Thank You Whoever You Are!

January 21, 2009

Today’s local headline was about fraudulent charges posted against a few of our member’s accounts.  This was related to the breach which also made headlines late yesterday and today.  Heartland Payment Systems has issued a statement about the security breach at  You can read what we said about it here on our main website.  You can also rest assured that there was no breach at the credit union or with any of our vendors. But right now I want to say “Thank You” to the anonymous member who, just 15 minutes after the initial story came out on the Register & Bee website, went online to speak up on our behalf.  Here’s what was said:

“PCU is doing an excellent job of handling this. I had my money back within 1 hour of discovering the fraudulent charges. They also said they are going to call people who have suspicious activity on their account who may not do online banking and find the error.
It’s nice to know when something like this happens that they are going to do everything to make it right for you.”

Thank you!


“Why Save Money?” or “Bad Things Happen In Threes!”

January 8, 2009

“Bad things happen in threes!”  At least that’s what the refrigerator repairman said.  It all started when we went on vacation to Gatlinburg, TN with my family which lives mostly out of town.  It was a great trip!  We stayed up late playing dominoes(I won rather handily BTW).  We got stuck on a mountainside and had to engineer our way down.  Even the long drive wasn’t bad.  This was one of the best vacations in recent memory.  But when we arrived at home 10pm on New Years Day it all unraveled!

Before I had gotten out of the car my wife says something loudly from the back door.

Link to Repair a Broken Refrigerator

Link to "Repair a Broken Refrigerator"

Our refrigerator was dead.  Hundreds of dollars worth of food now sat spoiled on the shelves.  On our beautiful wood floors there was an unholy mixture of previously frozen items from the freezer.  The floors had already started to warp from the moisture.

The cleanup lasted well into the night and early morning.  When I was just about done cleaning the floors  I thought about Murphy’s Law, “Anything bad that can happen, will happen.” Then I thought, “This is why I have money in savings.  I need to be an example to my family and the ones I care about to show them how to responsibly cope with little disasters such as this.  Bring it on Murphy!  I’m ready for whatever you can throw at me!” It was about this time that my wife noticed some little bugs in the house.  No problem, they probably came in when I had the doors open dealing with the fridge.  Wrong.  Our Christmas Tree(real tree) had about a thousand little dead bugs lying under it.  We figure they were in the tree and must have prematurely hatched outside of their natural habitat.  A few survived and were now living in our house.

On to round two where we hurriedly took down the decorations and escorted the tree outside!  With all the cleaning and vacuming done that night, one might have thought we had the mayor coming to visit the next day.  But all in all this whole thing was a breeze to cope with because there’s no question of how we are going to pay for the repairs.  The fridge was fixed for $120.  The bugs were no big deal once the tree was removed.  The floors might cost as much as $500 to repair.  Nothing a little savings can’t handle.  Now, taking the repairman’s advice, we’re waiting for Murphy’s third pitch.  Nothing yet, but I’m checking the air in all the tires!  We’re confident that whatever comes next, we, and our savings, will be ready to tackle it.

10 Christmas Songs to Sum Up 2008

December 10, 2008

While looking through my Christmas music library this afternoon, I thought about how some of these song titles are not only fitting for the holiday season they also seem to sum up this year of financial meltdowns, bailouts, and elections.  So here are my top ten Christmas songs that sum up 2008. Feel free to share your own favorite songs in the comments.

  • Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day – Save some for vacation, retirement, college, and other emergencies that are bound to happen.  Or just go and spend it all the day after Thanksgiving and continue living the American nightmare called out-of-control debt!
  • Light a Candle – The politicians all say we need to conserve energy.
  • Jingle Bell Rock – What misbehaving kids are getting for Christmas this year! (Rocks are  better for the environment than lumps of coal.)
  • Away In a Manger – Where people stashed their money when banks started failing.
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas – I’m still recouping from last summers high gas prices.
  • Silver Bells – No! Not another precious metals advertisement!
  • Silent Night – What you hear when you ask a group of sub-prime lenders “What were you thinking?”
  • Here We Come A Caroling In our private jets and asking for a bailout.
  • A Strange Way to Save The World – That’s what we thought about the first bailout. Aww, maybe it will all work out after all?
  • All I Want For Christmas is … my 401k back!

Honorable Mention:

  • We Three Kings of Orient Are … Making everything in Wal-Mart.  (Hint: Made in China)

Let’s all take a day off!

November 5, 2008

It’s a great couple months to work at the credit union!  We’ll be closed in November for Veterans Day and then two days at Thanksgiving.  Then the credit union will be closed for two days at Christmas and then again on New Year’s Day.  That’s 6 days off over a span of five weeks!  I’m certainly not complaining.  One thing to remember is that the days before and after holidays are always much more busy than usual.  I think it’s well worth it though to get to spend time with loved ones and put the worries of work aside.

What do you think? What days do you have off this holiday season?  What days do you wish you had off?

Working Together

October 17, 2008

Last night the Piedmont Chapter of Credit Unions got together.  This group is made up of volunteers, members, and employees from different credit unions across southern Virginia.  It was fitting to meet on International Credit Union Day.  Don Graham from the Virginia Credit Union League talked about how credit unions have grown over the years all over the world and how they come to each others aid in times of need. He shared reports of how this was lived out just last month by Texas credit unions in the wake of Hurricane Ike. (You can still support credit union people affected by Ike, click here.)

Recently we actually lived it out right here.  Last week while visiting a school I ran into a teacher who was already a member of Danville City Employees Federal Credit Union (through her husband).  Since I’ve seen the statistics which say that credit unions only have about 10%-15% of the personal finance market share in America, I really didn’t try very hard to win her business.  Rather, I complimented the other credit union and thanked her for supporting it.   With 90% of people using banks, credit unions don’t need to be fighting over each others members.  It really is for the good of all credit unions that we continue to support each other even when our memberships overlap like this.

Another example happened at last nights meeting. Kevin from Martinsville DuPont Credit Union, shared about what they learned from the recent phishing and vishing attack directed against their credit union.  The information was very valuable and will no doubt find it’s way into one of our upcoming financial education courses.

I’m so pleased to once again be active in our local credit union chapter.  I’m also glad to see the goodwill and cooperative nature of local credit unions being lived out in tangible ways.  If you’re a credit union employee reading, you should certainly consider coming to a chapter meeting.  The next meeting is November 6, 2008 at the Ballou Park Senior Center in Danville, VA.  If you’re a member, you should be proud to be part of your credit union and please let your credit union know what you think of it.  If you’re not a member, you need to find a credit union!

Donate to credit union people affected by Hurricane Ike

Our latest poll … The Bailout.

September 29, 2008

Well I raised enough money to get my self out of MDA jail last week.  This morning it looks like Congress is going to approve bailing the financial system out of ‘sub-prime jail’ too.  Here’s our latest poll on with which you may share your opinion.

I’m sorry Joan!

September 25, 2008

In a couple of weeks when your Piedmont Credit Union Fall 2008 newsletter hits your mailbox you might notice that Joan’s name does not appear with the list of employees.  Now don’t panic Joan, our Super Duper Share Draft coordinator, is still here.  It was completely my fault.  I was in a rush to get the newsletter done before I left for vacation in September.  When I added Mary, our new drive-thru teller, it pushed Joan’s name right out of sight!  So I humbly ask the forgiveness of one whose kindness, gentleness, fairness, accuracy, and overall wonderfulness have endeared her to thousands of credit union members. I hope they will also forgive me for giving them a scare!