Sunday, September 9, 2012

Letter to a Bank Manager

Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by a 96 year old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it.

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire income, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof. In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press the buttons as follows

1. To make an appointment to see me.
2. To query a missing payment.
3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorized Contact.
8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
9. To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year.

Your Humble Client

Remember: This was written by a 96 year old grandma!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Essence of a successful life

This about Mr. Zavere Poonawala who is a well known Parsee industrialist in Pune. He had this driver named Ganga Datt with him for the last 30 years on his limousine, which was originally owned by Acharya Rajneesh.

Ganga Datt passed away recently and at that time Mr. Poonawala was in Mumbai for some important work. As soon as he heard the news, he canceled all his meetings, requested the driver's family to await him for the cremation and came back to Pune immediately by a helicopter.

On reaching Pune, he asked the limo to be decorated with flowers as he wished Ganga Datt should be taken in the same car which he himself had driven since the beginning. When Ganga Datt's family agreed to his wishes, he himself drove Ganga Datt from his home up to the ghat on his last journey.

When asked about it, Mr. Poonawala replied that Ganga Datt had served him day and night, and he could at least do this being eternally grateful to him. He further added that Ganga Datt rose up from poverty and educated both his children very well. His daughter is a Chartered accountant and that is so commendable.

His comment in the end, is the essence of a successful life in all aspects:
“Everybody earns money which is nothing unusual in that, but we should always be grateful to those people who contribute to our success. This is the belief, we have been brought up with, which made me do, what I did”.

Dad Protects Son from Bullies by Wearing a Skirt. Guess What? it Works

Nils Pickert's 5 year old son likes wearing dresses. If anyone thinks that's odd they can take it up with Nils. He's the guy in the skirt.
The German dad has become a role model not only for his son, but for parents around the world, after a photograph of the pair holding hands in red skirts, spread across the internet.
"Yes, I'm one of those dads, that tries to raise their children equal," he explained in an essay published alongside the photo in Emma, a German feminist magazine

Pickert never minded that his son liked dressing in little girl's clothes, but when his family moved from West Berlin to a small southern town in Germany, he learned that other people did. In fact, it became a "town wide issue," according to Pickert, whose essay was translated by Tumblr userw school didn't make life any easier or his young son. Shortly after his first day, he stopped reveling in his own tastes and Pickert worried about the damage it could wreak on his self-confidence.
"I didn't want to talk my son into not wearing dresses and skirts," Pickert explained. "He didn't make friends doing that in Berlin… so after a lot of contemplation I had only one option left: To broaden my shoulders for my little buddy and dress in a skirt myself."

If it sounds like a big leap, consider Nils' rationale. "You can't expect a child at pre-school age to have the same ability to assert themselves as an adult," he wrote. Instead of teaching his five-year-old to repress what he loved, he wanted to teach him to stand up for it. But with no other man in his life showing as much conviction, Pickert realized his son needed a role model. "And so I became that role model."
That's where the red skirt came in, an pants-free option Pickert, himself, would sometimes take back in Berlin, without getting even a second glance. He'd stopped wearing skirts when they moved to their small village, knowing a man in women's clothes could cause rubbernecking accidents at the very least. But when his son asked his father to wear a skirt again, he decided to step up to the challenge.
For that he's been hailed as "Father of the Year" by Gawker, and praised in parenting blogs around the web for his progressive approach to nipping self-esteem issues in bud.
Hand in hand, the Pickerts paraded their custom together around their small village, and soon the shame died away. His son became emboldened again, even giddy at the reactions his father got from slack-jawed strangers. Being different, he found, wasn't so scary after all, especially when Dad's got your back.
After Pickert's son learned that lesson, he began passing the wisdom on to his classmates. If he's teased now, he tells them: "You don't dare to wear skirts and dresses because your dads don't dare to either."
For parents and educators, bullying is a critical issue with no clear-cut prevention method. How do you protect a child from the cruelty of others and how can a bullied child walk away without feeling defensive or ashamed? Pickert's plan comes down to more than just a dad in a skirt. It's an approach that translates across borders, both physical and theoretical: If a child is attacked for being different, don't leave them hanging. Be different with them.