Whenever I tell friends about my experience as a marketer in the bank, they say, "you should write about it". Really you should. I still don’t know if I should. Well maybe some parts, cause you see, I am not ungrateful for the work experience I got. Nor am I ungrateful for the income I earned (it wasn’t that much but it was sufficient). Nor am I ungrateful for some of the wonderful people I met. But I decided after 2.5yr that a career in the bank was not for me and I quit. Took a stroke inducing pay cut and began again with my first love – public health.
How did it all start?
After my NYSC in Makurdi, I relocated to Lagos and took up work with a Vet clinic. I have regaled you guys with my stories here and here. I really loved the work but the pay was crazy. Unworthy of the 6 yrs I had spent acquiring my degree. Worst I started having a complex seeing my friends who worked in more corporate establishments all looking ‘suited up’ and earning 4 times my pay while I HAD to wear jeans and the ubiquitous white coat (Had to cause ‘you don’t want some happy but untrained puppy messing up your suits with dirty paws or pee; nor can you perform a surgery standing in 6 inch heels).
So against my better wishes, I applied and I got the job easy peasy. I passed their tests with flying colors. I knew my onions, I was confident and I had a spanking academic record; something I realised was quite deficient amongst my numerous fellow applicants.
Anyways, in the final interview before I got the job offer, the GMD liking-loving my vivacious can-do attitude (What can I say?! I try when I have to) gave me a marketing spiel saying ‘We are a big bank, with a large customer base. We don’t ‘market’ rather our biggest problem is how to manage ALL the customers we have and keep them loyal. I see you are intelligent and have a great rapport with people and I can envision you managing banking relationships excellently and being a good face for the bank [something like that], so would you prefer going out to meet customers in their own turf and have a vantage view of how the bank can benefit their business or would you prefer to let them come to meet you?”
I thought of high powered business lunches, being chauffeured around in those executive bank cars, becoming a valued consultant-banker to the customers and turning their businesses around etc etc. My future glittered. So I chose to go out and meet customers and rued the minute I came out and an older staff helpfully translated all that long grammar: Customer Service or Marketing.
Fast forward to collecting my offer letter and reporting to work a week after, was I posted to a branch that has existed for 15 years and already has a strong bedrock of customers? No.
I was posted to a branch that was going to open its doors to customers for the first time in a fortnight. Zero customer base. Zero income, Zero liability and a loss of N75m in assets to pay for!!
Somebody kill me.
To be Continued.