Friday, October 31, 2008

carbon monoxided at the bank

So, yesterday was fun. Three of the employees at my branch, myself included, almost passed out because our gas furnace was spitting out enought carbon monoxide to make us sick.

Apparently, our maintenence department came by at some point on Tuesday for routine maintenence on our furnance. That's the day one of my coworkers reported severe headaches. By Wednesday afternoon, she was completely irritable and thought the heater in the branch wasn't working correctly. She's new to the Ohio Valley, having grown up in Florida, so I think she was trying to justify it: "I'm just not used to running the heater. " But she insisted something was wrong with it and brought in two space heaters yesterday (Thursday) so we wouldn't have to run the heat.

Well, the heat still kicked on several times, and another coworker complained late yesterday afternoon of vertigo, racing heartbeat, feeling nauseated, etc. I was all, "What's wrong with her?!" until I went over to my teller station to help out with a long line of customers. I took care of a couple of people and then I took a deep breat and I swear, I almost passed clean out. I had to walk away from the customer and sit down for a few minutes.

Then we all started kind of freaking out. What's going on that we would all feel this way? Was it the pizza we ordered for lunch and shared? A customer tells us they smell gas, and we realize we want to check of the situation. We call Louisville Gas and Electric and the fire department. We close the branch about 45 minutes early. We think it could be a gas leak. We all decline to go to the hospital and drive ourselves home. (Yeah. I didn't drive myself; I had my husband pick me up. I felt so out of it I was afraid to drive.)

Later in the evening I check in with my coworkers. Yup, per LG&E, it was our gas furnance, spouting out enough carbon monoxide to make us all sick.

Ewww... now it's the next morning, and I feel better but sluggish. I'll survive, but what a crazy experience.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

National City

I wish Louisville posted more articles about the potential issues with PNC getting bailout money to buy my bank!

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/the-home-front/2008/10/27/congressman-wants-pnc-nat-city-deal-investigated.html

So, the comptroller of the bailout money, John Dugan, will benefit from denying NCB bailout funds to save herself while giving PNC more than is allowed to buy NCB... Dugan will possibly benefit because he used to be a lawyer for PNC and probably has a giant stake in PNC stock, per my understanding of the article above.

ARRGGH! This one guy wants to investigate it all, so maybe they will overturn the sale and NCB can stay NCB after all! Now that might be ideal.

I'm sitting here in Louisville, getting ready to go to work at my National City branch, and crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

what i get from watching heroes

Does everyone watch Heroes the way I do? Yes, I love the actors, the action, and the story. However, I have found lately that I watch the show from a lens that asks, "How does this actually relate to life?" This season, we find that the Patrelli parents are running opposing corporations, each with different agendas. Interestingly, we can't really pinpoint which is good or which is evil, and maybe neither is entirely good or evil... a facet of good television today which I adore. This idea that we can't fairly choose a side is one of the things I love about JJ Abrahms and those writers over at LOST. I wanted to side with Hayden's cheerleader Daddy, but now I'm wondering if Papa Patrelli and Pinehurst have it closer to right.

We can't really know. Whoever is in charge - whoever has the power - can spin their product, their services, their ideals to get more money, more power, more control. This problem, or this fact in general, seems to be rearing its ugly head in politics this month, and in the overall climate of the business world today.

McCain's camp would have us believe Obama is a friend of terrorists. Obama's camp tries to show us that McCain is out of touch and was a rubber stamp for G W Bush the last eight years... of course, each campaign has its agenda: to win the race. However, in a time of war and economic uncertainty, wouldn't it be more admirable to say, "Look, my opponent would do a great job. He's a human being just like me, and he's made mistakes as I have. We could work together."

Why instill fear, when the world is split in half? Why? I think it may be for more money, more power, more control. Perhaps we should be scared. I just wish that all the bipartisan talk could actually come to pass. "Reaching across the aisle" isn't going to be enough. It's time that Nancy Pelosi's words hit home to every political candidate, "THE PARTY IS OVER!" All political figures are becoming richer and richer while the middle class disappears. Yes, we are all grasping for the American Dream, but as we grasp, we must be careful what organizations and companies we sign up for.

McCain is not God. Obama is not the devil. They are just people. Hopefully, whoever takes the reigns of this country for the next four years will remember that. We shouldn't reach for the hem of McCain's garment. He isn't Jesus. He is a man. We shouldn't run in fear from those who support Obama, or from Obama himself. He isn't Lucifer. He is a man.

