Letters From Leton: Operator – Can You Help Me Place This Call?

One of the best things about vacations for me is getting to listen to music. Between my Sirius App, iPod, and Internet Radio – KXT (Dallas Fort Worth – great FM Station), I have listened to a wide range of music (interesting what you can do when you haven’t turned on a TV for a week).

Recently I heard the Jim Croce song – “Operator”. 

The first line goes, “Operator can you help me place this call? See, the number on the matchbook is old and faded”.

Wow – does that line have a lot of old things in it! I mentioned to my wife if Jim Croce hadn’t written the song it definitely wouldn’t have gotten written today. Who calls an operator for a phone number? And a matchbook?

We often don’t see the subtle changes that happen in our lives over time – such as having a Sirius App, Internet Radio or even now the outdated iPod (you can’t get that anymore). But then a song or conversation will remind us of how the world has changed over the years.

The Coronavirus has taught society and banks many things.

One of those is that customers still need good bankers – not so much the buildings we sit in. Customers don’t need cash that much (very good with the coin shortage), but they need card networks and bank systems that work all (I repeat ALL) of the time. Period. And they need people they trust to help them with the numerous electronic systems we provide to manage their money.

So for those who long for the good old days – a simple challenge: Look for a phonebooth with a working phone. And with a phonebook. Good luck with that. Then think about how many numbers you have stored in your cell phone.

If Jim Croce had a cell phone perhaps he and his lady friend could have gotten back together.

And perhaps we can use technology to get back with and stay together with our customers.

– Leton

“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.