The Importance of Advocacy

Most people recognize when they need help resolving a situation. What they may not realize is that an advocate can help them by going to bat for them when they are unsure about how to do it themselves. Some problems that an advocate can help resolve can result from poor customer service, a denial of service, or a general wrong that needs to be addressed or corrected.

After one gets over the fact that whatever happened, happened then its time to put your dukes up! It is important whether you are advocating for yourself or someone is advocating on your behalf that you are not afraid to ask for exactly what you want.

I have always had the propensity to fight back and have thus been advocating all of my life. My friends and family know that I never ever back down from a good fight and I have shared my skills for advocating for others.

About four years ago, my elderly aunt called me upset a verbal altercation she had with a bank teller at her local bank. I will preface this story by saying, my elderly aunt is anything but sweet, but still the actions of the bank teller were a bit over the top. Their disagreement began at the bank, but it continued when they saw each other later at a convenience store near the bank.

In an act or retaliation, her bank account was mysteriously closed without notice. This caused a terrible inconvenience for my aunt whose checks began bouncing all over the great state of Ohio. She felt pretty sure the bank teller closed her account after the verbal beat-down she gave him in the store.

There are several problems with this situation but what is abundantly clear is a personality conflict should never have resulted in her bank account being mysteriously closed. The bank tellers actions inside and outside of the bank were completely unprofessional and never should have happened.

I wrote a letter to the branch manager explaining the circumstances surrounding the incident and asked for a full investigation as to why the account had been suddenly closed. I also sent a copy of the letter to the corporate office. After a long investigation, the bank confirmed the banker teller did indeed close the account on the same day as the encounter with my aunt, which proved it was done in retaliation and without justification.

My aunt received telephone a call and an apology from the corporate office, her account was reopened with all fees waived, and the bank teller was terminated! I believe the bank teller thought he could get away with his actions because my aunt is elderly. What he did not know was that my aunt had me for a niece.

I was very happy that I could help my aunt who was very upset that her 25-year old bank account had been closed and all of her checks were bouncing. She was so proud to show the letter I wrote for her to all of her friends and tell them it was written by her niece who went to college!

Angela Greene is the author of Unnecessary Roughness-The Story of a Mother's Fight for Justice coming Spring 2016. She is also an advocacy expert and media professional. She is the founder of, Change Agents Advocacy Group, a social justice advocacy group that seeks to educate and empower people about social injustices. They specialize in helping clients with conflict resolutions.