Will the Patrelli's ever come together on Heroes? Who will ultimately be "good" and who will be "evil?" Can we put either company in either box? Can we come together as a country? Will we choose good or evil? Can we ever truly be one or the other? We are all a mix of both, are we not?
My hope for the next several years is that, as a country and as people living in the world, we stop hating, judging, and running from one another in fear. Seek out those who believe differently and try to find common ground. If you feel anything at all, get involved locally. Give back. Do something positive. Talk. Let's start cooperating, forgiving, and figuring out that bipartisan is hard, but civil war or attacks here at home would be worse. Let's do something to change the greed, jealously, and fear that plague us all today.

Maybe I sound dreamy, but seriously... if politicians and heads of corporations teach us that we need more money, power, and control, then let's all go get more of it. Maybe we'll become the Heroes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

demoted?

yup, four days after the announcement of my promotion i wake up to find out PNC bought NCB... just like that. I found out from my husband, who also works for NCB. His branch opens earlier than mine; he found out first. i'm not convinced that anyone in louisville knew about this until they reported to work friday morning.

the good news is that, for now, I still have a job. the "transaction" will take months to finalize - sometimes bank buy-outs take years, but i feel like pnc will move quickly on this, as they are buying us up with government bailout money.

the bad news? there are 56 national city branches in louisville and 48 pnc branches here, too. the market overlaps for us, cincy and pittsburgh. the problem is a market share that is greater than the fdic will allow. i think this means, that even if pnc wanted to operate over 100 branches in the louisville area that they just can't. so, for me personally, i wonder what will become of my national city branch... it's situated far too near a brand spanking new pnc facility by the super fun east end costco. will my branch become a mcdonald's? a starbucks? a thorntons?

rumor has it that in these situations, when a bank becomes too large in one market, that they may sell assets to other banking corporations. so, technically, pnc could sell my branches deposits and outstandings and building... and staff... to another bank. Perhaps I'll show up to work one day and find i work for bank oldham county, american founders, or fifth third. hmm... maybe i'll have a job when that time comes. i just really don't know what to except.

i hate this because i really liked national city as a company and believed in their values and principles. there i was, weeks and months ago, telling my customers we were well capitalized to meet their financial needs and that we didn't comment on rumor and speculation. i truly didn't think we were going to get bought. i thought it would come back around. however, when the third quarter report came out, even i had this gut feeling that it wasn't looking good.

the thing is, this buyout really is ideal for customers - and for me as a customer. it's certainly better than a bank going belly up, and divying out cash via the fdic. but, at the same time, it really, really, really blows. a bunch of bankers are going to be without jobs. is it hard for anyone to feel sorry for them? maybe. however, most bankers don't really make that much money. we just "deal" with a ton of it.

if anyone wants to share their thoughts, please do. i'm really not angry or bitter, just a little saddened that the financial crisis has finally knocked on my back door. customers of ncb, don't worry. you'll get mail telling you what's going on. your account number and the sign on the door could change, and maybe you'll even have to get used to doing your banking on the other side of the road or a block further down the street, but you really won't be super affected. the buyout strengthens your bank if you are a customer of ncb or pnc. continue banking on the people you've always worked with, and we'll continue to bank on you. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

promoted

I did it! I am the new office manager at National City in Springhurst. We're right next door to Walgreens, near Red Robin and across the street from Northeast Christian church.

It was a hard fought battle to sell myself, interview well, and earn the confidence of my new manager and my current district boss. Everyone I tell says they are so proud of me - and honestly, I'm proud of myself. I never thought I would end up staying in banking, but look at me now. The world of finance is my oyster...

Stop in and see me after the first of November.

Friday, October 17, 2008

banking suggestions

Do full moons really make people act crazy? Yesterday was a looong day for me. Everyone and their mom was overdrawn; everyone and their mom had multiple overdraft fees at the bank. Has the financial diaster of our time made the general public stop being responsible for their own finances? Do we think that just because banks may get a government bailout (so nicely coined as a "rescue plan") that fees for overdrawing your account will suddenly be null and void?

I visited a website yesterday when an upset customer wanted documentation regarding post-dated checks. (Please, don't write them or count on the person or business you make the check out to as far as keeping their word not to cash it until said date on the check. They can deposit it ahead of time if they want, and it will most likely clear your account before you are ready.)

Anywho, the website I found is http://www.bankingsuggestions.com/. I found it interesting and informative.

YAAAAAY! Banking is fun for everyone.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

confessions of a registered indepedent

Oh, how they would laugh at me if I went into politics. I registered independent in 2000, my first year of eligibility. I voted for Ralph Nader after writing a paper (while attending the University of Kentucky) about the unfairness of the two party system. I hold onto this belief. I often use the analogy that folks don't always want apples and oranges; sometimes people like eating mangoes and blueberries or a pomegranate. My dad told me I wasted my vote, and I argued that it is only important to educate yourself and become part of the process.

