Wednesday, March 09, 2005

2 Years and counting!

We’ll, my 2-year anniversary of working at Verity Credit Union is approaching so I thought I’d jot down a few memorable events or experiences from my past 2 years here.

Name Change. One of my first big responsibilities was to help make the brand transition from NW Federal Credit Union to Verity Credit Union. We had to make sure that the name was changed on all external and internal documents, on ATM machines, in the phone book, caller-ID, pens, business cards, forms and applications, credit cards…you name it!

I was not employed here when we were named NW Federal, but I still hear a lot of members call it that. I also hear members call us “Variety” and “Verily”. I guess some changes take a long time to get used to. It just goes to show you that the marketing department sure has our work cut out for us.

Yoga. Before I came to Verity I had never taken a yoga class in my life. I had always thought it looked boring. But after I came on board I learned that there were a group of people who took yoga every Wednesday afternoon upstairs in one of the training rooms. They invited me to go for a free class and I loved it. I have been taking yoga ever since and I really think that it has made me a more relaxed and balanced person.

My boss’s baby. Shortly after I started working here, my boss had to take a short leave of absence due to her pregnancy. It was a hectic time because I was still fairly new and didn’t really know all the ropes yet. It was also a fun time because my department really came together as a team and I was forced to get to know my co-workers a lot faster than I probably would have otherwise.

Even though our boss was technically on leave, she’d call in every day at the same time to check on things. The four of us would go into her office about 5 or 10 minutes before her call and we’d bring snacks. We’d talk about our day or what we were working on at the time and we’d eat cookies and candy. It was a nice break and it gave us time to prepare for the call so that our boss would think we had everything under control.

I learned a lot about myself and my co-workers during that time and in the end I think it really helped initiate me into the credit union.

Squirrel in the transformer. I don’t remember exactly when this happened, but there was a period of a few days when our phone system didn’t work at all. No one could call in or out and member calls were being routed to our other branches. It was very stressful for the front line staff and we weren’t getting any answers from the phone company. I think the power might have been out for a while too.

In the end, the explanation given for the outage was that a squirrel blew up a transformer. Seriously.

Blizzard of January ‘04. I moved here from Boston, MA, where it actually snows in the winter. You can imagine how amused I was when the whole city of Seattle was going to shut down for a few inches of snow. Well, I wasn’t going to let a little snow stop me from coming into work. So while everyone else stayed home and made snowmen and went sledding down their street and enjoyed hot chocolate, I drove into work. And sat here all day. By myself. Not my best idea.

Evolve. Verity underwent a major system overhaul last March, which we called Evolve. We basically changed our entire computer system and this affected everything from Home Banking to overdraft accounts to credit cards. It was a challenge for both staff and members to get used to all the changes, and we’re still adjusting a year later.

Mariner’s raffle tickets. I hardly ever win anything. And when I do, it’s never something I actually want. That all changed last year when I was randomly chosen as one of the first five employees to pick from Verity’s Mariner’s season tickets. I picked a July day game versus the
Red Sox and it was oh so glorious.

Teen Marketing Conference. In September 2004, I went to Las Vegas to attend the first annual Teen Marketing Conference for credit unions. I had a really great time. The speakers were awesome and they did a good job of getting everyone excited about marketing to Gen Y. I’m hoping to implement some of the ideas from the conference at Verity. On that note, we are reaching out to the youth market already by participating in Credit University. It’s a financial education program that reaches out to thousands of teens in the Puget Sound area by going into schools to teach about savings, debt, wise use of credit and identity theft.

Janie’s chocolate caramel brownies and Bondille’s sweet potato pie. These women make the most sinful and most delicious desserts I have ever tasted. I mean, people at work pay them to make these desserts. They could probably quit their jobs at Verity and go on to make millions selling their desserts to rich people across the globe, but they choose to work here. Now that’s commitment.

I could’ve made this a Top Ten list, but I thought I’d be different and leave it at nine. Anyway, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped me make it through my past two years; with a special thanks to the marketing department for their support and to the accounting department for making sure I get paid.

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