Wednesday, 4 July 2012

" Oh, it was my birthday last week and I totally forgot " that beautiful phrase was uttered by a VP at work. While the rest of us stared at him in shocked silence, he said it with a small frown on his face as if contemplating the sheer futility and inconveniences of occasions such as birthdays, weddings and funerals. But the sad part of that statement was not that he forgot his own birthday but the fact that NOBODY else remembered it either !!! Not your own parents, your partner, close friends - no one remembered or bothered to call to even remind you - now that is truly depressing. It is an incredible feat to have an existence so isolated from people that not one person on this planet wanted to celebrate the day you were put on this earth !

So today's discussion was on introducing awards for the " Most Screwed Up Banker" - they would be named after recently deposed CEO's or out of favor Chairmans such as " The Bob Diamond award" or " Jamie Dimon Badge of Honor". Criteria for nomination would be ranging from - least amount of integrity,highest level of dishonesty, exemplary levels of social awkwardness, intellectual limitations, lowest levels of EQ, complete lack of leadership skills etc etc. I would nominate the above featured banker as a front runner but by all means, he will not be alone - he will be in esteemed company since there are many who would comfortably qualify for these awards. It will be a competitive process and a truly nail-biting race to the finish.

However, thats not to say that everyone in the bank is devoid of social skills - there are some duly charismatic, socially adept and highly intelligent bankers out there. There are also some junior bankers as well who want to essay the roles of leaders and take it upon themselves to practise their new found leadership skills on you. Some of them will utter real gems of wisdom in their attempts to motivate you out of your stupor - they almost see themselves as Messiah's guiding you to the holy land when they say things like

1. You are my flock and it is my job to take care you
2. I am your protector - so never fear to approach me. If you dont talk to me - I cant help you
3. If I could instill your values in every person in this firm, the world would be a better place
4. I can place my hand on my heart and assure you that you are one of the most valuable resources that we have
5. Life has a real design for you - but dont fight it, put your head down and work through these tough times

Now all of the above have been said when these people have screwed you over in some way or the other and they obviously confuse you for having the mind-space of a goldfish or a potted plant.

It is incredibly amusing to see how the people who work in instititions such as mine have enveloped themselves so completely in this bubble. I guess when you spend so much time at work - it is but natural(?) to allow yourself to be so completely consumed. Some ofcourse are more susceptible than others.

For the last 2 weeks I have been leaving at 7 pm and sometimes (gasp!!) even 5 pm in the evening (function of not being staffed) - I discovered there is a whole world out there - surprise surprise! It is wonderous to see the life through the eyes of  "regular " people. It truly is a novel experience ......

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