Thank God October is over!

by DannyUK

My God. October was a long month. Aside from the one day in the month that was half decent (see a couple of blog entries ago), it was a pretty poo month. But finally, October is over!

All month I’ve been struggling to get my team to perform, gently trying to cajole them into a performance, yet most are woefully below par it’s worrying.

KC, my opposite Team Leader ended up with £2,000 bonus for October.

I ended up with nothing.

It makes it worse that KC is a (self-admitted) arrogant git who takes any opportunity to rub everyone’s nose in it. It’s a trait that I hate.


I worked hard all month to get a decent collections result for the branch (and seeing as it doesn’t affect my bonus at all, perhaps I need to reconsider what the Hell I’m doing.), only for it to practically go tits up due to someone else’s mistake on the last day.

As an overview, we are allowed to “lose” a certain amount of accounts every month. So, for example, if we lend someone £10,000, the bank works out interest on the loan and then applies it to the branch – We lend £10,000 and the branch grows by £13,000 or so.

If someone fails to make a payment, we run the risk of losing the account, which means that the branch has less money outstanding to it and is therefore not as strong as it was before.

Our bank allows people to go 2 payments down. It doesn’t matter what day of the month you pay, if you miss 2 payments and we go into a new month, unless you’ve made at least one payment up, the account “rolls” and the branch loses it.

In October, we could afford to lose £81,900 worth of accounts.

After chasing it hard all month, I spent the last two days on the road knocking on doors for money. This took me through Romford, where our branch is based, into Dagenham, Barking, East Ham and eventually Tottenham trying to track down non-payers.

It looked as if our hard work was paying off as on the last day we had collected most of the bad accounts, and with three people promising that they would visit the branch on the last day to make a payment, we were looking at losing only about £60,000 of accounts – a damn good result.

Then on the last day, it all went crappy. The people who promised to pay didn’t turn up, and no amount of left messages, or phone calls threatening court action could get them to make a payment.

No matter, though, as the payments I’d managed to collect meant that we were due to hit below our target, with only £75k rolling.

At 6 pm – far too late to rectify things if anything went on – Sue, the manager, and I decided to check the logs to make sure all cheques had gone on.

Then we discovered that a £6k cheque hadn’t been applied in the branch and had instead been posted to Head Office – a procedure that would ensure it would take at least a week to get applied to the account. It was an oversight on SB’s part.

She has been with us for 6 months and has just finished a 4-week long course which allows her to step up from Admin to Account Manager – Long enough to know better, unfortunately, but too late a mistake for us to rectify.

We still hit target, but only by the skin of our teeth, and as we also operate on a 3-month target, it’s a pain not to finish the first month of a quarter far ahead of target.

On the positive side of things, SB returned from her course, as I’ve said, and is a member of the team that I have high hopes for. Naturally talkative, inquisitive and intelligent, she can go as far as she wants to in the role, and I’m hoping that in 6 months time she will be stepping up to be my number two. No pressure there then.

KB, my new starter who has been with us for 5 weeks now, also got signed off yesterday.

KB had attended the same course that SB’s just come back from, almost a month earlier than SB had done, but for one reason or another hadn’t been signed off. I think the reason was a point-blank refusal to do a roleplay scenario, which is an integral part of the course.

After a number of training lessons, the first of which we did when she came back in late September (and the one which led me to believe she’d struggle to pass the role play), we culminated yesterday doing a role play in front of a Portfolio Manager (someone employed by the company to ensure we are doing things correctly), which to her credit, KB sailed through. She was nervous, but also pretty much perfect, and I couldn’t have been prouder.

November sees my current number two, CJ, on leave for two weeks.

CJ is a strange one. Very talented at what he does, but remarkably lazy at times, and infuriatingly always able to wind me up. I can’t see us continuing for many more months on the same team, as I want him to give me more support, but the things he has done so far don’t inspire me and have left me correcting a lot of his mistakes which isn’t good.

As a good Team Leader, I should be able to get him up to scratch and doing what I want, but I think CJ believes I took what he had always seen as “his” role as TL, and although he has good months, he will never go the extra mile for the team.

His time keeping is atrocious too, which annoys me. Hopefully his move from Colchester to Romford, which is why he has the two weeks off, will do him, and ultimately me, the world of good. If he isn’t looking for a new job, that is.

The house move is slowly edging forward. We’re waiting for bits and pieces to settle, and we should have a moving date sorted any time now. All I then need to do is tie it in with holidays at work and we’ll be away. Yay.

Talking of which, my old branch gave me the wrong information, and now I have 3 weeks of holidays to take before the end of the year. In a company that normally doesn’t allow staff to have holidays in December, and won’t allow holidays to carry over. I can see me fighting a war over this one.


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