9 Jun 2012
Today, I spent over an hour chatting with Citibank about an error they had internally regarding the validity of my birth date. It pained me to spend MY time and MY energy to help resolve something that clearly was an internal error on the banks behalf. After speaking with three different representatives, they all told me that in order to resolve the problem I would have to present myself at a bank to show proof of birth.
NO FRICKIN WAY was that happening….
We all remember the 1994 American drama, The Shawshank Redemption, where two imprisoned men, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency? That movie is a staple in many peoples lives, including mine, and it taught me a solid lesson at a very young age…CREATE YOUR OWN SYSTEM!
Throughout the movie we see Robbins transform as an individual because he was forced to. As an imprisoned man what was there left to do, but fight a system that was corrupt, weak and in need of a structural change.
I bring this movie up because this morning and throughout my entire life I have always fought the system when I found holes in it. I constantly try and teach representatives how to function better at their jobs, provide more competent customer service and, in this case, help the representatives understand the services they can provide their customer without inconveniencing them. (a reason why I started my company the O.C.D. Experience) Obviously, this benefits myself and my situations greatly because I usually end up solving a problem with my own guided expertise. I also end up teaching the representative something new about their job which empowers them to look at situations differently for the future. In the end, a situation is resolved, the system is changed and everyone learns something valuable. Just like Shawshank, redemption is served!
Bringing the story back to Citibank and their incompetence. What could have been another hour out of my day, ended when I provided a valuable yet simple solution. Remember, the only way this was going to be resolved was if I waltzed into the bank showing proof of birth! I explained that since my birthday was somehow changed on their back end system, why don’t they cross reference my birth date with my CitiBusiness account which was opened over three years ago and had the exact same personal information. The manager was hesitant at first, but then took the constructive solution and put me on hold.
Like Tim Robbins, I found a hole in Citibank’s system. I dug through it and found my freedom on the other side without having to spend any more time in prison. I say prison because that is exactly how I felt. When companies make you a prisoner in your own account, information, and take time away from your life they are imprisoning you. My account is now up-to-date and I didn’t have to walk into the bank to correct a problem I didn’t cause.
Take back your power when you are faced with a situation where you feel imprisoned, wrongfully accused, weakened and fight the system! Always be kind, courteous, and provide a solution that just might work for everyone. In a digital age this will become more common so it is important to hold your ground when it comes to personal information and time.
Remember the O.C.D. Experience is about creating order and functionality in every area of your life…apply it when you see fit.