Why it pays to know your bank manager
If you have an account at a brick-and-mortar bank, it's a good idea to introduce yourself to the local branch manager at some point, just to get acquainted. I know this may sound old-school--most of us think of banks as faceless institutions--but I'm telling you it might actually help you out someday.
Of course, emails and phone calls are how most people deal with banks. And that's certainly more convenient when you have a question or a small problem. But the people on the other end of the communication are mostly working off scripts and have limited leeway to cut you a break. If you have a bigger problem, the manager at your bank branch is more empowered to help, and may be more likely to do so if you're not just another multidigit account number. It may even make sense to add your bank manager to your holiday card list. (No need to go overboard and invite him to your wedding.)
When a bank teller charged a friend of mine $30 for two certified checks--an amount he felt was too high--he politely discussed it with the bank manager, who waved the fees for him. The fact is, bank managers often forgive fees for customers who speak up, especially customers who have clean banking records.
So don't wait for a problem to arise. The next time you're at the bank, make a point of saying hello.
This is something that sounds appealing to me. I'm a friendly person and being on a first name basis with the manager at my local bank branch could be very beneficial.
However, I'm not sure how to approach this. If I walk into the bank, I'd almost certainly have to ask a teller or someone on the floor if I could speak with the manager. After all that, just saying hello and introducing myself may seem a waste of time to them, and I definitely wouldn't want to be straightforward with my intentions--"Hi there. I'm hoping to get to know you a little so that I can take advantage of our acquaintanceship if I ever need help here."
I'm not sure how to go from "multidigit account number" to someone who sends them holiday cards. How can I make this leap without being too awkward or straightforward?