Every Day, A Road

On Jane’s last day I put on a good front about being happy for her.  And I was, but her replacement was a trip and my only ally was gone.

The gal Joni and Shirley brought in, Lori, came from another branch.  How much did she know Wells Fargo, at least in the northwest branch style?  I didn’t know.  I could guess, however.  The girl pumped me with questions:  “Whaddaya think of the sales numbers?   How about Joni and Shirley?  Do you enjoy sales, banking?  Why is your wife so sick?”

Jane’s exhaust was still fresh in the office, and I worked with a corporate spy.  I hunkered down at my desk and resolved to keep my mouth shut — not an easy thing for me.

People started to come in regarding their CD accounts.  The first man was in his seventies, a Basque gentleman.  He was of the generation whose family had settled in Reno when it was  a railway depot.

I showed him to my desk.  “Saw your rates,” he said, shaking his head.

“Yup, they change once a week.  They’re geared off of the Fed.”

We went through the options.  His had been a five year CD.  That many years ago, five percent didn’t seem so much.  But, as Shirley had claimed, that five is the magic number. Now we were looking at four-point-five.  He had twenty thousand, not a large amount, not small.  Important to him, of course.  In my life twenty grand would’ve given me six months of breathing room in Patty’s cancer battle.

“We got a savings account going at five percent,” I told him.

“Guaranteed?”

“Nope.  It’s not.  The most you’d get out of it is some flexibility to wait it out for a better rate.”

“How do you think that’ll go?” he asked.

I shrugged.  “It’s all up to the Fed.”

He scratched his head, said something uncomplimentary about banks that I didn’t rebut.

After he left, Lori showed up.  Right on cue.  I guess she had to report to Joni, Shirley, maybe the horses that pulled the stagecoach.  “One of your CD appointments?”

“Yup.”

“How’d it go?”

“He liked the five in the savings account.”

“Good job!”

I would never hear that from Julie.  “Ya think so?  Maybe he’ll go somewhere else if the rate dips.  I would.  I wonder if Wells saw that coming.”

Lori thought a moment.  A big girl with tumbleweed hair, I had to give Wells props for not imposing a beauty standard on their hiring.  “You’d stay in touch with him so he stays with us,” she said.

“I don’t push people … not my style.  Especially old folks like him.  He’s been around long enough to know a snow job.”

Lori appeared confused.  It was too much to wrap her head around, I suppose.  I’d made a sales number, done the right thing as close as I could get to.  Wells Fargo would either win or lose with that outcome.  Lori would figure it out.  My days with Wells were few, and my next discovery would be as significant as a box of hidden paperwork in the basement.

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