Called to the College ....
A G Hudson, ASBI
Leeds, Skyrack and Morley TSB
(An article in the SBI Journal of November 1970)
Many a potential student must wonder what exactly he or she is in for after being asked to attend the TSB College. A better way of putting it might be that one is drafted, rather than asked ....
After fond family farewells - with those of the younger members being rather tearful to say the least - and a somewhat tedious train journey, I finally arrived at my destination.
Certainly the surroundings were palatial, though on my own particular course - which was an 'All male' one - they assumed a somewhat monastic atmosphere. Those younger, alas, than I am, attend 'mixed' courses where there is doubtless a 'Romeo and Juliet' spirit abroad - the house being admirably suitable for this having seen a century of ever-changing history.
Meeting the others
Meeting the other members of the course was a somewhat salutary experience. However, eventually I settled in and soon became aware that each one of us had a problem in one form or another. Naturally, our problems stemmed mainly from the fault of those others who would not accept our own bright new ideas!
Following the first full day of lectures I became familiar with the environment where every-day problems of staff and branch are left behind and, in the peace of the College, I came to grips with problems which - at a distance - took on a new light.
A practical application
On the Wednesday morning we encountered our first vital problem - solved only by the application of 'Management by Objectives'.
Six inches of frozen snow had made the roads virtually impassable and the kitchen staff could not get through to cook our breakfasts.
Thus, we either had to do something or go without. So, some of us cleaned and polished, others began to prepare the meal. Our objectives being achieved, a hearty breakfast was enjoyed.
An awareness of aims
During the ensuing periods I became aware of what the aims of the College really are. Here is a place set apart from the every-day round - a place where new ideas can be formulated, old ideas thrown out and re-introduced under a new guise. The poor trustees must be dispatched on almost every course.
When all this has been done then some sort of order can be brought into our minds and we can consider those problems that are forever being put to one side for here, at least, is the time we do not always have.
Things that have been forgotten can be learned anew for the bright torch of learning is held high. And, when returning to our individual banks we can try to involve others and stimulate their interest in the work.
The College, indeed, does not do these things for its own satisfaction but for all those banks which are willing to participate in its work. Those who have enlisted in the banks must all be prepared to find and fight for our place in the future.
The course completed
Thus the working week went by, the weekend being an oasis of calm from the daily round. The 'ten-minute teach in' could be reviewed and one could prepare for the second week ahead. This 'ten-minute teach in' turned out to be an enjoyable change from the college routine and certainly not as fearsome as we all envisaged.
So the second week passed and the time of the final dinner arrived. I - and my fellow students - could now look back and review the new ideas formulated during the course - ideas which we were now ready to take back to our branches and put to some practical use.
I also became all too aware of my own deficiencies in matters concerning banking - but took comfort in the fact that many of my friends held the same opinion concerning their own prowess.
And thus my two-week course at the TSB College came to an end - I was one of the many that have passed through. But I hope it will not be long before I am back again.