Tuesday, August 16, 2011

So you want to be a Banker (Part 1)

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.


  1. OMG............. are you for real??? the speach he gave I thought he was making you a manager of sort. eweeeeeee oooo. Please kindly write more sonnest.

  2. lol @ long grammar = customer service or marketing. I was already envisioning you going out to meet customers in the light you pictured it when you summarized it as being customer service or marketing. I guess thats Naija banks for you sha.

    Waiting for continuation. This will definitely make a good read

  3. LOL @ Customer Service OR Marketing
    Like most things in life, when you remove all the big grammar...............things are usually so simple

    PS - I will reserve my comments for now about Female Marketers working in Nigerian Banks.
    The tings wey I don see/hear........my mouth no fit talk.

  4. From expeience, I know that marketing of anything, even fresh air, is tough!
    Waiting for Part 2

  5. Ginger ooooooo haha ‎​ℓ☺ℓ LMHO I no fit laugh so like NIL says all that long grammar can be made simple. Why we de complicate this simple life? So....abeg write more today o,‎​ℓ☺ℓ

  6. waiting for next..
    this one was a nice read !!!

  7. lmao. Given my experience with a "banker" boyfriend. I knew that was the short of the long story was just that. Please regale us with the rest o jare!


  8. Hahahaha!!!!!I like the.."forget all that long grammer!"lol!More More More!!!

  9. Wow, you served in Makurdi? I also served in Benue, but in a village called ugbokolo.
    Kai, see how your boss and your can-do attitude set you up. Everything happens for a reason because God does not make mistakes

  10. Ewo! too much sugar coating..I am waiting for part 2..You never know, maybe when you set that bank up, you will be the invaluable bank consultant you want to be

  11. Ha.. I smell more gist o.. Kindly share.....

  12. Haha!! WOW! That guy get sweet mouth oh!! So Makurdi is where i grew up :D! How did you like it there? Pretty quiet heh?

    Waiting for part 2

    Muse Origins Features
    Muse Origins

  13. HA HA HA! I cant wait for this gist to coninueeeee

  14. Awwww poor ginger LMAO! i know u worked wonders though ;)

  15. Can't wait to read more, lol...

    I lasted a year and half and had to walk too. To be honest though, my experience was not too bad, my manager was so laid back cos our branch was in central area Abuja, and Govt had like a gazillion naira on our deposits.

  16. Loling at the twisted question. The very essence of interviews sometimes are not to fulfill our desires but just to test out knowledge/ability. So, I am perhaps not surprised. In fact, I almost guessed that's what they'd do seeing you are very intelligent. haha

    - LDP

  17. more please! i bet these stories are going to be good :)

  18. marketing, marketing...I can't.
    Abeg part 2

  19. Oh Jeeze Louise! This doesn't sound a big good!

  20. Really waiting for the sequel. Sometimes big grammar spoils things big time. I think, it is only when you want to hide meanings and task your audience a little bit that it can be really helpful. As for that your oga professor, he was only trying to seek another way of presenting the nature of your job to you. Ask him, if you want, he actually knew what he was doing by couching his message in that manner. Write the continuing part soon o.

  21. hahaha...as soon as I saw the "long sermon" I knew it was Marketing vs Customer Service (having worked in 2 Banks myself).

    I'm grabbing my popcorn for the concluding part...pls don't let it go cold.

  22. lol...lol...'can-do attiude' will always land you in Marketing in a naija bank...when you are meek and calm, they throw you to customer service.My 4 years in d bank wasn't that bad..did mkting as a corper. After NYSC, was deployed to customer service and from there to Int'l Ops...Ginger, pls conclude your story o! I can' wait again

  23. Waiting for part 2...this was fun to read.

  24. Hahaha!! I'm loving this. Please come back with part 2 asap! I served near Gombe. An experience and a half if you ask me. Part 2 please!!

  25. Funny how complex words are used to hide the true tasks involved in a job. Cant wait for part 2.

    er..p.s: have i beeen banned? I wasnt allowed to post in my usual way. booo




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