On the #TruthaboutRoots Journey I am now on day #57 and chose to return to some old writing that I pulled together over seven years ago now.
During a Creative Writing Course we were asked to write a letter to someone from our past. I have recently learned that the Art of Writing Letters is a skill, and in order to neither offend and be clear, every word choice has to count, and matter.
But a dry old pleasant letter is not what the reader of a blog wants, so I had to return to the sentimental, over emotional self, in order to deliver this letter to Abbey, written back in 2010. Tell me what you think to my attempt at a letter?
To put a little context around this letter, I had already spent two years worth of Summers working in Administration in Greece, A Travel Agency. Therefore, I wasn’t as clueless as Abbey hoped.
I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you.
A long time has passed but you were a key figure in my life that showed me how the financial world actually worked. To begin, thank you for employing me at the age of nineteen and highlighting the world of finance to be corrupt and filled with bureaucracy that even the staff struggled to understand.
Once I was intermixed within your army of robots construct, processing, filing and emailing, then liaising with the public and diddling them out of £25.00 (administration fee) for every communication processed. Not only that but further requesting that they (the customer) take on a direct debit that would later remove two payments in one month, in order to squeeze them into arrears and incur a penalty onto each mortgage holder, thus generating further work for your army, I mean team.
An army of doers and not askers, they were dictated to without ever questioning.
This is the place where I learnt that I am very different from the laborious norm. I began to question, then I began to help each mortgagee that I called, offering them an easier way, a cheaper way, foiling your plans to squeeze unnecessary pounds out of the masses of customers you advertised your loyalty to. I even, had a bank account with your company until this work experience, a temporary contract of six months when after all the pilfering was done the novice team would walk away and feel nothing, no harm done, or so they thought!
When you found out that I had been helping customers make a choice, you pulled me to one side, and asked me why I wasn’t conforming to the written agenda. Why was I working differently to the team, was I corrupt? Why was I confusing the customers? This questioning stabbed at my self-esteem, however, I stood by my actions and explained that I had foreseen the loophole of devious transactions taking place without full communication with the customer. “I wanted to help the customer,” I said, “For that is what this bank is supposed to be about!”
I was asked why I had changed a sentence in one particular standard letter, sent out to 100 customers. I replied that the sentence was written incorrectly and showed deviance. My colleague – unfortunately had ignored my attempt to get her to change the same sentence, which she – sadly sent out her own 100 letters generating a number of complaints.
I was told to help her rectify her problem, and continued to be told I wasn’t a team player.
I went home that night and questioned whether the job was worth the demoralisation, and decided that I would resign the next day. I also planned to close the bank account. I no longer trusted your employer.
The next day was my final day, but not because I resigned, you beat me to it, taking me into your office to tell me that I was sacked for non-participation as a team member. What a farce!
I would like to tell you that I am now a millionaire, but I am not. However, I am an independent and empowered woman, driven by discernment and I am certainly a team player, when the team are willing to share ideas and avoid corrupting others in order to economically gain.
The experience with your bank many decades ago, and you, may have knocked my trust and faith in the financial services, however, it made me aware that trust comes with experience and communication, for which again, I thank you for teaching me these values; having observed a world in your shoes.
I hope you enjoyed your career, and I won’t question your motives in the past, for you were just a woman trying to look clever back in the 1990s, probably following superior orders, without question, for which I don’t blame you, everyone makes mistakes.
Thankfully, some of us learn from our experiences and prefer never to repeat them, if they have the choice.
Julie Spencer, edited February 2017 taken from Creative Writing notes written in 2010.