I’ve been infused, invigorated and inspired with some much-needed creative bursts — likely triggered by my company’s expected launch of a new mobile-banking portal. I’ve actually enjoyed thinking about what this site could be and how I can work to fulfill some personal goals or missions through the site’s story angles and coverage.
In my last post, I mentioned Uganda and underserved women there whom a friend was trying to help. (And when I write ‘underserved,’ I mean underserved from a banking perspective. The term typically refers to people who either have limited or no access to traditional banking accounts/services.) Today, I write about mobile banking, and how I see it being a catalyst for serving underbanked populations in places like Uganda.
So many possibilities exist for this banking channel — it’s really exciting!
I’m currently working on a study, geared more toward the U.S. market, that examines the role mobile banking is expected to play in the overall financial landscape over the next 24 months. More to come soon!
I won’t go into too much about all of that here, but as a consumer, I LOVE my mobile alerts. I get balance updates every morning that include the transactions that ran through the account the previous day. If something appears awry, I can address it. Think about how user-friendly and intuitive that is — esp. when one considers an underserved user, who might be intimidated by call centers or tellers.
Anywho, I’m feeling good about all of it from business and personal perspectives. I also have another trip to Africa (this time, Cape Town) on the books for the fall. I think I’ll have some good stuff to write about when I get there. Stay tuned!
This whole mobile movement is interesting, but I still take pleasure in the fundamental role the ATM plays. I mean: Let’s hope that when I get to Africa this time that my ATM card works. Yes, of all people on the planet (the editor of ATMmarketplace.com), I couldn’t get my card to work — and what a mess! I use the ATM every time I travel overseas as a way to get local currency, and I use it when I’m home for deposits, withdrawals, etc. I love it. I use it when I want to — regardless of whether the branch is open.
And I’m not the only one.
Case in point: I hit my local Chase branch last week to deposit some cash. It was during regular biz hours, so I did not think rolling up to the drive-thru ATM would be an issue. Everybody else would be using the tubed tellers, right? WRONG!!!!!!!!!! The one ATM had a five-car wait, while the tubed lines were completely open.
I wasn’t going to wait, so I wheeled up to the tube. What a PAIN!
My thinking on the way: Automated deposits = no need for a deposit slip or envelope. I just put in what I need and with my card info select the account and the transaction. At the tube, I can’t do that. I have to explain what I want to a teller, who is not pleased with my lack of deposit slips. Huffily she calls through the mic: ‘What do you want me to do with this?? DEposiT?’ I reply, ‘Yes,’ thinking that was obvious, esp. since I included the checkbook with the cash when I sent it through the tube.
I understood her frustration more clearly when, along with my deposit receipt and checkbook, she included a freakin’ stack of deposit slips in the cylinder she shot back at me. She needed a vacay day, all I’m sayin’!
Well, I suppose a mix of the work stuff in my posts is not so bad. It’s something to write about, right?
Till next time!
So, December and January did not treat me so well. I finally understand what pure exhaustion is! After traveling for the better part of six months (save for the month of December, when I was consumed with Holiday goings-on), I finally hit a wall. I’m off the road until June, so I’m starting to chill, think, write … without the underlying weight of worrying about all the prep I need to do for the next trade show or work event. I still have work on the mind, but at least I have time for other things, like blogging.
In my last post, I wrote about my fellow bloggers. I haven’t had the energy or will to come back since then, feeling the need to evaporate for a while. My friend Cheryl — one of the most special people I have ever come to know — passed away in late January while I was traveling in Germany. Her death took me by such surprise, and my soul was burdened by the fact that I did not learn of her passing until my return to the States.
News of her death, coupled with the deaths of the parents of two of my closest friends, has been a bit draining.
So, I evaporated for a while.
I will really miss Cheryl! We met for coffee the Sunday before I flew out — and she really encouraged me to work on the blog and to get other women involved, herself included. She was so excited about getting her business name out there again, developing her blog and Web site, and continuing her efforts to help underserved women in Uganda. We had so many plans … I was taken aback when I learned she would not be here to fulfill any of it. But I now realize she probably shared all of that excitement and energy because she wanted to continue encouraging me, as she always did. She had been battling cancer for a long time, and I think she knew that meeting would be our last.
I just cannot say enough good about her!
Interestingly enough, I ran across a story last week on a fellow journalist’s Web site about work a Ky. doctor is doing in Uganda. So, perhaps, I will be able to follow up on some of Cheryl’s work.
