To Whom It May Concern:
I have worked for Umpqua Bank for a little less than 2 years going back to October 2019. Ever since I started I have had to learn everything myself without any help from my manager; she didn’t know how to open accounts nor do loans nor any operations but she knew how to delegate. Through delegation I was given the task of teaching the rest of my newly met coworkers what I have come to know for the past 13 years and how I can better explain the “sales” portion of banking based on my successes managing other banks. All of this within the first 2 months.
During a pandemic, multiple staffing challenges due to the Manager and operational lead being out for 7 months, and leading the branch from its lackluster performance in 2019, to being in the top 3 of the Wine Country Area, I decided to apply for the Store Manager position at our store. I figured that if my Manager could get promoted all while being out of the branch and not even touching a computer much less open an account, then I surely should have a much better chance. I was hesitant at first, but my coworkers could see all the work I put in, the relationships I’ve built with our customers and the results I’ve been able to generate for the branch, as well as help them succeed in their roles. They convinced me.
All this happened because that same Manager also wanted to leave the bank and pursue her other interests such as managing one of her already existing clients’ business that she already was doing in her office while the rest of the team ran the branch. While she was on her way out, within the last 2 weeks, she mentioned that she was able to have a say on who gets to take over her position and how she was interviewing an external hire from another bank. This started to make me wonder if it was even worth the time and energy since such a role may already have been decided by the already “retiring” manager. That’s when things started to get worse.
We went from 6 employees, 7 with the manager, down to 3. The manager quit or “retired” from banking. Another associate left on vacation and stated that a grandmother was ill and quit the company. Another associate transferred to an area she wasn’t originally planning on moving to. The lead associate is leaving the bank shortly. This leaves a newer to the bank CSA /teller (less than 4 months) , a part time CSA (who’s been working full time to help out) and me.
I have been covering the branch as a banker, as a manager to filter out what did not need to be addressed to my manager, and motivating my other coworkers to help the branch run as smoothly as possible, all while being a teller on the teller line. I’ve already been the only person generating results for the previous year, which led to the branch being in the top 3 of the area, but yet there was no recognition for what I contributed.
Right before that manager quit she explained that she didn’t think that I would even be considered for the Napa Soscol location because they would bring another manager from our Bel Aire location and that is what she had recommended. This to me has been very disappointing to hear especially after how everything has been with the communication. We have not had any communication on who was going to help us while people were out. This has led to stress levels being extremely high causing me to have medical issues, that I am currently going to my doctor for. If what the previous manager was telling me what already is going to happen, then I don’t feel that any employee has any opportunity to progress their career specially if the store results are anything to go by. This stress level has led to our store operations lead to put in her 2 weeks notice.
I am already doing more than I think I should be doing and it’s not fair. There is no compensation and there is no opportunity for me to assist customers for me to hit my monthly incentives when I am playing the other missing positions’ roles. To add to that, my interview for the manager position had to be cut short. This made me decide to withdraw my application for the manager role. I’ve asked to talk about my concerns and yet I am told that there wouldn’t be any time to talk about it, so I am writing this letter.
I hope this letter is a reminder that there are frontline employees still working for the bank that are experiencing stressful levels at work and that there is nothing being done about it nor has there been any acknowledgement of what we’ve been doing all while running at a third of our full staff, with a drive up.
Another associate tried to ask at the end of the day what the plan was for next week when the temporary help is on vacation and our lead associate leaves the bank, and to that, there was no answer. Hopefully, there’s an answer soon.