Posting as Branch Manager always gave me pleasure. Pleasure of independence, pleasure of running the show with little innovations here & there, getting accolades directly from clients & sometimes even from The Baldy-the boss, which is not easy.
Things keep happening in the branch due to customers, due to staff, due to auditors & if not anything then due to half-yearly or yearly closings. At times it seems the annual closing comes faster than half-yearly closings! At times you forget the marriage anniversary & get kicked. But overall you enjoy more in the branch than pushing files in HO!
Some rules are listed below for you. In case you follow them then please say thanks with beer. Because that’s my rule! Otherwise please make your own rules!
(1) BM kept an almirah inside the cabin in which he kept pens, pencils, white papers, plastic buckets, computer stationery etc. A clerk will request for a pen & BM would keep him waiting, find the key of the almirah, open it, take out the item, close the almirah & throw the item on face of clerk. In turn clerk will do the same to the customers.
Rule: Reduce cabin size to exclude almirah!
(2) In one branch in Assam, work load was less. In NE states PNB is known as Punjabbank as if it were a small rural bank & footfalls are considerably less. After a visit to a client we both landed in Station Club for lunch & beer & then headed back to the branch. No sooner had I settled down in my seat that boss appeared from nowhere for inspection!
Rule: Beer with boss or else!
(3) Come annual closing & auditors land like migratory birds! They would finish invariably on a Sunday. Now to open branch on a Sunday you need services of guard & of course keys. The guard had left for his village on previous evening 30 kms away & was supposed to be coming back. Second set of keys was with officer whose wife was running fever & they were on way to see a doctor. Meantime auditor was breathing on your neck.
Rule: Learn to lift the shutter!
(4) On such a Sunday with the auditors, the boss also joined in to know the status of audit camouflaged under courtesy call. On the instance of auditor he joined for lunch also. Madam called the boss & reminded about lunch at home and also discussed the menu boss/auditor was having. It turned out that Kadi Chawal was her favourite. Express delivery of packed Kadi Chawal was organised for Madam.
Rule: Keep Menu cards of restaurants’ handy!
(5) Branch was having two ATMs one of which was installed in a technical college about 7 kms out of town. A student operated & found no cash in it at about 7pm. At about 8pm he complained to his father who happened to be General Manager in the bank. At about 9pm GM thundered on phone that ATM was not working. At about 10pm cash was delivered to the student.
Rule: Keep KYC diary!
(6) Postings in branches situated in a tourist town say Agra, Shillong, Rishikesh, Goa etc makes life interesting. Weekends & holidays get evaporated in a jiffy. Here is the catch - this pleasure must also be enjoyed by our boss The Baldy & his family. And Madam must have local handicrafts or world famous saree, & a bottle of feni for saab etc. These things have cost too & you are shy too & your purse is thinner too! You won’t ask & she won’t remember!