We shall see.
I’m still searching for what I want this blog to be … and as much as I loathe the thought of writing about career and dating, the two might prove the best avenues, since I do have some funny stories and insights. When I first launched this blog two years ago, I wanted to make it a place for women to network — and oddly enough (back in December) an acquaintance suggested the same idea. So, I think I need to run with the idea to connect people, somehow.
Think on that for me, will you?
Cheryl used to always tell me to embrace the ‘mystery’ of life. So, I’ve added that saying to my repertoire, falling in line with …
When it stops being fun, stop doing it
Live a little
(and) What’s Important Now
I’m now ‘embracing the mystery,’ and learning.
*****Oh yeah: The cat ‘Jazz’ still needs a home!
@World. I apologize for being a slacker, letting the spiders and dust mites overtake my blog. What can I write? Life has gotten in the way; and I’ve suffered from writer’s block, lost direction and an overall lack of interest in trying to come up with something interesting to write about.
Well, that’s all soon changing, since I’m working to spearhead a new effort.
First, I’m thinking about the direction this blog should take. I’ve added a couple of other writers to my team. One is a flight attendant for a major U.S. airline; the other is a poet and relationship expert who pays the bills by teaching college English. Both are really close friends of mine from childhood, too, so I think we’ll be able to come up with some interesting and fun stuff to write about. They know me better than I know myself half the time, and I like to think I have the same ability to read each of them!
Here’s the issue: We’ve quickly identified topics of interest for the flight attendant and the professor. Traveling and hitting interesting off-the-main-drag hot spots will fill the former’s blog, while the struggles of day-to-day relationships and sex will make up the content of the latter’s blog. <<<<<You can CQ the flight attendant’s blog here …>>>>>
My blog? Well, that’s still up in the air.
My partners have suggested I fall somewhere in the middle, writing about my travels as a financial journalist … seasoning my posts with little bits about the struggles of managing life and a busy career, dating in the 21st century as a 30-something and keeping up with everything else.
Not that I have a huge following, but I’d be interested to know your thoughts. What should this blog be about, if not purely “Tracy”?
I also have another friend who’s interested in joining the team! You can check out her site here, where she shares thoughts about life, spiritual healing and just being a good person! (Thank you, Cheryl!)
*****OK. Enough about that!*****
On an entirely unrelated note, I got motivated to crank out a post tonight because of a call from a friend. Earlier this month I lost a special person, one who had been in pain and suffering for a long time. She’s in a better place now, but it’s still hard to accept, esp. for her two daughters, both of whom are in their 30s and (again) childhood friends of mine.
Their mom had a great spirit and was a big cat lover, like me. One of her cats, this groovy 2-year-old male named “Jazz,” needs a home. If you’re interested and live close enough to Kentucky to get the cat, hit me up on Twitter (my handle is @teekitty) or on Facebook. You can just message me there.
I’d add him to my crew, but I’ve already got three females crammed into an 1,100-square-foot townhouse. Crazy!
Thanks for reading!
Over and out!
Just a little something for which to be thankful …
A digression: The blog.
I’m listening to another journalist in the newsroom complain about a so-called quote she received from a CEO — a quote that has obviously gone through the marketing and PR departments, and now reads so *canned* that I could probably sell it on my blog as “the quote you need when your business is going under.” It’s a reporter’s worst nightmare.
Perhaps I will find some inspiration from the agony of PR-speak and canned quotes, even if I feel it only vicariously!
I’ve been remiss in my blogging. For that, I apologize, readers.
I just returned from the four-cities-in-four-weeks tour, when/where I collected a number of ATM tidbits and filed a number of ATM stories. I also managed to get in a little fun while on the road, which is always a plus.
I’ll have to tell you all about it later, since I think I may have a creative burst coming on … Hurry. I can’t let it pass.
… ,,, nnnnn
So … I’ve returned from my 8-day trip to San Diego, where I delivered two presentations about financial services U.S. credit unions should be taking advantage of. If you’re interested, you can read all about the conference I attended on my job site, which I will just assume you know. Now I’m prepping for a crazy month of biz travel, which I am sure will fill me with all kinds of good blog posts!
The SD trip was great, since I did have two-and-a-quarter days for some R&R with some great friends from childhood.
