I am a long-time, loyal customer to a particular bank. I won’t name them here, because I have a practice where I don’t identify the negative examples I share on the blog, and because I don’t want my bank balance (all $14.27 of it) to mysteriously disappear. I’ve been with this bank for all 15 years I’ve lived in North Carolina, but one recent policy change has frustrated me to no end.
I walked into a branch on Friday afternoon in order to withdraw a little cash (perhaps $14.27, but that’s none of your bizness). I went to the little desk where they keep the little slips of deposit and withdrawal sheets, as well as the little pen attached to the little desk by a little chain, because heaven forbid someone walk off with the bacteria-encrusted pen that doesn’t write 84% of the time.
But I digress. I flipped through all of the little deposit slips, looking for a little withdrawal slip, and there was none. And then it hit me: this particular branch was one of just a few that doesn’t leave withdrawal slips in the lobby, “for security purposes.” Why they don’t just attach the withdrawal slips to the little chain I do not know, but again: I digress.
So I began the wait in what was a very long line. After about five minutes (a lifetime when your four year old daughter is with you, trying desperately to be quiet, but also asking for a bank-style lollipop every three seconds), I gave up and decided to go through the drive through.
But alas: after a ten minute wait in the drive through line, I arrived at the window to ask for a withdrawal slip, only to be told I’d have to come inside the lobby to get one, “for security reasons.”
So in case you’re playing along at home: I originally went in the lobby to get a withdrawal slip, but there was none. I decided not to wait in line and instead went through the drive through, but was told I’d have to go back in the lobby.
Here are three reasons that my bank’s policy is ridiculous. I share this with you not to shame my bank – though I really wish they’d change course – but to help us as leaders avoid the same ridiculousness in our ministries.
1. The policies are not the same everywhere. In 95% of my bank’s branches, there are withdrawal slips for days. I can get all the withdrawal slips I want. I can star in my very own gangsta rap video, where I make it rain withdrawal slips. The fact that the majority of branches have their withdrawal slips available leads me to believe that one or two branches are making things unnecessarily difficult. And – I might add – making it harder to complete said rap video.
2. The policy is never explained. All I’ve ever heard is that the slips are protected “for security purposes.” That’s it. Heck, maybe there’s a really good reason. Maybe ne’er-do-wells have absconded with copious amounts of withdrawal slips in the past at this particular branch. Any of those things could be true. Just tell me. I’m the kind of guy that if I know the reason, I can respect the reason, even if it’s a dumb reason.
3. The policy is just plain frustrating. Unless I just happen to catch a bank rep out in the lobby (which almost never happens), I have to stand in line to get a slip, get out of line to fill out the slip, and then wait in another line to get my money. There has to be a better way. There just has to. And please don’t say “ATM.” I had a friend that used an ATM once, and he woke up in a strange hotel room in a bathtub full of ice and one of his kidneys was missing. (Okay, not really, but them suckers are dangerous and you know it.)
How about you, dear readers? Any policies at your places of business that drive you insane? Better yet, any policies at your church that frustrate your guests? Maybe it’s time to bring the slips back to the front.
Meanwhile, if any of you have $14.27 I can borrow, I’d appreciate it.