Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another Change

I've had to make some changes that you would think are easy, but they're not. For example, when I opened up a bank account here, it was very complicated because I had to learn a whole new way of doing things. Here, checks are cleared and reconciled in a slightly different way, and they don't have account numbers on them. Interest rates and fees are applied differently. I had to research the system of deposit guarantees. At first I was afraid to make a decision because it all seemed so intimidating. I had to translate pages of account terms and conditions, compare bank products and learn the Italian accounting terminology. Interpreting the monthly bank account statements was confusing. At first, I was so intimidated by the bank's online banking website that I just didn't use it.

Nicola, my landlord, has been encouraging me to use my online banking website so that I can pay my monthly rent with a bonifico (money transfer) instead of a check, but I've been too afraid to affect the transfer online, because I was afraid of making a mistake. Here, they provide a small hardware device that must be used in order to authenticate a bonifico. I've been reluctant to use it, because the whole process is so new to me.

But today I decided that I had to overcome. I went to the bank and talked to a bank employee who patiently allowed me to ask all my silly questions, which helped me to gain the confidence that I needed to affect the bonifico online

I feel good because it's done and I've made another little cultural adjustment. All these little changes aren't as hard as they seem on the surface. They're just psychological challenges that need to be overcome.