Networking’s first principle

                 Those of you who stop by this website will know of the relationship that I have with a certain bank on the Southside of Indianapolis. There were originally five women that worked as Tellers there and they became known as “the bank girls.” There was also the Security Guard and the Assistant Branch Manager. Going there every Friday to deposit what is alleged to be my paycheck has become one of the highlights of my week.  They have been the willing listeners to my growing litany of incredibly bad jokes and one liners. There has even been a few times when they’ve actually laughed at them too. No, it’s true, they did. I’ve also had the privilege to hear their stories and participate in their lives. It’s a great relationship.

                Sadly, nothing ever stays the same. Stacy was the first to leave. She went off to have a baby and was re-assigned to another branch. Not long after Alyssa took off to Europe. She came back after a time and is now at a competitor’s bank. Brandon also went off to another competitor’s bank where, I am told, he has done very well (I am not surprised). Leslie was the most recent departure. She was lured away and is now at another bank entirely. That leaves the original bank with Chris, Sheila and Nichole. While I am always glad to see the three of them on my weekly rounds, it is not quite the same as when all seven were there.

                I stopped by one of my bank’s other branches one day to cash a check and, low and behold, there was Stacy. It was good to see her and find that she is well and prospering. She tells me that motherhood suits her.  

                Alyssa surfaced not long after that. As it happens, I have business with her bank and may yet bump into her occasionally. I also heard from Leslie who reported that she had a great opportunity that she could not turn down. They have moved on to new opportunities and experiences. I wish them all well.

                So, why am I telling you this? This is the same bunch that helped me out once when I had a problem with my account. It’s the same bunch that has laughed at my jokes and has always been glad to see me. They were and are among the people that take care of me. I have a basic philosophy that dictates that I take care of the people that take care of me. That’s the first principle of networking. Here, read it again:

“Take care of the people that take care of you.”

                This is not some complicated idea. Even the Army (where I spent almost twenty-two years of my life) understands this principle. The unwritten rule in the Army is never to get on the bad side of the company clerk (he got you paid), the mail clerk (he brought letters from home and girlfriend), and the company cook (well, duh).

                Look around you. Who takes care of you? Are you taking care of them? Oh, and, by the way,all the best to my “bank buddies.” Wherever you are.

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