Being the owner of a small business, I'm often confronted with challenges, mostly financial in nature, but not always. Today is a day of celebration in my little corner of the world, and I want to share with you why.
I walked into the bank this morning to conduct two orders of business. One was straightforward, a simple deposit. The other, without going into detail, required sitting down with the manager of Small Business Accounts. On entering the bank, I was immediately greeted by an enthusiastic young lady with a big, bright smile on her face:
ATB Girl - "Welcome to ATB! Can I interest you in a coffee, a piece of cake and a cookie?"
ME - "Uh... well, wow... thanks! I actually have to see Scott and I don't have an appointment..."
ATB Girl - "No problem, help yourself to whatever you'd like, sit and relax - we're not ALL about business ALL the time here; I'll check with Scott to see if he has a minute for you."
Immediately I felt warm and fuzzy. But then, since having switched to Alberta Treasury Branch I've quite often felt that way about doing business with them.
It was about the time I finished my cake and cookie when Scott invited me into his office. We did our business, I thanked him. I also asked for one of his cards because a number of weeks ago I was chatting with the new owner of the pizza place not far from my house. He was asking me who I banked with because he was looking for "something better". Scott told me he'd already been in a couple times, and thanked me for the referral.
I then proceeded to the teller to do my regular deposit. Now, I know that on 'customer appreciation day' the staff are 'supposed' to be happy and helpful, but they're like that every day here, and today was no exception. Despite being extremely busy, everyone who helped me seemed almost overjoyed to do so, and thanked me quite sincerely for doing business with them. The teller I ended up at was someone I'd not dealt with, and right off the bat she and I struck up a rather comfortable rapport. This blew me away: SHE COMMENTED ON HOW ORGANIZED I WAS! I couldn't believe my ears. ME??? ORGANIZED??? HA! We had a little banter about A-type personalities, of which I am not, and she exclaimed,
"I got that from you right away - you seem very laid-back and easy-going."
Then we talked about introverted VS extroverted people and so on... eventually the business was done and I was on my way.
To give you a bit of personal perspective, the reason I rave on about these folks is that I honestly believe I haven't seen service like this ANYWHERE, EVER; not in retail, not in the service industry, and certainly not at a bank... EVER. I'm forever confronted with excuses like:
"Oh, you're self-employed"
"Oh, you work from home"
"Oh, by the 'rules' you don't QUITE qualify, so I'm sorry..."
and this one was the catalyst for my switch:
"Well, I know you've been with us for XX years, but it looks like 'they' decided to decline your request."
...what... nobody can take responsibility for anything?
At ATB, I'm told,
"Thank you, David, for coming in today."
"That's what we're here for..."
"Anytime you need anything, just pop in or send me a quick email; I'll take care of it."
So to everyone at Alberta Treasury Branch, let me tell you I will RAVE about the service and send everyone I know to you.
Driving back to my home office, I was on a high - a serious high, too. I was beaming from ear to ear; I couldn't help it!
Last night I took in a film at the Eau Claire market, part of the Calgary International Film Festival. On the list of Sponsor credits was a name I quickly recognized: Unlimited Video Staging - Aaron Buchanan. Well over a year ago, I posted here about how Aaron (in that post, referred to as "Mr. Hopeful") not only gave me incredible service, but quite literally pulled my ass out of the fire that was raging at the time.
The world is a small, but wonderful place full of people who know people who have all, somewhere along the way, helped me out on my path. I know Aaron through Rick at FWY Productions. Rick I know from high school electronics class.
I cannot mention Rick, of course, without mentioning his sister, Teri who works for my chiropractor, at Hands on Health. Their help, although professional in nature as well, helps me in a very personal way. The world gets smaller still as my referral to Hands on Health came from fellow-blogger Sarah.
I know this is a long post already, but as I think of people who are connected to people, I think back to last Monday evening. Sarah's room mate, Gord, is an accomplished cyclist - among many other things, I've come to understand. He graciously offered to help fix my bike. What we thought might be 'open heart surgery' ended up an 'outpatient procedure'; my bike being new, simply needed some tweaking that I was not yet versed in.
Did I mention the grunt? No, I think not. Sarah fed us both, full to the brim, with a fabulous east-coast dinner of fish casserole and... hold on to your seats... BLUEBERRY GRUNT.
Oh, one more connection... a couple years ago I worked for a fellow who runs BC fruit and Taber Corn stands around Calgary. He, himself is a Saskatchewan farm boy, but has lived in Calgary for the better part of 12 years. He's one of these guys who can turn a dollar at everything he touches. He has the gift. Sherwyn supplied the BC blueberries that went into the grunt.
Sherwyn at one of his stands - fruit and corn second-to-none!
Sherwyn stops at nothing to advertise; this was but a sampling of his signage!
Gosh... have I forgotten anyone??? If so, I'll be sure to write a supplementary post!
OH, I must thank you, my blog-friends for putting up with such a long post; needless to say, I am both thankful and absolutely ecstatic today.
The world is a fine and beautiful place, and it would seem that it is the people in it that make it so.