Tuesday, 26 June 2012

This week is the dreaded lay-over week. Business is bad, the bank is not making money and we are not doing any deals. Looking at the current macro-economic environment that hardly seems surprising. But ofcourse we will still run to all and sundry to pitch all sorts of possible alternatives - restructure your company, buy this company, sell this business, IPO that division. Some of the most outlandish suggestions have ranged from a merger of 2 tech giants or the IPO of a cash cow of a large utilities business or a reverse merger where very small companies should buy completely unrelated assets which they ofcourse cant afford!

But it is amusing - the bank is debating laying off people this week but at the same time is spending thousands of dollars installing "facilities monitors " which tells employees when the next toilet inspection is due and when the kitchen will be cleaned - yes, this is something which will dramatically improve the quality of my life. This is such a preposterous waste of money - I am tempted to send this example to Scott Adams to feature in the next Dilbert issue.

So, nowadays, the much repeated game around the associate class is " Who Will Be Fired" where it seems like getting fired is almost like a reward. Oft repeated sentences are " that guy does NOTHING the whole day - why does he deserve the redundancy package - this is so unfair !!" or " I have worked my ass off and they refuse to me fire me - I want the severance !!"  The reason why everybody covets this redundancy is two fold - 1) you get three months pay tax free and 2) you get a 3 month vacation under the guise of looking for future employment

Now, ofcourse this by no means is to disrespect all those folks who have families and liabilities - where losing their jobs is equivalent of a death knell. However, this above mentioned perverse stream of thought is exacerbated by the sense of absolute desperation and frustration of working here - where the idea of being paid to leave is such a pleasant idea that suddenly everyone wants to grab the " low hanging fruit".

I am told repeatedly by people who dont work in the bank - that I have been blessed to get the job I have, that I am in a luxury position, that there are millions of people who would die to do the same role - thats when I have to ask myself - Have I lost the sense to be thankful for all that I have? Have the daily frustrutions made me numb to all the good things in my life, Had I been unemployed - would I have envied those dark suits trudging to work everyday ? Is this really the worst that can happen to someone ?

Maybe not .... but if you simply look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs - these organisations meet your two basic needs - physiological and safety needs , everything on top of it - relationships, friendships, free time, sense of respect, recognition, space for creativity etc is all up for grabs ....So is there is a real basis to our unhappiness ... Maybe yes .....

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