Nick was giving a presentation at a conference in Albuquerque, and needed to print out a revised version of his notes. He didn’t count on the printers in the business center of his hotel being out of order, and the downtown devoid of life, retail, and even Kinko’s outlets. Lacking transportation away from the hotel, he tried to think of alternate ways to meet his printing needs. That was when he saw the shimmering green Wells Fargo office tower… and formulated a wacky plan to put his bank to work for him.
I had recently attended the South West Texas PCA/ACA conference in Albuquerque to give a presentation in one of the popular culture panels. Before leaving our home state and traveling to New Mexico, my girlfriend and I had printed off our presentations, but alas upon arriving at our hotel, the ol’ laptop was fired up and edits and revisions were made. The day of our presentation was upon us and we needed to print out our revised notes.
Now if anyone has ever been to Albuquerque knows the downtown area is nearly empty. The 7/11s close at 9pm, there is no shopping, and the streets are deserted. There is activity on the rejuvenated Route 66 area, but unless you have wheels or want to public transportation to somewhere else, downtown is eerily empty.
It is also devoid of any sort of printing shops. The hotel had a business center, but it was usually cluttered with other presenters, and some were saying it was a buck a page to print. The Services Book for the hotel in our room that lists all the commodities says there is a “nominal fee” for pages printed, and judging by the $5.00 water on the stand in our room, I don’t doubt a $1.00 a page. But when I looked the printers looked to be out of service anyways.
Because the hotel wasn’t letting us get a good cell signal, and because the wifi we bought can only be used by one device at a time (perhaps this write up should’ve been about our hotel!), I stepped outside the hotel into a giant plaza that the Gerard Butler movie Gamer was filmed at so I could use the iPhone and Google maps up a printing place. There is seriously nothing downtown at all. I could hoof it to the university for a FedEx Kinkos, but that would’ve been quite the trip. There was a public library, but according to their page I would need a card, and I am not sure they are going to give a library card to an out of state person.
So it was time for creative solutions. I looked up from the plaza and just a block away was a Wells Fargo tower that at night lights up with green lights to look like an Incredible Hulk of midget skyscrapers. I bank with Wells Fargo, and have since 2000 when my parents gave me the boot to college. I asked myself “Let’s see what my bank can do for me”.
So I Googled up the building and called the first number that popped up. Turns out it was Home Mortgages.
I told the man on the other end of the line that I “had a weird request” and “was a customer who needed a favour”. I can only imagine him in Mortgages was expecting a really weird sob story about a house being foreclosed on because they robosigned it away. I told him I had a presentation in the afternoon, there are no printers in the downtown, and I wanted to see if my bank would go above and beyond and let me print mine and my girlfriend’s presentations out at their office.
He said yes!
So off I trotted to the Wells Fargo building, met the man in Mortgages, who hooked me up with another man on the banking floor proper. Their computers would not take flash drives, you know for security purposes, but my girlfriend mailed over our word docs and they printed them out.
Of course while this was all happening, the person helping me asked “sooo…. what kind of account do you have with us again?”
And that was that. Wells Fargo came through for me when I needed them. Sure it wasn’t for a mortgage or a loan, or anything like that. They could’ve said no, we are not printing your stuff, you’re crazy – and they would’ve been right. But hey, they did it anyways and I’m grateful.
I just hope they are this flexible when I do decide to buy a house!
Okay, this isn’t a normal customer perk at Wells Fargo or any bank. But it’s nice to hear that for the cost of a few minutes of their time and a bit of toner and paper, the nice people of Wells Fargo came through for a customer in his time of need.