Monday, February 26, 2007

Birthday Rambling

Today, Feb 26, is my birthday. Early in the morning my wife said happy birthday to me. And last night my brother-in-law called to wish me the same as it was already Feb 26 in Malaysia, being 13 hrs ahead of us.

I did not get to see my D this morning as she had sleep-in today and was not required in school until 11.00am. So she got a ride from her friend, Christiana who lives in the same apartment complex. But the first thing she said to me when I picked her up after school was “Happy Birthday, Dad”.

Then my D from Oregon was on the phone with her Mom just now when I came home from work. And she wished me happy birthday too. While in the middle of blogging, my S from Malaysia called and wished me the same.It does feel good to be remembered.

How old am I now? I was reminded of that when I exited the apartment gate this morning. There across the road, stands the Fifth Third Bank. Need I say more? Actually my wife is one up on me, she has a bank that is named after her birth year, the Fifth Third Bank.

Rarely does a bank name itself after a set of numerals. So I decided to look up the story behind the Fifth-Third Bank and this is what its website says:

Fifth Third traces its origins to the Bank of the Ohio Valley, which opened its doors in Cincinnati in 1858. In 1871, that bank was purchased by the Third National Bank. With the turn of the century came the union of the Third National Bank and the Fifth National Bank, and eventually the organization became known as "Fifth Third Bank.

Upon closer examination, I note that the name is actually separated by a slash in the form of a fraction of 5 over 3, which algebraically is greater than 1. I guess that would seem more appropriate than if it were to call itself third fifth, following the chronological order of merger, as that would connote less than whole or unity.

Actually, I have not celebrated my own birthday for some time now. It comes a point in one’s life where the celebration of maturity gives way to being reminded of one’s advancing years. Then again, birthdays are meant to be celebrated by your loved ones and friends for having outlasted the vicissitude of life for another year.

And my office does have a tradition of hosting a small office birthday party for employees on a monthly basis. You get a birthday card with a theme befitting your personality/behavior wherein all your colleagues would scribble their thoughts about you and your coming year, and a cake that you get to cut and share with them. But it did not happen today, may be they just want to put me in suspense …

And last week I got a birthday letter from Stadium Toyota, the people who sold me my Toyota Sienna, three years ago, and who carry out the car service periodically. While some may view this as a sales gimmick, I think that is starting to become an integral part of customer relation. Repeat business is important, and any personal touch is going to mean something in the long run. Thanks guys.

Well, I guess I get to indulge myself in some rambling on my birthday. Come to think of it, everyday that I blog is a self-indulgent act because we bloggers are, to varying degrees, self-indulgent diarists, as Debbie Weil so aptly puts it in her book, The Corporate Blogging Book (2006).


Chen said...

Happy Birthday!!

Say Lee said...


Chea-Yinn said...

Hope it was a good one! And at last, we find out the story of the Fifth Third Bank (which to me is still a mouthful to pronounce). I agree that although it may seem like a sales gimmick (and probably started as one), customer relations are really important, as you said, and therefore I find little birthday gifts like coupons and stuff from companies nice (of course, coupons are great, so...).

Say Lee said...

Mom reminded me that I received a birthday card from CVS too. Unfortunately, Todai here has closed or moved; otherwise I would have a great seafood buffet on the house.