Sunday, September 23, 2018

Banking Tales

The grandchildren are here for a few days while the parents are away on a business trip to NYC.  So,  it's a fun but busy weekend.  My husband had cleaned out his "change" drawer and I thought it was a great idea to have my little grandson count the change, write down the amounts and then we'd go to the bank to have it exchanged for bills.  Then, he and his little sister could go and buy a small toy with the money.  It was meant to be a math lesson.

(this is not the coin; this is from an old coin bank I have)

We left home in time to get to the bank before it closed.  My husband has had his account at this bank for over 48 years.  And, I worked for this same bank for over 25 years.  Now, with online banking, and banking apps for my smart phone, I rarely go into the branch.

It was surprising when we walked into the branch yesterday; they had partitioned off a wall and it was half as big as it once was.  There were NO other customers in the branch.  We went to the teller/cashier to ask about having the coins exchanged into bills.  She told me, "I can take the coin, send it to the coin counting department and then credit your checking account".  I replied in a shocked way that "you've got to be kidding me"!  Here's what we had:  $2.50 in dimes, .44 in pennies, .95 in nickels and $2.25 in quarters.

Now, I remember all my years of working at the bank all too well.  We didn't accept huge bags of coin without being rolled.  Yesterday, I had a very little amount.  The teller could have easily counted this out, and given my grandson the bills.  What happened to the custom of teaching your children to save money?  In the old days, the children would come in with their savings passbooks and deposit their coins into their accounts.  Times have certainly changed.  I was so, so upset.  We walked across the parking lot to the drug store where the children picked out two small toys and the extremely helpful cashier readily took my grandson's coins.

Banking has certainly changed now days.  My husband and I actually bank with two banks and we have never paid any fees all these years.  The banks have become so greedy and I feel for their customers.  Back in the old days when I started, the banking hours were between 10:00 AM and 3:00PM.  The cancelled checks used to be returned to the branch each day, where they were daily filed in each customer's file and at the end of the month, the checks were mailed out with the statements.  Long gone are those days, as these days you don't receive your checks and you're lucky if you even receive a paper bank statement!

There was drama back in those days too.  I worked for the same large branch that I went into yesterday but it was in a small, Eastern Washington agricultural town.  The people made their living by farming thousands of acres of land.  It was a regular Mom and Pop/ Leave it to Beaver kind of lifestyle.  The branch manager had always been a man back in those years.  It changed one year when a woman became the branch manager.  It wasn't that she was a woman.  I'm not prejudice.  It was because she was a woman who was totally out of her zone.  She came to our little town and had no desire whatsoever to understand our lifestyle.  She was there only to "climb higher" on her corporate ladder.  I'll never forget one day she called a staff meeting, and basically threw candy at us down the table like throwing bones to a dog!  I was appalled.  Back in those days, I was too shy to ever say anything.

But, not too long afterwards, things changed.  You see, the branch I worked at was actually two separate entities; the operations side of the branch and the commercial lending side of the branch.  I worked for the commercial lending side and my daugher, who was in high school at this time, worked part time for the operations side.  This new super woman manger, who was a very cold hearted person to say the least, one day called me into her office and told me that the commercial banking side was closing and that I couldn't work there as long as my daughter was working there.  I lost my cool and told her exactly what I thought.  Including her throwing the candy at us like we were a dog!

Over 25 years of working and having a great work record/ethic, she wanted to get rid of me.  We had a union so to speak and I immediately contacted them.  You see, my family and I were planning to move in a few months to the west side of the state, where we had purchased a new home.  I was going to transfer to the branch over there.  It all turned out OK in the long run, but I had no respect whatsoever for that manager.  I don't know what happened to her and I really don't care.  I do not like cold hearted people.  And, now days, I will not waste my time with them.  I remember my fellow employees at the bank telling me, "Wow, Pat, we overheard what you told her and we didn't realize you'd speak up.  Good for you!"

It turned out fine and it wasn't the first time I had a glitch.  Years earlier, I was expecting my son and working full time in the lending department.  I had been very ill with the flu and missed a few days of work.  The manager (old guy)  for the lending department said something to me to the likes of maybe quitting work.  Of course I said no, as I was insured through my work.  After my son was born, I became a part time employee.  A new person took my place who was of the same faith as the manager.  He (the manager) bent over backwards to accommodate her when she had a problem with her knee and came to work in a wheelchair.  He never told her to quit her job!  Funny thing is, this old manager guy, who didn't do his job as he should, later got demoted/fired.

I did work for a wonderful vice president of commercial lending for a couple of years, who was a very smart and accomplished woman.  She didn't have to fake her way up the corporate ladder as she was not only smart but did her job extremely well.  She came into the branch to fix all the bad loans that the old guy manager had ignored all those years.  And, she did a great job.  I loved working for her and she knew her stuff so to speak.

