Do it Better

June 26, 2024, Israel

Here is another brief blog inspired by a letter from my investment company. When an investment actually produces a return, it is transferred, naturally, to our bank accounts. The fee for this service has ranged over the years from $12 to $17. Such is life, nothing to be done about it and there is no alternative, you have to pay the piper. Now why should an electronic transfer cost so much? I don't know. I worked in banks years ago and we did these transactions all the time, it is a mostly automated system. With all the geniuses working on computers someone should find a less expensive way. In fact all over the world there are now "aps" where people can transfer money among themselves, locally, at no fee. Thus, this rather hefty charge has baffled me. 

But now I received a letter saying that using something called ACH the transfer could be done for only a charge of $0.20, twenty cents rather than $12-$17, it would take up to 3 days (Not sure why). Would I be interested?

Well, talk about a no-brainer. Of course! And of course this begs the question, why did this take so long?

What I want to focus on here is that "Can't be done" attitude that is prevalent in our society. I have written about this before, you want to change your flight, you want a refund, "Can't be done", until you find another, more agreeable employee, who says, "Sure, no problem". For every person saying "It can't be done" there is another person doing it, and trying to do it better. These are the innovators, the people that make a change in society. Rather than complain - change something. As my dear mother always said, "You are not happy? Do something about it". 

Usually I find that "Can't be done" simply means, "I will not make any effort". That is why we must complain, even though that does not make us very popular, that is why we must point out faults, that is why we must fight the system, because otherwise they will continue charging us $17 when in fact the job can be done for 20 cents. Stand up and Fight for your rights. 

There are two ways to approach this; if You are able to, find a better way yourself. But if you are unable to, complain until the issue is addressed. I can create a better Krav Maga system, but I cannot develop an App for money transfers, that is simply not in my skills set. I may not have the skills to find a cure for certain diseases, but I can raise awareness of it. We each do what we can, within our abilities. 

The other day I went to my regular money changing bureau, and one of the newer employees was there. I have had trouble with her in the past. There is a preferential rate for regular customers, and for those who bring in larger amounts, and higher denomination bills. If you change $100 bills you receive a better rate than if you change $1 bills. But this woman gave me a hard time and told me that was not the policy, even though it has been the policy for many years, long before she came to work there. I tried to reason with her, I asked her to pick up the phone and call her supervisor. "No", she adamantly refused. "There is no point" she insisted. 

I refused to change the cash with her and told her I was going over to the main branch to see the owner. As I arrived I saw his door was open, he greeted me with a big smile and said, "Come on in Moshe, good to see you, how are things?" after some pleasantries I explained the situation to him, he was upset and started writing down the details, and then my phone rang. It was the woman at the Exchange place. I told her I was sitting with the owner, he asked to speak with her. "Moshe is not only one of our best and most veteran customers, going back many years, but he brings groups of tourists (Tour and Train) who change a lot of money with us. You will see, they come in and you have will more work than you can handle. Moshe gets the following preferred rates, and service....". 

Slam dunk, I have won. It was one of those moments where you can say, "I told you so."

I was curious as to how this woman would react to her "defeat"; an apology? a valuable lesson learned? No.

I decided to take a diplomatic approach next time I saw the woman at the Exchange place and thank you for calling me. I then asked what made her call me. She invented some story about her manager calling her by chance (Never happened in all the years I was there), and therefore she mentioned my case in passing, and he said he could handle it. Really? I don't buy that; more likely she was afraid when she saw me walk out (with my cash) and head straight to the main office. In any event, remarkably, she continued to defend herself! She had done the right thing, she did not have the owners' phone number, she was not allowed to call him, he is not her direct supervisor, she lost the number, the dog eat the number, whatever. When I told her I was going over to see him, (Just across the street) she said, "No point, he is out for half an hour." (Hmm, how would she know that?) Then she said she actually did try to call but he was not in (not true), or the line was busy (not true). Point is, she refused to learn from this incidence and refused to move forward with a life lesson. For me the lesson is once again, what one person adamantly insists "cannot be done", another does with one phone call. 

For those who are about to complain, we salute you!

In Krav Maga we must apply this to make our training easier and our techniques more effective. We must question traditional wisdom. It need not always take 5 years to earn a black belt, it need not take that many years to learn to defend yourself, you need not be an Olympic athlete to survive an attack. We must find the 20-cent method rather than the $17 method. Always seek a better way, never accept conventional limitations that others decided upon.

When others say - It can't be done! we must find a way to say, Yes, we can do it. When a solution looks impossible, we must never give up. When a problem seems insurmountable, we must overcome it. It can't be done, until someone does it. 

Related topics


What Can and Cannot be done


Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.

Understand the Israeli Fighting Mentality - Israel a Nation of Warriors by Moshe Katz


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