By 2004 my feelings were similar, but I voted for John Kerry. I didn't love him, but I was scared of the direction in which Bush was leading our country. I always feel election year stress, but that year was the worst for me. I felt very concerned about where we were headed when Bush started his second term. Perhaps it wouldn't have mattered. Perhaps we would be worse off now, in 2008, had Kerry held the reins. I really don't know, nor does it matter. It's an unrealistic game of "what if" since we can't literally turn back the clock to reinvent our future. That year made me understand a little more of my own Mammaw's choice to never vote again after Nixon. She also upholds her commitment to refrain from complaining about the state of the union. God bless her. I couldn't do it.

This year, after a short bout of fear surrounding my thoughts of Obama, I now wholeheartedly support him and oppose McCain.

Last night's debate was the icing on the cake for me. How dare John McCain attack the eloquence of Barack Obama. This offended me is such a personal and profound way. The idea of orating is the heart of politicking, and to me, I feel McCain is jealous of Obama's ease of speech. The same man who wants us to believe we have to watch the way Obama words things - in his previous debate quips, uses verbiage such as "we need a cool hand at the tiller?!" That was, in my opinion the lowest blow of the disgusting campaign the republicans have run. Don't even get me started on my theory that the Republicans might even be running a campaign they don't want to win.

Finally, they talk about abortion. Yes, I am pro-choice. I am saddened about women who chose to abort for reasons of keeping their figure, but who am I to judge? If I were pregnant as the result of rape or if my life was in jeopardy or even, perhaps, if I knew the baby would be so deformed and unhealthy that he or she wouldn't have a chance to lead a fulfilling life - in ANY of these situations - I would want the right to terminate my pregnancy in the hands of a competent, qualified doctor. As well, I would want the support of a church in my choice, the opportunity to seek mental health care to see me through my painful decision. I would not want a doctor with a dirty knife or judgement from those who didn't agree with my decision.

Yes, abortion is always sad and tragic. But, I don't understand how ANY woman can choose to be pro-life. I guess it's easy to say abortion is wrong when you yourself have never been in a situation where choosing the life or death of an unborn child is an issue for you. I am thankful to have never been in this situation either, but I formed my belief by saying, "What if I was in those shoes?" McCain was concerned in the final debate about Obama's pleading that in cases of the health and life of the mother that partial-birth abortions be allowed. McCain had the audacity to say he was bothered by the generality of the word "health" as it pertained to mothers, indicating Obama would support PBA's for women who had cosmetic or weight based concerns. Who is McCain to act that way? Who is McCain to glamourize it like that? AHHHH!

But I digress. I could never become a politician because I would run as a democrat. I would be seen as too far left. I would be flogged for having given five dollars to the McCain camp, to get a button saying NOBAMA, which I found so offensive I had to buy it for posterity.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the week begins with the joys of espn

Monday, there's football. Ahhh, watching the Browns clobber the Giants was lovely. It was only a matter of time before Eli Manning threw an interception or three. Yes, I'm a Colts fan. Yes, I like Peyton way more. Sue me! I think I relate to P better than E since P and I are both oldest children.

Wait. Is that even true? Are their other Manning brothers out there? I should google it in a new window to ensure I am correct rather than writing out of my ass, but for all intents and purposes, it doesn't really matter. Write what you know, or write whatever you can conjure up. Facts don't matter. Ask most conservatives.

Back to ESPN. Tuesday, there's poker. Suck outs, Phil Hellmuth bitching and moaning, the lame jokes of Norman Chad... it just doesn't get better. I love watching the main event. I watched rather obsessively in 2006 and 2007. Both years I found out the winner before the show even aired. One year, I read it in Velocity - it was the only time I've ever been mad at Velocity. Another year, a co worker all but ruined it for me by pulling it up on the Internet and saying, "Don't look at this!" Of course I looked, and saw the first name of the winner-to-be. (Yes, he'd already won, but the show hadn't aired, so it hadn't "really" happened yet, right?!) My colleague, which is way too kind a term for him, goes on: "Don't worry, you wouldn't know him or anything. He isn't a pro..."

Seriously? I am so over people who ruin things! My sister ruined Titanic for me, a client of mine ruined Into the Wild, etc.

So, there's this years crop of bracelet hopefuls, and the pool is down from thousands to 145... including five women. It angers me that I haven't been watching. I tivo-ed the 9:00 episode last night and watched it this morning and then realized there was a 10:00 episode, too. So I am not even caught up. For once, I haven't found out the winner ahead of time, and I can't even find the time to watch all the action.