I alluded during a recent SD-trip post to a celebrity sighting at the Hotel Del Coronado, where the Credit Union Conferences group hosted its event. I stayed there for three days and, of course, spoke with numerous insiders and outsiders while I was there. I caught wind of a not-so-publicized guest appearance that was supposed to take place on Friday. I was not able to find this guest (aka, Tony Curtis), but I believe my friend and I may have passed a tent where he was being honored on the DL as we road our bikes on the island. By this time, I had moved over to the Holiday Inn, since the work was over.
The quest was adventure enough for the two of us. It’s a good story to tell, if nothing else.
Now I’m back at the office, playing catch-up, but at least I have a tan and feel rejuvenated. That rejuvenation has, however, fed my lack of tolerance for office annoyances … like kitchen Nazis. They seem to rotate and change in appearance, but it’s always the same thing — worried about what I am prepping for lunch today.
Let’s see. I find few things more obnoxious! Granted, I admit that I often eat strange food combinations. But I don’t force anyone to share my lunch.
Yes, I like mustard with pretzels. Yes, I like to just eat the egg whites that surround the yolk in a hard-boiled egg. Yes, I eat broccoli rather often … and I do like to sprinkle flaxseed on my food. Yeah, I use the spray, synthetic margarine that probably is burning holes in my brain.
To me it’s akin to grocery shopping, when fellow shoppers take a moment to look in my cart. Really? I don’t care what you’re buying, so why do you care what’s going in my cupboard.
Sorry. I am digressing.
Back to more important issues … like the response I got to one of my posts, which, yeah, did occur quite some time ago.
The bathing suit law from 1975: You know, the one that restricted a woman in Kentucky from being on the interstate in her bathing suit, unless she had a club in hand. Well, it turns out that law was repealed some time ago.
Just keeping it real, readers!
So, I’ve got much more to share and more updates to post, once I get finished eating my lunch.
Ciao for now!
I have so much to share … so much is going on … I just want to vomit it all out in bits and pieces, but I won’t. I have not posted in a while, primarily because I’ve been out living life, working a lot and writing! All good stuff, but it has distracted me from the blog. Sorry, readers! I promise to do a better job, at least for the next couple of weeks!
I’m in San Diego, heading back to the Hotel Del Coronado, where I left two bathing suits when I checked out on Wednesday to hit Monrovia for a quick financial services presentation. Now I’m back in San Diego, at the Holiday Inn on the Bay, for some R&R until Sunday.
I have an exciting day ahead, but I don’t want to reveal too much now. Stay tuned … I’ll let you know later if it all works out!
‘Keep it sassy, San Diego … when in Rome’
In response to yesterday’s tweet about a crazy Kentucky law that forbids (and I use the present tense, as the law is still on the books) a woman in a bathing suit from standing on a highway, unless a club or some other type of protection is in hand, my friend hit me up on Facebook with this …
“… in Lexington (Ky.) it is illegal to have an ice cream cone in your back pocket. our state is weird”
Yes, my friend, it is!
Here was a little factoid I posted on my Twitter @teekitty page earlier today, and I got some feedback. Honestly, I cannot fathom what action or reaction spurred this law, but it makes me proud to be a Kentuckian (uh hmm).
Is this a real law?: ‘In Kentucky, a woman cannot be on a highway in a bathing suit unless she has a club’
The exceptions, for real, were that it was OK if she was accompanied by a police officer or she was either under 90 pounds or over 200 pounds. The statute, #436.140 stipulates that the law does not apply to female horses.
Thought you’d want to know!
Keep it real!
So, I’ve admittedly fallen behind on my posts. Not an excuse; just a reality! I stopped last night to think about where all of my time has gone; and, well, most of it has been lost to the summer. Work, fun and events: The week only has so many hours, right?
On a positive note, I finally got new debit cards and checking accounts open — so the days of writing checks for groceries and books have finally come to a close. I did receive notice last week, however, that one debit card was being deactivated and reissued next month, because of a suspected security breach. Well, I don’t stand surprised! As the issues with my electronic devices continue — the headset is still on the fritz and the new digital camera I bought suddenly stopped working — I take comfort in the fact of at least knowing about the expected debit debacle. Knowledge is power, I suppose.
This week, I’m super-focused on work, as I prep for a three-month stretch of business travel and speaking engagements. I just completed a 48-slide presentation for an upcoming credit union show, and I’m super-psyched. All of the information is informative, and taking a day away from the chaos of the office to focus and hone made all the difference. I actually think I’ll shed some light on some new technology, innovation and financial transactions that can benefit the industry and the consumer!
Stay tuned for more later — get the rabbit ears and satellite ready!
Here’s to happy blogging!