Magazine article American Banker

Banks's Images Suffers If Staff Too Casual in Dress, Manner

Magazine article American Banker

Banks's Images Suffers If Staff Too Casual in Dress, Manner

Article excerpt

Few things burn me more than the telephone solicitor who calls me "Paul" in his first sentence. I was raised to call people by their last names until asked to do otherwise, out of respect for them, and I still do.

I also resent it when I call some banker or businessman and say to the secretary, "This is Paul Nadler calling," and she responds:

"Paul, can you hold?" or "Paul, he's not here now."

And when I am called by the first name by an associate or assistant I do not know, I blame the party I am calling for not having trained the subordinate to be polite.

I don't think I am alone in this. Many people feel this is the second- worst telephone gaffe they face. (The worst is when the person who wants to talk to you has his secretary call and say "Please hold for Mr. Jones.")

If Mr. Jones wants to talk to me, he should value my time as much as his own and not have me hold until he is ready to talk.

In all my years of teaching, I have never called a student by his or her first name until after graduation, out of respect for our university. I feel it shows that we are professionals seeking the same goal, not superior (Dr. Nadler or Mr. Nadler) and subordinate (Suzy or Ken).

Rude behavior reflects on the officer, not just on the secretary, subordinate, or other person who handles the phones. And if an officer does not realize how associates act on his behalf and how this reflects on the bank, he or she is as guilty as the secretary.

In the same regard, I think a lot of people agree with me that when a bank has "dress-down" days, it hurts the bank's image. …

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