Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Hey! Stop Movin' My Cheese!

Sometimes life throws things in your path to see how you adjust. That is exactly what's happened to me.
I work for a bank. Not just any bank, but a bank that has been in the news. I started out in March 1996 as a brand new employee of First Union. It was my birthday present to David. I had been out of banking for a year & was totally miserable. Even though I had management experience, I wanted to take it easy & start over. After working there for about 3 months, I got bored & started training to be a customer service rep. I did the entire program in 3 months which shocked everyone. When I decide to make a move, that's it, watch out. In late 1999 I made a career change but stayed with the bank. I can't tell you how lucky I am. Even though I bitch & moan at times, I really do love what I do. I enjoy being able to help people & guide them.
Sometime in 2001, First Union merged with Wachovia Bank. I was so afraid but did my best to hide it. Right after the merger, I was asked to temporarily transfer to another office & guide the employees through the merger. It took me a few weeks, but I finally realized that while I, as a First Union employee, was losing my identity because of the name change, they were losing an operating system & in many cases their home since offices were closing to consolidate. This realization made me more sensitive to why the people in that office were so resentful of me coming in. In the last few years, Wachovia has gone on to merge with other banks. I have tried to remember what I learned during the First Union - Wachovia merger each time.
Now it's my turn. Over the last few months the banking industry has been facing challenges that I have never seen in my 21 years as a banker. Wachovia has been facing some amazing challenges during this time. Clients everywhere have been worried. Employees have been worried. Monday morning the news hit. Wachovia has been acquired by CitiBank.
What does this mean? Nothing really at this point. It's business as usual. So why are people coming into our offices & being so mean? The bank DID NOT FAIL. It was acquired. That means it was a merger. The news has been crazy so people have been crazy. For me the stress has been way overboard. I spent a good amount of time Monday crying whenever I was alone. I have been off from work since late Monday for the Rosh HaShanah holiday. During this time off I've been contemplating what it all means to me. Hopefully, when I get back to work tomorrow, things will have calmed down some.
So. Yes. My cheese has been moved. Once again. Now I just have to follow it or even better anticipate where it will be moved to next time.
Thanks for reminding me that this is only a moment in time.


Sandra said...

Tammie, my neighbor is a banker and often voices the same frustrations your are having.
Her husband keeps saying: "Everything will be fine; we just have to get through it".

Everything will be fine; you just need to get through it now.

(((Hugs, my friend.)))

PIPO said...

I feel for all in the banking industry (and many other industries) right now.

Things always do turn around. Know that I'm thinking of you as you keep your hunka cheese in sight.

Life with JJ, Starr and Spice said...

Tammie: Now you brought tears to my eyes dear friend. I do feel your pain. If there is anyone who understands what you are going through it is me.

I face losing my business and I used to think it was my identity as well but I as you are so much more than what we do to make a living. We are living, breathing, loving souls who make our mark on the world in so many important ways and our chosen vocation is only one facet of who we are.

You and I and so many others are having our cheese moved right now but once again some day it will be put back into place. Life is so much about change and how we handle that change. You are handling it beautifully and I am so proud of you.

Huge hugs

Magi said...

People are mean because they're scared. Of course, that doesn't excuse it.

Sometimes when your cheese is moved, you find a better view. I hope that is the case for you. I know the financial world in all topsy-turvy right now. Hopefully, it settles down soon. When it does, I think the view will be different for everyone.

Vivian M said...

Tammie, I hope today is easier for you. You know I am here to listen if you need to vent or cry. Life throws us surprises along the way, but nothing you can't handle and sometimes change is for the better in the long run (even if we don't see it or understand it at the time it happens).
Hoping your moments become easier and less stressful. Hugs!

Lisa said...

Oh, girlfriend, I so know what you're talking about. And I agree with the rest of your friends, you're handling it to the best of your ability. We are ALL going through tough and scary times right now. You know I'm here to listen as always, if you don't mind the screaming kids in the background, lol. If you want to get your mind off it and scrap the night away, I'm always game! Hugs to you ~ Hang in there. This too shall pass. I do believe that "change is coming"... I have to.

Super Mommy said...

Oh Tammie - I can empathize girl. I was in banking for 14 years . . . after about the 3rd buy-out - I had enough and totally switched careers. Sorry people are being mean - mean people suck. With all the buzz about the financial/mortgage crisis people are probably confused. Hope things get better soon.