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Socialization Difficulties

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Socialization Difficulties

When psychologists talk about "socialization" difficulties, they usually mean problems with taking orders from authorities. They are not usually talking about getting along with your peers. I admit that I do not take direction well, but it all depends on the source, doesn't it? If somebody wants me to spend money to fit into a social group, I tell them to go jump in the lake. If you do what just everybody and his brother tells you, it's just foolish. When I failed to salute an Army officer on one of my assignments near Washington, DC, they told me I had socialization difficulties. But I'm not a soldier, so it would have seemed like I was mocking him. I did curtsy to him, by mistake. I get it confused with bowing, when blinded by so many medals.

When I first started at this bank, some senior bankers did not like what I represented - automated banking. They did not seem to like me personally either, but I chose to overlook that, because we had work to do. One banker asked me if I could not tell that I was unpopular. I replied that I did notice something, but it was not significant to me. He was actually insulted. His reaction was not even important enough to relay to my boss. I preferred not to say anything that might cause friction between them. Another time, a senior banker pulled up to the bus stop in his Mercedes when it was starting to snow. He rolled down the window and beckoned to me. He asked, "Don't we pay you enough to get a car?" I explained I live only two miles away. I did not qualify for free parking in the parking deck, anyway. When I made a move to get into the passenger's seat, he said, "I would drive you home, Vic, but I live in the other direction." Then he revved his motor and drove up the hill, in my direction. So I had to wait for the bus after all. And that's the kind of guy he was....

Another banker once talked about how the bank had to employ people now which they would not have let in the lobby door fifty years ago. He got some sort of sympathetic applause from his audience, too. I knew better than to say anything, but I suspected that particular banker might have been referring to me.

I probably would not have been hired in my job, if I did not have many years of experience. My experience at the Federal Reserve Bank put me in a category of my own, too. I was never the junior executive type, even when I was a "junior". The problem with this bank in the old days can be summed up in an old cliche which may be politically incorrect now - "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians."

I prefer to roll up my sleeves and build apps for our V.I.P. customers. I do bend over backwards to serve them. That's another unfortunate expression, isn't it? The bank could charge much more for these apps, but they take the farsighted approach of creating revenue streams in the long term. It takes ten minutes to build an app that enables revenue of $500 per month, for perpetuity, for example.

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