Saturday, February 5, 2011

Great Employers - Scotiabank

The other day, I talked about a crazy employer. I want to share about a great employer.

If you don't know, my education is in computers. When jobs were posted in college, I only applied to the Toronto jobs. I remember a classmate of mine suggesting I hedge my bets and apply for a job in our home town. I told her I wanted to work in Toronto or nowhere at all. Even then I knew I was not made for the small or mid-sized city. I had the big city in my sights.

Fortunately, I was selected by my first choice: Scotiabank. I worked for Scotiabank headquarters in downtown Toronto as a systems analyst. Scotiabank is one of the top 5 banks in Canada. In high school economics, I studied the top 5 banks and most notably, Cedric Ritchie, a former CEO of Scotiabank. For years, I worshipped the ground this man walked on. Cedric Ritchie was a god of the banking industry.

It was a great time to work for Scotiabank. The brand new headquarters building, Scotia Plaza, was nearing completion. It became the 2nd tallest building on the Toronto skyline, next to the Bank of Montreal (BMO) building. And the 2nd tallest building in Canada.

My role had me all over the bank offices. I even supported some of the computers on the trading floor. The trading floor was never dull. Like the time one of the traders unplugged a major computer and shut his area down for days.

The craziest thing I ever did was take a computer for a walk. There was this one computer that was finicky. My team lead told me to take it for a walk around the block. I thought she was joking. Dead serious. There I was, wearing a linen dress with 3" leather pumps, pulling a computer behind me in one of the top financial districts in the world. Fortunately, it was a glorious summer day and I loved it!

One time, I was on the executive floor. I had been there so many times before. Each time, I hoped to catch a glimpse at Cedric Ritchie but it never happened. Until this day when I was escorting a service provider to a computer. I had to stand there and wait for him to finish. There I was, in the executive offices, standing around doing nothing when my idol, Cedric Ritchie, is less than 5 feet from me. I wanted to say something to him and die all at the same time. We made eye contact. I looked into Cedric Ritchie's eyes! He stared at me like he was wondering why the hell I wasn't working. But I was! I was providing security for bank assets!

I can't tell you how many times I have replayed that moment in my head over the past 18 years. Sigh. I know, most girls my age back then got all weak in the knees over a movie star or singer. I was fascinated with a financial genius.

It was still a dream come true to be in the presence of such greatness as Cedric Ritchie.

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