Hold please…

I had a big post about the receptionist all coming together nicely. It had grand storytelling, a few exaggerations*, and a great moral. It was nice and fun, but it missed the one question I kept coming back to:

What if tomorrow morning, the employer of our new found favorite CU receptionist announced that they were starting the process of becoming a bank?

Would that change your view on the receptionist’s comments? What if they had announced something like that the day before? What would the CU industry reaction have been then? What if they announced that they were merging with a much larger CU? What if they announced they were shutting down?

TO BE CLEAR. I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THIS CU. I’M SPEAKING PURELY IN HYPOTHETICALS.

The deal is, you U.S. CUs are a spotty bunch. There are some good ones and there are some bad ones and there are a whole lot in the middle. The credit union movement is only as good as the CU that has the most influence on you. For many, that means the CU they are geographically closest to.

For you CU industry types, that means the CU movement is awesome because you yourself are rockin’ and have done your best to make the CU you work in or with a general realm of greatness. Others are not so lucky/blessed/self-motivated/driven/anything else you contribute your personal CU success to.

It’s really easy to say things like “Credit unions are great places to work” but seriously tomorrow the CU nearest me may be closed, or under a different name, or even be a bank. If that happened, would it have been a “great place to work” the day before? The month before? The year before?

This is the reality of the CU movement.

* I honestly still haven’t seen the original, so my original post probably had more than a few exaggerations.
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4 comments so far

  1. Tim McAlpine on

    Excellent points and I love your headline.

  2. Winter on

    Great points. We all know which CUs in are area have the true CU spirit and soul. And which are … banks, sorta.

    But consumers don’t… and that’s unfortunate, because the bankish pretty much erode the CU brand – way more than a sassy receptionist ever could…

  3. Say this receptionist worked in any other industry. It would still have been a bad move to blog about how irritated she gets with customers, her role with the organization, etc. There are 500,000+ freshly unemployed people each month that would love to be in her shoes. She made herself and her employer look bad, and wisely decided to take her post down.

    It’s not a question of “is her credit union banklike?” or “maybe her credit union sucks?”. Rather, this was an issue of whether or not an employee who wants to stay employed should publicly rant about the people who pays her salary (members and the credit union itself).

    If Peyton Manning called a press conference to say the Indianapolis Colts are terrible, he dislikes Indianapolis fans, and doesn’t necessarily like his teammates…how do you think that makes him, his team, Indianapolis, and the NFL look? Quite bad, I’d argue. Whether he is being honest or not, it’s simply not appropriate behavior.

    Credit unions need to do a better job of calling out their bad apples. But we also need to do a better job of standing up for our good ones. I think we saw a little bit of both in this scenario.

  4. Tony Mannor on

    I think the issue was that her post lacked tact.

    I am not “Extra Offended” because she works at a credit union. That only made the story interesting to me. Would I care if she was a Dominos Pizza cashier? Only if my pizza was a little extra boogery. My interests wane when the information does not relate to me directly.

    That being said, I only think her actions lacked tact. I dont think they were malicious. I dont think she was evil and I dont think she damaged her credit union because I dont think any members saw her blog.

    Probably because members do not have Google Alerts set up with the words “Credit Union”. Probably because they don’t care what is being said in their credit union when they aren’t there.

    That is left up to us I guess.


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