Ownership And Good Customer Service

About a month ago, I went in to my credit union to take care of some business and see where I was with a loan. I had paid it in full the previous paycheck. I was quite happy about that. Working with the teller, I then re-allocated the cash that had been going toward that loan to other places.

In the end, I didn’t allocate enough to the account that funds are withdrawn from to cover the motorcycle loan. I only learned this today when I had a call from the loan officer at my credit union. She politely informed me I had not made a timely payment.

I was surprised, to say the least. I had funds in another account sufficient to cover the gap, but I found myself getting angry a mistake had been made.

Then I took a deep breath.

It was me that had signed off and approved the allocation. This was not a complex problem requiring an accountant to figure out, so there was no blaming an expert for failing to explain to me that I would fall short in the one account. It was, therefore, my mistake.

I went to the credit union to correct my error, and ended up with the same teller who had helped me the last time. She apologized sincerely and profusely for the error. I told her that it was me that had signed off on the allocation, and should have realized the mistake. I went on to tell her she had nothing to apologize for.

She repeated her apology.

I smiled, “Wasn’t your fault.”

Then we fixed it.

Fixing it, perhaps, took longer than it would have if I were doing it myself and didn’t have to check to make sure everyone was on the same page. Ultimately, though, I was very happy that her customer service skills were more than a match for my sense of ownership.

Recognizing my own hand in things is one of the hardest things I do as a man, a father, and a citizen. It is not objectively rewarding, but man, does owning my shit make it easier to sleep at night.