However, for local bank, the Bank of the South Pacific, their second birthday was an opportunity to give, not receive.
As part of their celebrations, BSP ran their second ‘in your customer’s shoes’ event whereby the company sends bank tellers and customer service representatives to businesses around Rarotonga, in a bid to help out where they can.
The programme is an opportunity for the bank to give back to the community and their loyal customers, whilst also seeing how a variety of businesses are run.
CI News was lucky enough to receive the help of young bank teller Terai Aratangi, who began work with much enthusiasm at 9am and clocked off just after 2pm.
The 19-year-old honestly admitted she was hesitant to volunteer for the ‘in your customer’s shoes’ programme, as it was unclear which business or trade she would be delegated.
Upon learning she was to spend her Tuesday working with CI News, the youngster figured she would simply be placed in reception and spend her day answering phone calls.
However, much to her surprise, the bank teller was able to accompany office staff member Apii Rapoto on her order collection and office errands, which meant the pair spent most of their sunny Tuesday driving around the island, working on their “drivers’ tan”.
“I was able to meet lots of new people today: shop owners who sell the paper, people who buy the paper and the people that work to create the paper. It all made for an interesting day,” the youngster said.
Aratangi was surprised how many different skills and people it takes to produce the Cook Islands’ only daily newspaper.
“With the office girls, the advertising team, the graphics and layout team, the printers, proof readers and the reporters, it’s surprising to learn how many people have to work together, as a team, to get the paper out the next day.”
She agreed the day-long event was a great opportunity for the bank and its workers to see first-hand how their loyal customers run their businesses.
Aratangi said next year she would be more than happy to volunteer for the programme.
“I feel like a day wasn’t enough to truly get a feel for how a company truly runs. There were aspects of the paper’s production which I wasn’t able to really get a feel for but was interested in learning, so maybe we could make it a week-long programme,” Aratangi said, laughing.
Though it is clear the small bank would be stretched to cater for a loss in staff for five consecutive working days, it was a refreshing day for both CI News, which acquired a smiling new face, and for the young bank teller who said she finished her day with some new friends.