good dental work, too.
And even though he couldn’t help me with my request, I left feeling upbeat and excited about having to come back later. Yup, I had a smile on my face just thinking about returning.
The same day I also had to contact American Express regarding a small matter of negligent importance. Opting for the live Internet chat I was whisked into a virtual world of good cheer and many an exclamation mark. I’m used to sitting at my computer a bit slack-jawed, but how could my mouth do anything but turn up at the edges when every other sentence was punctuated by a “(Smile)!”.
Granted, the grammar of the person I was chatting with was a little sloppy but that doesn’t matter for a financial establishment conducting serious business as long as your Live Chat Person is so amicable (Cheery Chatter? Happy Network Helper? Online Joy Provider?).
Mildly disappointingly, this Amex Celebrator of Smiles couldn’t really help me and I still had to download a form, fill it in, scan it, and upload it back to the site. But I did so with a (Smile)!
All this smiling is really helping me come to terms with my ailing finances. It’s putting a little pep back into my attitude towards this month’s credit card bill. Paying off my rapidly depreciating car is so much jollier now that I’m grinning from ear to ear. And the mortgage payment? With this kind of upbeat attitude I’m sure the bank will understand when my company inevitably lays me off and I go into arrears.
So thank you, Money Managers of my life, because I know that your celebratory nature is actually a celebration of my own success, not yours. It is a testament to how well I am doing, not you. And it’s a promise that no matter what, you will always support me.
Sincerely with a (Smile)!,