Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Give me death, or give me Liberty.

In March, 2020, I was working for Steve Simpson at PayPal's creative lab. Steve knew me as a bit of a workaholic--and as Covid raged, he ordered me to begin working from home.

By mid-March, it seemed that the foundations of the world had cracked and we were all going to die. My wife wanted out of New York. 

Accordingly, I was sent to a site called VBRO and I found a house to rent in small, dumb seaside town called Old Saybrook. I've been up there--in a ramshackle house we've bought--for 18 months now. I spend five days in Connecticut for every one I spend in New York.

Some time ago, as GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company began growing, I decided I had to get a trifle more serious about things. I called a lawyer, filed papers, incorporated, registered, got a federal tax ID and opened a bank account.

I opened that account at a local bank. Just a couple miles from my house. We had gotten our mortgage from them, and opening a business account there seemed like the smart thing to do.

Since then, this dopey little bank in this dopey little town have been running a commercial that says, "Kindness starts with us."

So far Liberty Bank has expressed this kindness exactly how you'd think a bank would express kindness. They don't smile when they see me. They don't help me unload my groceries. Or rake my leaves. They don't look pensive and earnest and concerned when I have a question.

They've expressed their kindness by charging me money for things that should be free considering the amount of money I've been depositing there.

They've expressed their kindness by charging me $265 for 500 business checks I can buy from Costco for half the price. They've expressed their kindness by charging me $10 every time I receive or make a wire transfer. 

I don't know how clients and agencies get here. Though they get here a lot.

Someone says, "Rhona over in Cessport, was so nice when I went in. I borrowed a pen and she let me keep it."

Someone replies, "I had something similar happen to me. They let my seven-year-old use the toilet."

Someone poses a thesis, "Maybe it's kindness that makes our bank different."

An intern speaks up, "We do the little things. Small-town things."

The wise old man adds, "Important things, like a smile when you come in."

And someone else adds to that, "The things other banks have forgotten."

That's how you get to shit.

Wish-fulfillment is really shit-fulfillment.

And I suppose as a tagline "Kindness starts with us," is better than "Slightly less nasty and extortionate than other banks. Or not."

There's a reason most advertising is shit. Four reasons actually.

One: The truth is too painful.

Two: Finding truth is too painful, too.

Three: If we play it enough, maybe someone will believe us.

Four:  Rhona over in Cessport thought it was good.

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