When I arrived at new branch where I was transferred, some more interesting things happened.  The manager was a woman, again.  She told us we could not wear pants to work.  If this would have happened today, I would have complained.  Back then, I kept my cool.  Funny thing is, she was married to a "guy" who had been in prison.  Their marriage fell apart, he killed her dog (they didn't have children), burned down their home and he went back to prison!  Talk about drama. . . we had a guard at the branch (without any firearm) to protect us during this time.  What a joke now that I think bout it all these years later.  She went on to break up a marriage and start a relationship with another banker.

After yesterday's episode, I have no use for banks.  Although I'm a preferred customer or whatever you want to call it, it comes down to the operations side of the bank only wants to sell you something.  You can't even go into the branch today without an appointment!  There's another woman branch manager down the road who is a ruthless person. She runs her branch like a prison guard watching over his/her prisoners!  What a shame that this is what has happened to an industry that used to have loyal employees because the bank was loyal to them.  Things have certainly changed.

I think I have to accept change more readily now days.  But, it hard to accept change when the old ways used to work so well.  Life is good so I have no reason to complain :)

That's about all I have to share today.  It's warm here in SoCal. We've had a couple of warm nights which is unusual for us.  How I long for cool weather.   Until next time,

With my best wishes to you,


Friday, September 14, 2018

There's a Worm in my Blog

 It started last night when I had just sat down to read a bit before retiring for the night. I found I had a message on my Ravelry page asking about a pattern. The pattern link I had previously shared was no longer available. So, here I was late at night goggling to find where I could find the pattern and update my Ravelry page. 

I found the link but in the meantime, I found that someone had taken my photo, and pattern info and posted it on their website!  Without giving any credit to me! Was I upset? Yes! Not long ago, I read on one of the blogs I follow, that someone had actually taken the authors complete post and put it on their website.  This kind of behavior is beyond rude!
What is wrong with people today?  I'm not a fan of Pinterest, but at least if my photos show up on that site, so does my blog address to give me credit for the info.

above is the screen from the website
As you can see above, this photo belongs to me as it's the dress that I knitted.  This woman has thousands of patterns on her website and yet says ". . . work of many talented people. . .who have donated them to share. . ."  She has a very lame disclaimer on her website.  I did not donate this to her site!  She stole this info from my blog and gave me no credit whatsoever!  She trolls the internet daily I'm sure to post these patterns, asks for a donation to cancer research, yet, she has monetized her blog with tons of advertising!  She's a scammer if you ask me!  And, to top if off, she has over 1,500 followers.  Beware people that you are following a very fraudulent website!

I think I've had my head under water for too long.  I can't believe what people can do for their own satisfaction.  I love to find ideas online and if I find them on someone else's blog and share it on my blog, I always leave a link to the original author. It makes me so, so happy to share links to other wonderful blogs that I discover.  I would never ever take credit for someone else's work or photos, or whatever.

I think I've calmed down a bit now since I went outside and worked in my garden.  My thoughts and prayers are with those along the Carolina coast dealing with this horrific hurricane.  Enjoy your Friday and your weekend too, everyone! Until next time. . .

With my best wishes,


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Reflections and Knitting!

Hi everyone.  September is here and it seems like the summer months are a distant memory.  I like to keep up on current events but lately the news has been so very depressing.  Sometimes it boggles my mind what I read in the headlines such as boycotting In-N-Out Burger, or the ridiculous law that the Egyptian parliament wants to pass on making it illegal to name your newborn baby a western name!  I've never heard of such madness before.  It was somber yet refreshing this morning to watch Senator McCain's funeral where everyone came together for the good of mankind.  So, to relax what little mind I have left, I indulge in my crafts. . .

My husbands two brothers and their families from the east coast joined us for a week here in sunny California.  We had a wonderful time together and ended our visit at the Montage Resort on the Pacific Ocean where we enjoyed coffee on the terrace.

I finished knitting my astrantia socks which will be given to my daughter.  You can find all the specifics here on my Ravelry page if you wish.  

I had a good laugh about these socks after my son sent me the above message.  Yes, the yarn cost $26.00 but what can I say?  If you're a crafter, you buy what you like. . .
I am so very excited about my current knitting project.  If you recall, a couple of years ago I went to a knitting retreat in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  I received this huge cone of natural, undyed silk thread.  Originally, I had started another pattern but it just wasn't to my liking.  I found this new pattern and I'm in love with working on this.

It's my first time really knitting from charts and I was hesitant.  But, luckily, the charts are well written with easy stitch icons to memorize.  I do have proper stitch markers but they would be placed at the yarn overs which make the yarn overs not tight enough. Hence, my homemade yarn markers work great.  It's been fun seeing the pattern take shape, especially the edging on this particular pattern.

I've also have my crochet hook handy to do a quick crochet project now and then.  I bought this particular variegated thread in Turkey.  I found this pattern on Becki's website; she shares some beautiful things she creates.

I hope you have a fun and safe holiday weekend.  I'm off to my backyard where I'll be sitting by the pool with my knitting needles in hand.  Until next time . . .

With my best wishes to each of you,