As you have against us


Yesterday I heard a radio ad for a local bank.

I believe beyond being local to Iron Mountain-Kingsford, they have branches in many places in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

They were touting the many reasons I should bank with them. My thoughts were not of banking with them at all, but about what a one sided thought that was.

You see, my wife and I have lived here Florence County for nine years as of this coming February. I am retired so I do not need nor can I even do any form of employment. I am a 100 percent disabled veteran. But my wife is younger than I, and still has years to work.

Before we came here, she managed a multi-million dollar enterprise in Door County, Wis., a retail gallery that sold everything from “penny candy” to Persian rugs and fine and very expensive jewelry and original art.

Before that she managed fast food restaurants, for two national chains. She has about 20 years of experience in customer service at all levels along with the ability to totally manage a business including the bookwork/accounting.

Since moving here, she has completed an Associate degree in accounting, a Bachelor degree in accounting and has a Master degree in Business with emphasis in accounting and finance.

She is also a tax expert, registered with the Internal Revenue Service and will soon finish her “EA” certification. She is highly skilled and very intelligent.

I have always wished that in years past when I actually owned and ran businesses, that she or someone like her had worked for me. She is the employee most people say they are looking for.

But she is now employed part time in a retail establishment, and not in business, banking, finance, or accounting. She is registered with the Job Service offices in both Wisconsin and Michigan.

She has applied for every job in any field even close to being related to her experience and training. She has not had one face to face interview in the past two years since completing the Master degree program.

No one has had the ten minutes it would take to interview her. No one has realized what an asset she would be to their company. No one will at this rate. So my question is, if you do not have ten minutes to interview a highly qualified prospect, why would I invest several hours changing my bank account to your establishment?

Why would I trust you? You don’t even take the time to find the best employee or associate. Since moving here, we have tried to become part of the local community on both sides of the state line.

Those who know us, know of some of the things we have done and continue to do. Some of you have treated us well, and you have been rewarded by our loyalty as a customer. When we bought a new car last year we did not “shop.” One local dealer that has treated us well for all the time we have lived here got the sale.

We looked no where else and we did not “dicker.” We trusted that they were giving us the best price that struck a balance between making the profit they needed to stay in business and making us happy with the sale.

They will continue to get our business. You see, we do believe in “shopping locally” and keeping our money in the community. But that is a two way street.

So far we have not seen that across the board. And so for now, our money remains in my longtime bank. It was a Wisconsin bank, but through several mergers is now a Canadian bank. It is not so much what they have done for me, as they are just a bank.

I actually do some of my checking, all of my savings and all of my loans at a credit union. No, not a local credit union, but one in Green Bay. An institution that has also treated us well for a long time. A business that when I have a need, has far more than ten minutes for us.

Finally, when my wife applied for a teller position at the local branch of her bank, a national banking company. she was not just refused but told that she “had none of the qualifications for the job.”

This is a starting position, one to “get in the door” as it were, to her new chosen field. She was not only not considered but insulted.

She closed that longtime account. Her money is also in Canada. Mr. Banker I wish you well with that ad. In our case it fell not on deaf ears, but on ears that heard, considered and as related above, decided against you.

As you have against us.

Donald Lison

Florence, Wis.