phi (totient) wrote,

how to get what you want from a banker

Every September, Arisia changes the signers on its various bank accounts. Usually we've had a change in officers at the annual meeting, and also have a new convention treasurer. Our accounts are at Fleet (yes, there's a good reason for this). So, I have a wide choice of branches at which to take care of paperwork.

Now the "rules" at Fleet say that all the incoming and outgoing officers have to appear simultaneously, sign a resolution of accounts for each account, and sign the signature cards for each account. Oh, and they also have to all have Fleet accounts of their own. This is of course impossible, not only for Arisia but for any Fleet customer, so the rules are bent according to the whim of the banker you talk to. Usually I can get them to give me all the paperwork to take with me, and come back with it signed, with photocopies of the signers' drivers licenses. Sometimes a new signer will have to appear in person, but that's not nearly as hard as getting everyone to appear. But sometimes they're obstreperous and won't give me any paperwork at all, and often they won't give me as many copies of the paperwork as the rules say I need. Usually my response to this is to try another branch, so as to get someone reasonable. But (as I think I mentioned in this journal about a year ago) I've found that dressing up improves my chances.

This year, I got all the paperwork I needed, and while chasing down everyone who needed to sign things we had another change of convention treasurers. I got the new treasurer to sign the cards in the right places, but I'd already handed in the account resolutions. So I dressed up, showed up at the Kendall Square branch at 9:00:00 armed with the name of the small business accounts manager, and waited a few minutes for them to actually open and another few minutes for her to get off the phone. I was expecting her to give me another blank account resolution to take to the meeting tonight. But instead she just added the new treasurer to the account on my say-so. Yay! Now Arisia '04 can function normally; I think this is a record for getting a new treasurer onto the signature cards.

So it seems that formality is not the only way to impress a banker; punctuality also helps.
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