Dang! Maybe they'll show the 10:00 episode again.

I love ESPN. They show reruns.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

saturday night's alright, alright, alriiiiiiiiight...


So last night we saw a Who Dun' It Murder Mystery live theatre show at Mastersons. I was a little miffed that my husband was the only person at our table to identify the killer. Well, no, I wasn't bothered that he was the only one at our table who figured it out - I was just mad because he deduced and I didn't!
We also went to Third Avenue Cafe for drinks. I haven't been in there for ages. My friend Megan describes it as "the friends coffeehouse but with liquor." The band was already tearing down their set when we arrived, around 9:00, but I imagined Phoebe riding away in a cab humming Smelly Cat to herself.

I finished the night at Mr. G's in Middletown, sans my moody hubby, who was ready to call it at night at ten in the evening on a Saturday. He said he didn't feel well. Maybe being thirty and a half years old does that to a man: maybe getting married does that to a man. It worked out nicely for me, though, as I got to get properly smashed and ride with a designated driver who stopped for food on our way home. (Eating Nachos bell Grande at two in the morning: priceless!) Plus, Murph waited up for me and let me watch the opening bit of SNL I tivo-ed and was dying to see. (Amy Poehler said "Tina Fey glasses!" I've been saying Tina Fey glasses at the bank all week!)

To my brother-in-law - thank you for singing Whiskey Lullaby with me, buying me Taco Bell, and dropping me off at my house. To Beka, his main squeeze - happy birthday and please let me borrow that red dress! To my dear Meegan, you looked stunning last night and I would want to borrow your outfit, too, if you weren't so damn tiny!

Now I'm off to Bloomington, Indiana for a girls weekend with my mammaw, mom, sister and niece. We'll shop and go to dinner and I'll catch up on IU basketball and assisted living gossip. I am super excited! Also, I debated for about four minutes on whether or not to put an apostrophe in girls weekend. (Girl's weekend?) You might think I am a little leftover drunk from last night when really I am just a grammar junkie. That was one hell of a fix!

p.s. therapy slash modeling was very, very cool. I may have signed on with cosmo, and they may be using the photo attached to this post as my temporary headshot. Maybe. I don't know. Maybe.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

weekend bliss

Today, I have my first ever appointment with a therapist. How exciting! Well, let me be frank. It isn't my first session ever. However, when I tried therapy in the past, it usually ended with me crying uncontrollably and making a hasty exit. Google or you tube the song "What Do You Hear in These Sounds" for a better understanding of my feelings regarding therapy: "...and oh, how I loved/everybody else/when I finally got to talk/so much about myself..."

I'm not sure why, exactly, I am going to therapy - and hope no one judges me or finds it terribly self indulgent. I am making a bunch of life changes... marriage, submitting writing samples to various publications, toying with the idea of pursuing an MFA... and I feel that therapy will help me to keep it all in perspective.

I tend to attempt involvement in too many things at once. Perhaps I feign involvement, because it too often doesn't pan out into being actually involved. Err... sorry. I'll save it for the therapist!

After therapy, I am going to cosmo to meet with Kippy.

Therapy and modeling: what a perfect weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2008

why, oh why? i am mad at best buy!


i am a banker. online bill payments are not supposed to be difficult. however, i've made the unbelievable error of waiting too long to pay my best buy credit card... it's due soon, and it's a holiday weekend! (everyone knows it's columbus day on monday, right?!)

anywho, i am now locked out of the best buy website, because i apparently tried too many passwords. getting someone to help me reset the shit is proving impossible. oh, how i love my 46'' television, and oh, how i am getting ready to use a large chunk of my cash-on-hand to pay it off.

since i am locked out of the online system, i'll have no choice but to pay it over the phone if i don't want a late fee. however, i will be forced to pay a $15.00 charge for using the telephone system to make this payment. in the words of amy poehler and seth meyers, "really?!" Really? Oh my God, really?! Seriously?! Banks just got seven trillion million dollars from the government to stay afloat and i have to give them 15.00 more to pay a bill? really?

i am not usually one to bitch and moan about bank policies. ultimately, i know it was my own fault that i did not make payment arrangements in time, but i just can't resist this rant.


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However, since this is my first blog entry i would like to cease my complaining and say, to anyone who so choses to read my ramblings, thank you.


I hope to one day become a "real live writer" and by that I mean, one who writes words which are published and printed and bound and are on best-seller lists. I am working on freelancing for a few different publications and considering the MFA at Spalding. Wish me luck! I am so excited to follow my dreams.