Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bill Czech, Like the Country

I've had a lot of interesting bosses over the years, but none were as puzzlingly amazing as Bill Czech. He led a ragtag team of about twelve Loan Officers through an embarrassingly unproductive couple of years. Bill could be counted on to avoid confrontation, stare at you blankly, blink in confusion and mix metaphors in a way that would make Michael Scott jealous.

Oh, and yes...Bill would introduce himself to people by saying "Hi. My name is Bill Czech. Like the country." Really, Bill? Czech? What language do they speak in Czech?

Each morning, he would rally the troops to discuss any policy changes and get people pumped up for a day of selling. These required meetings were intended to be 5-15 minutes long, get you the information you need and give you that shot in the arm you needed to get on the phone and get hung up on by angry people with credit scores somewhere south of 400. Instead, they turned into a rambling mess of Bill talking about his accomplishments, telling us we need to call more people and find ways to drum up business, and most importantly, delivering impassioned motivational speeches.

At first, these meetings were intolerable. Then, my buddy Gavin and I started keeping notes of things that Bill said in meetings. Sometimes laughing so hard we'd have to hide behind a cubicle wall as we would jot down one of his quotes, we began chronicling the beauty of Bill's wisdom. What follows is Bill's Greatest Hits as collected by Gavin and I. This list represents about half of the quotes we have written down, and are among my personal favorites. Quotes are presented in no particular order. Don't ask me what some of the mean. I just don't know.

1. The word for the month is accountable…it’s accountability.
2. You can only control what you can control, and you can pretty much control everything.
3. My door is always open, unless it’s closed.
4. The girls have sent you stuff of stuff of potential stuff you already need.
5. I didn’t mean to step on Aimee’s thunder.
6. My jaw fell out of my mouth.
7. Spring is right around the corner. (4/6/05)
8. Make quick decisive decisions.
9. I have to watch my words to make sure they are not misinterpreted the wrong way.
10. If I tell you something verbally, it’s just verbal.
11. If you have the "It Factor", you have to imply it here.
12. Look yourselfs in the mirror…Go to the bathroom right now if you need to. (Misspelling intentional for once.)
13. My analogies will always be surrounded by sports.
14. There was a lady being treated for schizophrenia…it was crazy.
15. Use your educated, obviously, loan officer self.
16. Let’s make a conservative effort to get this done as quickly as possible.
17. If you don’t want to be here, I’m not keeping you to be here.
18. You may be able to emphasize what you are not able to miss.
19. Set forth those things that have been set forth by you.
20. Getting off early for the month of June is all of our success.
21. I’d rather have my thumb amputated than have Dhaval here…Or be like a dog and have no thumbs at all. (Note: Dhaval was our Regional Manager at the time.)
22. When the cat is gone, who cares? There should be 17 other cats in here…
23. I may not touch you everyday…
24. We need to get this place to be a squeaky wheel with the grease already on it.
25. It’s extremely important to jump at someone else.
26. You can’t dodge the facts that are real.
27. Lets run and get feathers for our caps.
28. Communication= listening + reading.
29. For those of you that enjoy pool references: we’re not behind the eight ball – we’re not even on the table. (Note: This assumes there is a percentage of people in the room who really enjoy a nice pool reference.)
30. My door is always open except when its closed.
31. Call leads until they bleed or you are stealing from everyone’s mouth.

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