By Erika Fitzhugh
Hello, my name is Erika Fitzhugh and I grew up hating money. It was always a subject of tension in my family, no matter how much or how little there was, and that created a lot of unhappiness. At a young age I realized it was necessary, but wasn’t why the world went round.
When I got to college and adulthood hit me, I decided I wanted a stable 30-hour job with benefits. Out of nowhere one day, a teller at Chase bank asks me if I need a job or would consider working at a bank. I told her I had never thought about it, but would like to learn more. Needless to say, before I knew it I was hired and experiencing a new world. My major in college was chemistry, but I couldn’t help feeling I had made the right choice after I saw the positive impact I could have with customers.
After a couple of years Chase kept growing electronically, and I felt the touch of personal experience had been lost along with the more traditional way of banking. Shortly after—on a whim—I applied at Pioneer bank, a community bank. There I regained that happy feeling once again. I was given the title of HPC captain. My job description was to keep the morale up and inspire fellow coworkers to learn our products so we could better our customers’ banking needs.
Electronic statements is where I really got to shine because I got a good feeling contributing to the conservation of our planet and the safety of customer private information—especially with mail theft becoming so prominent.
The cherry on the top was when Pioneer actually started giving out pine trees as a gift for switching to electronic statements. This was just the beginning of the wonderful ways Pioneer helped the community. I remember thinking, “Wow, here’s an employer that really cares and is unique in the way they show it. I am so proud to work here.”
Ironically, I’ve fallen even further in love with working with money. I’ve even changed my college major to finance/business so I can learn more—to be an even better asset to the bank and of more assistance to my customers.
When you feel the world is changing before your eyes, remember there are still some of us that still believe in the special idea of a strong, empathetic, reliable banking relationship.
Erika Fitzhugh is a customer service representative at Pioneer Bank.
Every banker has a story. And we’d like to showcase them in our new feature, A Banker’s Story. Send your stories here. They don’t need to be long—200-300 words is perfect. And include a photo. We’ll let you know when they go up.