It is always nice to experience people doing a good job. Today I have two such encounters. I feel much better about service in this country -- I am closing my equity loan at my bank. Arrived at the appointed time and a very young looking staff took me to his desk. He looked at most 22. I thought this is going to be trouble. He was having some small problems and questions, and started checking with his co-workers on various things. There were some language with my insurance binder. So I called my wonderful insurance agent Megan and handed him the phone. For a second he switched into "well, do what I say or else" -- but then he switched back to "be nice, let's get this done" mode. I was secretly relieved and just kept smiling to put him at ease. That part got resolved.
So where is the "doing a good job" part? He started reviewing the documentation, and asked probably a standard sales question -- are you an existing customer (yes)? Do you want to sign up for auto deduction of loan payment? You will get a further 1/4 point reduction on the loan (of course) !. So he went to the screen, setup the auto deduction, reduced the interest rate, and printed out the application.
It did not work. The rate remains the old rate. He asked another more senior staff. They called. They said they could changed it at HQ. So we waited. He did his training, trying to engage in casual conversation every minute or so to keep my occupied. He was doing a good job.
Two small diversions -- His PC's screen saver came on. To log back into the system, he subtling lifted up a stack of business cards on his keyboard and peeked. There is where he keep his password. Not smart ! To have even more fun with this kid, I scanned his desk and saw a small speed dial list taped to his phone. Besides all the usual people's names, there is an entry that says "Kitchen". So, I casually asked him, "so you have a kitchen here"? He was shocked. He looked around, perhaps to see if I saw someone walking out with a TV dinner or something. "How did you know"? He asked all nervously. I wonder what he does in the kitchen when no one is looking. It was funny. I told him how I knew at the end.
Back to doing his job well. We waited a long time. He kept checking the system. I for sure thought he was going to give up. Of course I am no way going to walk away from another 1/4 point reduction on the rate. I would have insisted. But he called HQ again, and found that they couldn't do it right away because it required HQ supervisor approval. That makes sense. So he offer to get it down asap, setup another appointment for me to go back in the evening to finish signing the forms. He even called me near end of day to let me know that the paperwork was ready and so and so will be handling it since he is leaving for the day. Nice kid. And I got my good rate at the end.
The second incident is with my insurance agent Megan. I knew (or hoped) that she would just fax over the adjusted binder immediately and not hold up the application. That was exactly what she did. She however also left me a voice mail immediately and ask me to call her to actually confirm the changes, since she has to get more data to update the actual insurance policy. Since she was clearly nervous about it, I called her right away in my car after I left the bank.
She asked several detail questions on the house. Luckily I had a copy of my listing sheet and package with me and it has a full floor plan. So I was reading off and calculating various things for her. Somewhere I told her I was reading the floor plan. She said "You are in your car"? (yes). Without missing a beat, she asked "Do I insure your car"? I thought that was just great !
So, two nice people. Paying attention to their jobs. Doing it well. It is a good day.